STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Marble Falls High School football team hopes to extend its winning streak to four games against Bastrop Cedar Creek as it wraps up the 2019 season November 8.
Kickoff for the District 13-5A Division II contest is 7 p.m. Friday at Bastrop Memorial Stadium, 755 Texas 21 West in Cedar Creek. You can listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com beginning at 6 p.m. with “Highland Lakes Coaches Roundup.”
The Mustangs (1-8 overall, 1-5 district) opened the 2016 and 2017 seasons against the Eagles with 41-14 and 28-14 victories. Last year’s 21-20 win, when the two teams were in the same district for the first time, kept Cedar Creek from the postseason.
Though Cedar Creek (5-4, 2-4) isn’t in the playoff picture this season, the Eagles do have plenty to play for. It’s their senior and parent night.
The Eagles run the spread offense operated by junior quarterback Ty Pruett and sophomore quarterback Timothy Caldwell.
In the backfield, they are joined by junior running back Dominic Mojica.
The player who stands out in film is receiver Javon Livingston, who helped the Eagles begin the season 3-0 for the first time in school history thanks to his big-play abilities on offense and special teams.
He scored touchdowns on two kickoff returns and had an interception to defeat Fredericksburg 20-12 on September 12.
“He’s all over the place,” Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said. “Livingston is a big, tough type who can make plays.”
The lineman to watch is senior Alfred Collins, who has Division I-A offers pouring in. Collins lines up at tight end and every position on the defensive line.
“When you have a body like that, you want to use that to your advantage,” Herman said. “If he’s out there, there’s a good chance they’ll run behind him.”
What makes Cedar Creek so challenging is its simplistic approach to the offense. The Eagles line up and beat their opponent by being fundamentally better at the basics of the sport.
“They don’t do anything super fancy,” Herman said.
The coach was equally complimentary of the Cedar Creek defense, especially the four linemen and the two inside linebackers led by Collins, who has eight sacks.
“They’re so big and strong and physical,” he said. “They’re all good tacklers. They move Collins around. It’s going to be a chore to see where he’s at. He’s explosive and strong-bodied. Their linebackers don’t miss tackles.”
Senior middle linebacker Cade Edwards leads the team with 126 tackles, 107 solo, and has six sacks. Senior middle linebacker Josh Garza is next with 98 tackles.
Senior linebacker Reggie Smith has four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
The Mustangs will counter with their slot-T offense led by sophomore quarterback Jake Becker, who has 77 carries for 284 yards and a score.
Senior fullback Gabriel Barker has 116 carries for 434 yards and three touchdowns. Senior halfback Lance Poling has 38 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown.
Herman said he decided to take a team photo after the season to commemorate these Mustangs “as a special honor.” He called them mentally tough for sticking with the program and dedicating themselves to learning new offensive and defensive schemes.
“I told the kids that if they looked to the left and looked to the right, those are the real winners,” he said. “Football is a tough game; life is, too. These guys are winners. Going into the offseason with a win would be huge for us.”