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PREVIEW: ‘Making tackles’ key as Mustangs take on Tivy

Marble Falls football vs. Kerrville Tivy in 2022

The Marble Falls Mustangs play the Kerrville Tivy Antlers on the road on Sept. 15. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

The Marble Falls Mustangs (0-3) wrap up a three-week road trip against the Kerrville Tivy Antlers (3-0) on Friday, Sept. 15, at Antler Stadium, 1310 Sidney Baker St. in Kerrville. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Listen to the game live on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, at KBEYFM.com, or via the free KBEY mobile app. Pregame starts at 6:30 p.m. Fans can also watch a livestream of the contest at DailyTrib.com.

The game against the Antlers follows a heartbreaking 34-21 loss by the District 13-4A Mustangs to the District 2-5A Killeen Chaparral Bobcats. Marble Falls led the game 21-20 early in the fourth quarter.

“We felt like we were in good position at that point,” Mustangs head coach Brian Herman said in an interview with KBEY. “Ultimately, on one of their later possessions, they scored.”

A failed recovery on a pooch kick during the ensuing kickoff was a death knell for the squad.

“They did a pooch kick that spun back to them, and we didn’t field it,” Herman said. “It was almost like a deep onside (kick). We had a kid that didn’t react the way he was coached to react, the ball spun backwards, and they recovered it. They got a bonus possession and went up two scores.”

That two-score margin late in the game foiled Marble Falls’ game plan.

“When they went up two scores and there was six minutes left, it kind of threw our game plan out the window because, in six minutes, we had to manufacture points in a hurry,” Herman said.

He was still happy with his team’s intensity.

“I was really proud of our kids throughout the game for the most part,” he said. “In the first half, we had a 17-play scoring drive. I felt like we were in good shape.”

Marble Falls aims to improve its tackling ahead of the contest against the tradition-rich Class 2-5A Tivy.

“Ultimately, we have to line up well and make tackles,” Herman said. “We haven’t tackled very well so far this year.”

He anticipates the Antlers will be a strong opponent. Tivy beat Marble Falls 28-21 in 2022.

“They’ve had their ups and downs over the last decade, but they seem like they’re on the upswing again,” he said. “I know they’ve had a lot of kids return from last year.”

The Mustangs defense will have its work cut out for it against Tivy’s two-quarterback system of seniors Julian Rhodes and Jaxson Kincaid.

“One is a little more accurate passer and one is more of a dual-threat type,” Herman said. “He throws the ball well enough, but he can also beat you with his legs.”

Herman expects the Antlers defense to play similar to Brownwood in Week 2.

“(The Antlers) are very aggressive,” he said. “Not necessarily in scheme, but in their physicality. They play very aggressively.”

Ball control will be critical.

“We need to keep their offense on the sideline,” Herman said.

nathan@thepicayune.com