Only Mother Nature could delay the Marble Falls High School football team from starting the 2021 season with a victory. The Mustangs defeated Kyle Lehman 20-2 on Friday, Aug. 27, after a one-hour lightning delay.
“I thought our defense played outstanding,” Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said. “During our scrimmages, we wanted to see what our kids can do. We were tackling and flying to the ball (against Lehman). We did that well. I’m very proud of our defense, our coaches, and staff. I couldn’t be prouder of how they flew to the ball.”
The Lobos recorded 81 yards of total offense to the Mustangs’ 326, all unofficial.
The Lobos took their opening drive to the Mustangs 4-yard line, but Marble Falls stiffened and forced a turnover on downs.
After the Mustangs punted on their opening drive, the Lobos fumbled and it was recovered by Marble Falls senior free safety Chris Whitecotton.
That’s when the offense began clicking. Marble Falls covered 55 yards in eight plays. Senior fullback Rio Suarez ran for 29 yards on the seventh play and forced his way into the end zone from the 3-yard line on the eighth play. The extra point was good, and the Mustangs led 7-0 with 2 minutes 54 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Mustangs then recovered an onside kick, but the drive stalled.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs defense forced two consecutive punts.
The Marble Falls offense took the field with 3:20 left in the half and went 28 yards for a touchdown on eight plays. Suarez ran on the last two plays: 12 yards and 2 yards for the score and a 14-0 halftime lead.
Marble Falls took the opening possession of the second half to paydirt when junior tailback Caleb Vidal ran 52 yards for the score. But a bobble on the snap during the extra point and the ensuing pass was intercepted and returned 98 yards for Lehman’s only points of the contest.
Vidal finished with 15 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown, while Suarez had nine carries for 64 yards and two scores.
“Rio Suarez played well, and Caleb Vidal played well,” Herman said, noting the Mustangs kept the ball for 10:40 of the 12-minute fourth quarter. “We controlled the clock. The offense eats the clock, and our defensive coaches like what we do.”
Whitecotton also recovered another fumble in the second half.
“Chris Whitecotton has a nose for the football,” Herman said. “He gets to the ball. I expected an up-and-down game against Lehman with a little higher scoring. I didn’t anticipate a shootout. Lehman scored well in their one scrimmage. I anticipated they’d have more yardage and more points, but our defense was outstanding.”
Though Herman praised Suarez and Vidal, he challenged his offense as the Mustangs begin to turn their focus to the Sept. 3 showdown against Burnet at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. You can listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM or at KBEYFM.com.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Herman said. “We didn’t score enough points to be happy. We left at least 21 points that we still need to capitalize.”