STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls High School football team was simply dominant in a 38-6 road win over Plfugerville Weiss on Nov. 2.
The Mustangs scored on virtually every possession, forced turnovers and punts, and had impressive play from their special teams.
“It feels really great,” senior running back Reece Van Hoose said. “It feels really good to be here grinding. It’s my senior year, and I’m having a blast.”
Though the Mustangs (4-5 overall, 2-4 District 13-5A Division II) turned the ball over on downs on their first possession, the Marble Falls defense got the ball right back after recovering a fumble.
Van Hoose made Weiss pay when he dived into the end zone from 2 yards out on the final play of the first quarter. Junior Frankie Gonzalez added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Weiss (0-9, 0-6) answered immediately when junior running back Koby McCoy caught a slant pass from junior quarterback Jackson Sandlin. The two-point conversion was missed, making it 7-6.
Gonzalez added a 28-yard field goal to add to the lead, making it 10-6 with 6 minutes 41 seconds left in the half.
The Mustangs got the ball with 92 seconds left in the half and drove 91 yards for a touchdown highlighted by a fade route from backup sophomore quarterback Luke Nail to starting senior quarterback-turned-receiver Andrew Stripling. Nail threw to a spot, allowing the 6-foot 5-inch Striping to catch it even during defensive pass interference. The extra point was added, and the Mustangs led 17-6 at the half.
A roughing the passer call allowed the Mustangs to continue their opening drive of the third quarter. Stripling, at quarterback, found Nail, at receiver, for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 24-6 with 3:57 left in the third quarter. The drive took 23 plays.
After the Marble Falls defense forced a turnover on downs, Van Hoose added his second 1-yard touchdown to give the Mustangs a 31-6 lead with 7:24 left in the game. The drive took 14 plays.
The Marble Falls kickoff team recovered a fumble on the ensuing kick. Eleven plays later, Van Hoose ended the game with a 5-yard score and a 38-6 advantage.
At halftime head coach Mike Birdwell said coaches challenged the offensive line and the running backs to establish the running game.
The Mustangs scored on all three of their second half drives. The Wolves ran a total of seven plays in the second half.
Stripling threw for more than 200 yards and a touchdown, while Van Hoose ran for more than 60 yards and three scores. Nail had more than 80 yards receiving and a touchdown.
“We’re running our stuff, the things kids have been running for five years,” Birdwell said. “What an unbelievable night, what a great team win. I’m so proud of our kids and coaches.”
Marble Falls welcomes Bastrop Cedar Creek at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, to Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive.
Catch the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and at KBEYFM.com beginning with the Highland Lakes Coaches Roundup at 6:30 p.m.