STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls High School football team lost 31-12 to Elgin in a District 13-5A Division II road game October 4.
Despite the loss, Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said his athletes will see some solid play when they review the film because of how well they moved the ball offensively with multiple-play drives.
“There were some bright spots,” he said. “Ultimately, in crunch time, we came up short. We moved the ball better, but we didn’t finish. We put them in long situations, but we didn’t finish.”
The Wildcats (2-3 overall, 1-1 district) recovered a Mustangs fumble on the first offensive series then promptly punched it in for a 7-0 lead.
That came courtesy of senior quarterback Daniel Gonzales, who scored on a 4-yard run.
Marble Falls (0-5, 0-2) immediately answered when sophomore quarterback Jake Becker ran the ball in on fourth-and-goal from the 2. The extra point was blocked, and Marble Falls trailed 7-6 to end the first quarter.
The key play in that drive was a 12-yard run by senior fullback Gabriel Barker on first-and-15. Becker also completed passes of 13 yards and 15 yards to senior running back Hayden Wells. Wells had runs of 5 yards and 6 yards in the 12-play drive that covered 54 yards.
Elgin junior reserve quarterback Peter McFarlin took over in the second quarter.
He scored on a 46-yard run to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 14-6 with under 9 minutes left in the half. He later scored on a 31-yard scamper for a 21-6 halftime lead.
Marble Falls put together its best drive of the season to start the third quarter. The Mustangs capped a 16-play, 91-yard drive when Wells scored on a 6-yard run. The 2-point run failed, and Elgin led 21-12.
The Mustangs mixed in runs and passes and used an arsenal of weapons, including Barker, Becker, and junior receiver Hunter Bradshaw.
The Wildcats immediately responded by capping an 8-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by McFarlin to make it 28-12.
The Mustangs fumbled the ball again, and Elgin turned it into points when senior kicker Jaden Strong connected on a 30-yard field goal for a 31-12 lead with 4:22 remaining.
McFarlin finished the contest with 20 carries for 154 yards and four touchdowns, all unofficial stats.
Herman noted that Elgin’s four touchdowns came on quarterback runs.
“You have to account for a running quarterback,” he said. “It puts your defense in a bind. It’s that extra guy to defend. This was a game we needed.”
As a team, the Mustangs had 182 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries.
Wells finished with 181 all-purpose yards, including 104 yards on 18 carries and 77 yards on six catches, all unofficial.
Becker had 8 of 14 completions for 104 yards.
Last week, senior receiver Warren Cuplin was the workhorse for the Mustangs. Elgin keyed on him, which meant another Mustang had to step up. That was Wells.
“That’s what this offense is supposed to do,” Herman said of the slot-T. “Our scheme is meant to highlight multiple individuals. I thought we used our passing game well.”
Marble Falls travels to Brenham for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday, October 11. Catch the contest on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com beginning with the “Highland Lakes Coaches Roundup” at 6 p.m.