The Marble Falls High School football team begins the 2021 season a little stronger than last year. The Mustangs face Kyle Lehman at home on Friday, Aug. 27.
“We’re farther along than we were this time last year,” said Marble Falls head coach Brian Herman. “As with any team, when you set a standard and meet that standard, you reset. We may be performing better at this time as a whole, but it’s still not to my expectations.”
Kickoff for the season opener is 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. You can listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, at KBEYFM.com, or via the KBEY app starting with a pregame show at 7 p.m.
The Mustangs expect to be a legitimate District 14-5A Division II championship contender, but before they can reach for that title, they face a capable District 12-5A Division I Lehman squad.
During last year’s contest, Lehman had a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Marble Falls scored 14 points in the final 3 minutes 25 seconds, but the Lobos added a touchdown and a two-point conversion to send the game into overtime.
Marble Falls scored on the opening possession of overtime for a 28-21 lead, but the Lobos responded with a touchdown of their own. However, Lehman failed on a two-point conversion attempt, and the Mustangs won 28-27.
Herman noted that the Mustangs fumbled six times during the contest, losing three, and threw an interception. The COVID-19 pandemic had also cut down the 2020 preseason practice time.
Still, Herman said, how the team came back and won last year’s season opener spoke highly of his team’s character.
“Our kids didn’t quit; they rallied,” he said. “For our kids to overcome all those things … it says a lot about them. We are ahead of where we were (last year). This time last year, we didn’t know what our kids could do. We are much seasoned, but the same can be said of Lehman.”
Lehman returns eight starters on defense and nine on offense, including senior quarterback Joey Guajardo, who threw for 173 yards against the Mustangs a year ago. Also returning are senior running backs Joey Mojica, who ran for 123 yards and a score against Marble Falls, and Robert Vasquez, who added 45 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
The Lobos will line up in a spread offense and try to move methodically down the field. The Mustangs will counter with senior defensive lineman Jacob Maldonado, senior linebackers Jose Tonche and David Rodgers, and senior defensive backs Ryan Minor and Chris Whitecotton.
Offensively, the Mustangs will operate the slot-T offense led by quarterback Jake Becker and center Hudson McBryde, both seniors and three-year starters, along with a slew of veteran linemen. Senior Robert Adame lines up at halfback, while senior Isaias Fernandez will move to fullback.
Herman said the Mustangs enter this contest fixated on their goals but not looking beyond Lehman.
“We are 100 percent focused on our execution, our discipline, our technique,” he said. “Our technique is paramount and so is our discipline for our snaps and understanding our responsibilities and where we need to be.”