Chaos erupts on the line of scrimmage as the Marble Falls Mustangs defense piles on top of a Burnet ball carrier in the teams' rivalry game Oct. 14. The Bulldogs won 28-14. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
The Marble Falls Mustangs (2-5, 0-2 district) hope to get their season moving in the right direction as they travel east to take on the Taylor Ducks (3-4, 0-2 district) on Friday, Oct. 21. The District 13-4A Division I game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Taylor Stadium, 231 Wesley Miller Lane.
Listen 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.
“I felt totally in control up until the (Grant) Jones touchdown in the early fourth (quarter),” he said. “The fact that we didn’t answer on the next drive was a key moment.”
Herman plans to elevate players who have bought into the team’s philosophy, system, and approach in the Mustangs’ upcoming match against the Ducks.
“This week, what we’ve really done is focused on the kids that we see based on film, based on attitude, based on attendance, based on effort in practice,” he said. “All those things are very obvious; who’s all in and who’s not quite sure. We’re definitely going to lean on those kids we believe in.”
Unlike in past years, the team has struggled to find a consistent roster and personnel groupings for success.
“The roster looks pretty different week to week,” Herman said. “That’s probably the toughest thing this year: the lack of continuity.”
The coach highlighted the Ducks’ speed and athleticism as areas of concern for his squad as it prepares for its third district game of the season.
“They’re supremely talented,” Herman said about Taylor. “My biggest concern is trying to limit the big play.”
The Mustangs will need to contain senior quarterback Ryan Valdez, who has tallied 881 passing yards and eight touchdowns on the year on 97 dropbacks. However, the gunslinging quarterback has struggled with ball security, something Herman hopes to exploit.
“They can get a little sloppy at times,” he said. “That means we need to stay buttoned-up and we stay disciplined and don’t feed into our own type of sloppiness like we’ve had in the past.”
Valdez’s favorite target, wide receiver Jarvis Anderson, is another threat. The senior has amassed seven touchdowns on 26 receptions, accounting for roughly 28 percent of the team’s catches.
As district progresses, conversations about playoff berths have started to dominate discussions. Herman held a meeting with 22 of his strongest team leaders to help communicate current postseason chances.
“I told the guys that, based on where we are at, there is not a lot of expectations from anyone outside of our room,” he said. “Mathematically, we still have an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs, but the next two (games) are crucial.”