STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls Mustangs got a look at what their new offense could become August 23 in a scrimmage against a team that’s been using it for almost two decades.
The Liberty Hill Panthers used the slot-T offense to score once in the controlled portion of the scrimmage and twice during the 20-minute live quarter.
“They’re real good,” Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said of Liberty Hill. “They’ve been doing it for 19 years; we’ve been doing it for 18 days. It was good to see good, tough, physical football.”
Herman was a Liberty Hill assistant coach in 2006 when the Panthers won a state title using the slot-T.
Liberty Hill began the controlled portion of the scrimmage by driving 75 yards, all on the ground, for an 18-yard touchdown. The Mustangs held the Panthers scoreless until the start of the live quarter.
That 3-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive for Liberty Hill.
The other Panthers score was courtesy of a Mustang turnover in the end zone on a handoff when the Marble Falls drive began at its own 2.
Herman pointed out that Liberty Hill executes the slot-T like it’s supposed to be done: physical, fast, and reaction over thinking.
“All the things we’re striving to be,” he said. “They’re well-trained, a well-executed machine. We need to be that same purple blur.”
Herman noted the Mustangs were able to execute some and the offensive line is still adjusting to the change of going from pass protecting to run blocking. This causes issues in creating holes and creases that quarterbacks and running backs need when running the ball.
“We’re still striving to get our linemen to be people movers, not people catchers,” Herman said. “We had trouble protecting. Our offensive line is a big work in progress.”
To make matters worse, because the Panthers know the offense, the Marble Falls fakes weren’t working. The Liberty Hill defense simply sought and found the ball to ensure the Mustangs offense never got in a rhythm.
Still, Herman gave his offense credit for cutting down the number of false starts from the previous scrimmage.
He also praised the Marble Falls defense for being more disciplined.
Overall, he thought his players exhibited what coaches have been preaching: execution, toughness, and physicality.
Once the scrimmage concluded, Herman said seniors Josh Whitecotton and Hunter Bradshaw told their teammates how much the squad has improved since first learning the new schemes.
Herman said Whitecotton told the players this “is the best team he’s ever been a part of.”
Marble Falls begins the 2019 season by hosting Fischer Canyon Lake on Friday, August 31, at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Catch the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or KBEYFM.com beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the Coaches Roundup and followed by the pregame show.