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Marble Falls, Crockett fight for playoff spot

Marble Falls High School football

Marble Falls senior quarterback Jake Becker and senior halfback Roberto Adame will play their last regular season home game Nov. 5 when the Mustangs welcome Austin Crockett. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Plenty is at stake in the final week of the regular season for the Marble Falls High School football team.

The Mustangs (6-3 overall, 3-2 district) have won two consecutive District 14-5A Division II contests to give themselves a shot at the playoffs. However, Austin Crockett (2-7, 2-3) rolls into town Friday, Nov. 5, wanting their own postseason spot. 

A Marble Falls victory puts the Mustangs in the playoffs.

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls. Listen to the action on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, at KBEYFM.com, or via the KBEY app starting with a 7 p.m. pregame show.

Mustangs head coach Brian Herman expects to get the Cougars’ best effort: “A thousand percent, yes.” 

Crockett features a slew of offensive weapons led by senior quarterback Michael Newton at 6 feet 4 inches and 225 pounds. His favorite target is senior receiver Xavier Chapa, also listed at 6-4. But Marble Falls can’t overlook sophomore athlete Cameron Dickey, freshman running back Jamari Wilson, and senior running back Joshua Early.

Dickey is “super fast,” said Herman, while the running backs are the “speed guys who can pop plays.”

“They’re scary because they have potential,” he said of the Crockett offense. “Their quarterback is a really good athlete. Chapa is the jump baller. When Newton gets in trouble, he’s trying to find Chapa. He’s a possession receiver: ‘If you throw the ball in my area, just throw it and I’ll catch it.’ Newton knows where he wants to go with the ball. If it’s not there, he can tuck and run. Those things worry me. Their concepts are good and sound”

The Marble Falls defense hasn’t allowed a point in 10 quarters of play dating to their 21-14 loss to Liberty Hill on Oct. 15 when the Panthers scored all of their points in the first half. The Mustangs are giving up an average 9.8 points in district play.

Defensively, the Cougars have allowed 61 points a contest. They will use four down linemen, who each weigh in at almost 300 pounds, and three linebackers. Chapa also adds his speed on defense as one of the edge rushers.

“They play a lot of kids who average 260 pounds across the defensive line,” Herman said. “Their defensive line is bigger than what we’ve seen. They have athletes on the back end. I think they’ll bring a lot of bodies upfront to try to penetrate past the line of scrimmage.”

The Mustangs’ quickness will be key for the slot-T offense to get rolling, tiring out the Cougars and controlling the clock. 

Marble Falls’ top rushers are junior tailback Caleb Vidal at 702 yards on 78 carries followed by senior halfback Roberto Adame with 637 yards on 74 carries and senior fullback Isaias Fernandez with 586 yards on 76 carries. 

With a win, the Mustangs are in the playoffs; however, the district standings depend on several factors, including how other district contests shake out. Marble Falls could possibly finish in second place, giving it the option of hosting a first-round playoff game. For that to work out, Austin Travis (3-4, 3-2) would have to beat Austin McCallum (6-3, 4-1) on Thursday, Nov. 4. 

“It would be nice if Travis pulled an upset,” Herman said. “We’d get to host a playoff game if Travis wins and we win. So, Crockett, it is a must-win. And this is the last guaranteed home game on this field.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com