STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls Mustangs football team learned how well they’re progressing on new offensive and defensive schemes. The lessons came in a scrimmage August 16 against the Lampasas Badgers, a squad ranked in the top 10 in many preseason polls.
The hosting Badgers outscored the Mustangs 3-2 in the controlled portion of the scrimmage and 14-0 in the 15-minute live quarter.
New Marble Falls head coach Brian Herman noted plenty of good moments for the Mustangs as well as areas that need work.
At the top of the list of good things were the touchdowns the slot-T offense produced.
“I was happy we scored,” he said. “I was really hoping we would. (Lampasas is) highly ranked.”
The Mustangs scored first in the controlled portion when Keaton Rodriguez ran to pay dirt from 6 yards out.
Lampasas tied the contest an on 11-yard scamper then added another score when quarterback Ace Whitehead sprinted 65 yards to the end zone.
On the following Marble Falls drive, senior fullback Gabe Barker sprinted 22 yards to the end zone.
Lampasas answered with a 2-yard touchdown run.
The Badgers scored twice in the live quarter. The first score took four plays as Lampasas exploded for pass completions of 20, 15, and 28 yards. The Badgers only needed 2 minutes 19 seconds to find the end zone. The second scoring drive needed eight plays and ended with an 8-yard touchdown toss. Both drives covered 65 yards.
The Mustangs ended the scrimmage on explosive plays by senior running back Andrew Rodriguez, who ran for 10 yards, and sophomore quarterback Jake Becker, who scampered for 16 yards.
Herman said he was happy to face Lampasas.
“(Lampasas) has a lot of kids back, a couple of backs, and good receivers,” Herman said. “We were able to see a good spread attack. There’s lots of things that need to be corrected.”
Offensively, the Mustangs had several false starts among both offensive linemen and skill players.
“On offensive line, we have to get better,” Herman said. “We have to be people movers. We want to do a better job getting (running backs) the right crease. It’s a different style of play.”
Still, Herman noted, as the scrimmage wore on, the mental lights turn on for the running backs.
“Our backs finally started to see the creases,” he said. “I saw them trying to stick holes. The offensive line started throwing some holes that were huge. I wasn’t disappointed with any of them.”
He singled out Barker, Rodriguez, and Hayden Hoover.
“I like Gabe Barker’s power attack,” he said. “(Rodriguez) started to find those creases; he’s going to be electric. Hoover … wanted to get positive yardage.”
Herman also credited Becker in finding Warren Cuplin, Jett Huffman, Caleb Cuplin, and Sam May on passing plays.
“We had some big catches for first downs,” he said.
Herman commended the defense’s attitude and mentality.
“They play tough and fast,” he said. “They don’t get discouraged easily.”
Marble Falls faces Liberty Hill at 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 23, at Panther Stadium, 16500 Texas 29 West, in its final scrimmage.
The regular season opens August 30 when the Mustangs host Fischer Canyon Lake at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Listen to Mustang games on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com starting with the Coach’s Roundup at 6:30 p.m. and a pregame show at 7 p.m.