MFHS Mustangs doomed by turnovers in rivalry game

Wayne Craig/Clear Memories
During the cross-county rivalry gam Sept. 6 in Burnet, the Marble Falls Mustangs had 20 offensive plays where they gained seven or more yards. At one point, the team had an 11-play drive in the first half that didn't result in points - crucial moments which fed the other team's momentum, according to the coach.

 

 

 

 

By Nathan Hendrix
Sports Editor

The Marble Falls Mustangs football team turned the ball over six times on Friday, Sept. 6 in a 41-6 loss against the cross-county rival Bulldogs in Burnet.

The Mustangs (0-2) gave the ball away on three lost fumbles, three interceptions, a turnover on downs and also allowed the recovery on an onside kick.

Despite numbers that show improved offensive production, the Mustangs' turnovers allowed the Bulldogs to score twice on defense and gave the Burnet offense several short fields.

Mustangs Head Coach Brian Herman gave his thoughts on the intense game on Monday, Sept. 9:

Q: What was the difference in the game?

A: They came out and played fast and furious. I think it took us by surprise a bit.

We gave the ball away four times in the first half … we turned the ball over three more times in the second half. When you give the ball away seven times – and they score 14 points directly off of that – you don't win football games.

I told the kids if anyone wants to talk about the game, here's what you say: “They played well; we did not. Anything outside of that is an excuse.”

Q: You praised the defense last week. You see 41 points and think they played poorly. With seven turnovers, how did the defense truly play?

A: They gave up 27 points. Now, a couple of them were short fields because of turnovers. It was probably a three-score defensive performance – not a four or absolutely not a six.
We kind of played well in the first half – [Burnet] only scored once; the second half is where [Burnet] found their rhythm.

We missed more tackles than we typically do; we had some missed assignments in the secondary.

Q: Just looking at the stats, you averaged 5.5 yards per carry. You were able to run the ball. How do you channel that in future games?

A: We had 20 offensive plays where we gained seven or more yards. We had an 11-play drive in the first half that didn't result in points.

We gave the ball away in crucial moments which fed [Burnet's] momentum.

We have a month of film now, and we can find football players making plays despite the odds. That's what we're going to build off of.

Q: You lost 7-0 against Canyon Lake and was down 14-0 against Burnet at halftime. It had to be a little relieving to score the season's first touchdown, right?

A: It felt good to score, of course. I think I was more disappointed in our other three opportunities inside the 20 that didn't come away with points, though.

We had an 11-play drive, a 13-play drive, but we scored on a five-play drive. I'm more concerned about the opportunities we missed.

Q: Without making your gameplan public, how do you prepare for Navarro?

A: Navarro is impressive. They play fast, physical; they play with an intense focus that's very obvious on film. … I'm tired of playing teams that know the Slot-T, to be honest. That doesn't give us a leg up. The whole point is to be different than everyone else. We're learning to be productive against teams that understand it, and we're hoping that district play, we finally start to click.

We need to get better at what we're doing. We probably need to line up and scrimmage a little bit. Navarro runs maybe eight to 10 plays, and they run them extremely well; they run them extremely fast. I told the boys that they need to watch Navarro because that's what we're trying to get to.

The Mustangs play Navarro on Friday in the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium.

Read more on the Marble Falls High School Mustangs, and find coverage of area schools in The Highlander, your source for comprehensive sports and news in the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email nathan@highlandernews.com. To subscribe, call 830-693-4367 or click here.

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