Marble Falls junior defensive end Gabe Perez tackles Geronimo Navarro junior running back Jean Sims during the Panthers' 33-7 win. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls Mustangs ended their non-district schedule with a 33-7 homecoming loss to Geronimo Navarro on September 13.
After a bye next week, Marble Falls (0-3, District 13-5A Division II) begins district play against Georgetown East View on September 27 at Mustang Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said he can see positives during games and practices and believes the wins will come in time. The first-year coach installed the slot-T offense, which is what Navarro runs.
“It’s not as fast as we want right now,” he said. ‘We want it to happen overnight, and it’s not realistic.”
The Mustangs’ lone score Friday night came on a 52-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Becker to senior receiver Warren Cuplin with 7 minutes 5 seconds left in the contest and trailing 30-7.
The Panthers (3-0 District 13-4A Division II) ended the scoring with junior kicker Sebastian Sneed hitting a 26-yard field goal.
The Panthers took a 13-0 lead at the half off of two explosive plays. The first was a 46-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Brody Whitson with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. The other was a 50-yard scamper for a score by sophomore running back Konner Scwarziose for a 13-0 advantage in the second quarter.
Navarro blew the game open in the third.
It began on the first play: a 69-yard touchdown run by senior running back Euler Deleon for a 20-0 lead.
Sneed connected on a 30-yard field goal on the following drive to make it 23-0 in the third.
After the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs, it only took Navarro one play to add to its lead: a 73-yard run by Deleon to make it 29-0.
Deleon ended the game with 225 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Herman gave Navarro credit for kicking up the intensity.
“They found something in the first half they exploited,” he said. “They jabbed, jabbed, jabbed in the first half and then turned it into knockout punches.”
Once Navarro built a three-score lead, Marble Falls ran its two-minute offense and was able to move the ball, including on explosive pass plays.
Herman was pleased with the results of the two-minute drill.
“That’s something we’ve been working on,” he said. “I thought they handled it well in the game.”
Becker completed 4 of 10 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 26 yards. Cuplin caught three passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Herman said he heard a voice from the stands say the Panthers kept running the same play with the same results.
“Yes, that’s what good slot-T teams do,” he thought. “They run it over and over. You can’t stop it.”
Herman said he hasn’t installed his entire playbook yet because he can’t rush the process. He noted the players are still learning ths base scheme, and he’s as anxious as they are to add more options.
“We’re still in the crawling phase,” he said. “We all want to be running. The reality is we’re still crawling.”