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The Marble Falls Mustangs and the Burnet Bulldogs face each other in a district football contest for the first time since 2007. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at Mustang Stadium.

The Mustangs (2-4) and the Bulldogs (3-3) are both looking for their first District 13-4A Division I win. Marble Falls was trounced by Canyon Lake 42-7, while Burnet fell to Lampasas 24-7 on Oct. 7.

Listen to the game live on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, at KBEYFM.com, or via the free KBEY app starting with a 7 p.m. pregame show.

In an interview with KBEY’s Ben Shields, Marble Falls head coach Brian Herman talked about how his team is preparing for this year’s installment of the Battle of Burnet County.

“It’s Burnet week, so anytime you’re going to play your rival, your next-door neighbor — however you want to say it — there’s a lot of familiarity and a lot of excitement and buzz because it’s the bragging rights for the county,” Herman said.

Unlike the past pre-district matchups between the two, this game has more on the line.

“These next four games are going to be crucial for qualifying for playoff seeding,” Herman said. “To have the rival, the neighbor, come up next and to get them at home, I think it’s perfect timing for us.”

Herman expects to see Burnet juniors Dash Denton, Grant Jones, Will Johnson and senior Braden Ellet-Clark have a major impact on the game. The Mustangs will need to shut them down if they want to win.

“They’ve got a stable of kids that can make things happen with the ball,” Herman said. “Offensively, they’ve got guys they’d like to feature.”

Staying true to his football philosophy, Herman believes the game will come down to the offensive and defensive lines for both teams.

“I’m always going to pin our success on the offensive and defensive line,” he said. “We’re going to try to win the battle in the trenches.”

Marble Falls has had to reshuffle some players, which could lead to ramifications in the rivalry matchup.

“We have a small shuffle on the offensive line for this week, personnel wise, and that can always pose issues with new face, new place, new position, that kind of thing,” Herman said. “We’ll see how they gel this week.”

Momentum should also be a major factor.

“We’re going to have to be very careful on momentum swings this week, especially in a rivalry game,” Herman said. “The team that rides their momentum the longest has the best chance to be successful.”

nathan@thepicayune.com