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Mustangs face playmaking quarterback in area-round game

Marble Falls High School football

The Marble Falls Mustangs face Sharyland Pioneer in a Class 5A Division II area round playoff game Friday, Dec. 18. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Heroes Stadium, 4799 Thousand Oaks Drive in San Antonio. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

When the Marble Falls High School football team faces Sharyland Pioneer in a Class 5A Division II area playoff game Friday, Dec. 18, in San Antonio, the Mustangs will have to contend with a pro-style quarterback who has accounted for much of his team’s success. 

Sharyland Pioneer senior quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger leads the Diamondbacks (6-0 overall, 4-0 District 16-5A) in rushing with 740 yards on 80 carries and has completed 122 passes for 2,055 yards. He has thrown 21 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season.

Mustangs head coach Brian Herman compared Marburger to Texas A&M University Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and playmaker Johnny Manziel. 

“(Marburger’s) got speed, he’s got legs, he’s got a very good arm,” Herman said. “He can create time in the pocket with his legs. He uses all of his athleticism, which makes it difficult to defend. He’s the real deal.”

But Marburger isn’t the only offensive weapon the Mustangs (7-2, 4-2 District 14-5A) will face. 

Senior athlete Tristan Castillo has 41 catches for 715 yards and six touchdowns and 34 carries for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Diamondbacks. Senior running back Taylor Esparza has 55 carries for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore receiver Joseph Graham has 23 catches for 508 yards and six touchdowns.  

Like last week against Brenham in the bi-district playoff game, Herman believes the best defense is for his Slot-T offense to chew up time and score on long drives.

But Herman knows the challenge there, too. Pioneer’s defensive front seven won’t make it easy for the Mustangs, he said.

“They’re very aggressive,” Herman said. “They like to bring a couple of linebackers that creep up to the line of scrimmage. I’m impressed with the way they fly around.”

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Heroes Stadium, 4799 Thousand Oaks Drive in San Antonio. Listen to a live broadcast on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at beginning with a pregame show at 7:15 p.m. 

The victor will advance to a regional contest and face the winner of the Georgetown East View-San Antonio Alamo Heights game.