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Mustangs shine in season opener with 52-7 win over Connally

Marble Falls beats Connally

The Marble Falls Mustangs huddle early in the first quarter against Pflugerville Connally before handing it off to senior fullback Jasael Ruiz. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

The Marble Falls High School football team was victorious on the road in its first game of the 2022 season thanks to a strong defensive effort. The Mustangs trounced the Pflugerville Connally Cougars 52-7 on Thursday, Aug. 25, at The Pfield.

“We dominated tonight,” said Mustangs head coach Brian Herman. “(The players) seem to execute without hesitation. I think they’re comfortable and understand their role. I really like where we’re at as a program.”

After giving up a receiving touchdown on the second play of the game to Cougars junior Owen Garcia, the Mustangs responded with a 34-yard touchdown run by junior Jamie Castillo on a quarterback sneak. 

A successful two-point conversion gave the Mustangs an 8-7 lead early in the first quarter. 

Though the Cougars offense appeared unstoppable after the first possession, the Marble Falls defense responded well, holding the Cougars scoreless for the rest of the first half.

The Mustangs capitalized on the stagnant Connally offense by rushing for 4- and 5-yard gains seemingly on every play from scrimmage, slowly demoralizing the opposing defense while scoring 24 unanswered points for a 24-7 halftime lead.

Turnovers played a major role in the contest for the Cougars as the Mustangs defense continued to apply pressure on the offensive line, forcing high snaps that led to multiple fumble recoveries.

The Cougars’ inability to hold onto the ball with consistency afforded the Mustangs great field position throughout the second half, leading to several short-yardage rushing touchdowns for Marble Falls, which ended the third quarter with a 38-7 lead. 

As the second half progressed, the Mustangs opted to slow the pace of the game even further. 

Per usual, Herman’s signature Slot-T offense drained the opposing defense’s energy level as the game progressed, while senior fullback Jasael Ruiz and junior tailback Cameron Graham scampered in for touchdowns, improving the lead to 44-7.

Junior Josh Deberard ended the night for the Mustangs with a touchdown and successful two-point conversion, pushing the final score to 52-7.

“We gave up one touchdown early but shut them down after that,” Herman said. “I trust our staff. I think we have one of the greatest coaching staffs in the state.”

Next up for the Mustangs is a home game against the Brownwood Tigers on Sept. 2. 

“It’s time to be tested now,” Herman said. “This season will be the hardest season since I’ve been here. We’re playing some really good teams: 5A teams, powerhouse 4A teams. We’re not taking it light. We’re going after it.”