Mustangs fall to Wildcats in ground-game battle
YORKTOWN -- After winning their first two football games of the season, the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs suffered a slight setback last Friday night, as the team fell to the Yorktown Wildcats, 20-13.
Yorktown was the first team to score as Cody Lubyinesky ran the ball in for the Wildcats from 11 yards out. The point-after attempt failed, but Yorktown led 6-0 with 8:21 remaining in the first quarter.
Later in the first, the Wildcats struck again, as Jayden Barefield ran in from the 6-yard line. The point-after failed, but it mattered little, as Yorktown led 12-0 with more than two minutes still remaining in the first.
Down by 12 points, the Nixon-Smiley offense went to work. The Mustangs drove into Wildcat territory, and then scored on a 22-yard touchdown run by Joe Medina. Alex Hernandez kicked the extra point, and Nixon-Smiley was back in the game, trailing just 12-7 with nearly 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the Wildcats responded well, and came right back for a third touchdown of their own. Barefield did the honors once again, this time from 12 yards out. He then ran in the 2-point conversion, and the score stood at 20-7 -- a lead Yorktown would carry into the locker room.
Following the break, both teams stiffened their defenses. While each team found some success in moving the ball, neither could score, and the third quarter ended with the score still 20-7 in favor of the home team.
The scoreless trend of the second half continued well into the fourth quarter, but with 5:03 to play in the game, Jared VanAuken punched the ball in from 3 yards out. The point-after attempt failed, and the score stood at 20-13, in favor of Yorktown.
The Mustangs gave a final effort to tie up the game, but it wasn’t meant to be, and the Wildcats preserved their victory by the final score of 20-13.
Statistically, the teams’ offensive efforts were about as even on paper as they were on the scoreboard. Nixon-Smiley ran the ball 42 times for 190 yards, while Yorktown carried 44 times for 193 yards. Yorktown only attempted one passing play, while Nixon-Smiley completed just two passes.
There were a number of differences, though. The Mustangs were penalized five times on the night for a total of 25 yards, while the Wildcats drew just two flags. Nixon-Smiley also fumbled the ball five times, and lost one of them to Yorktown.
Alex Hernandez and Medina were the Mustangs’ leading rushers, as Alex Hernandez tallied 73 yards and Medina picked up 72. Miguel Hernandez ran for 28 yards, and VanAuken was good for another 20. Jaime Moreno completed two passes for 30 yards. Miguel Hernandez caught one for 23 yards, and Garrett Earlywine pulled in the other for 7.
On defense, Michael Martinez led the Mustangs with six tackles, followed by Damian Perez and VanAuken with four tackles apiece, and Dylan Robinson with three.
With the loss, the Mustangs fall to 2-1 on the year, and will now begin preparing for Hallettsville Sacred Heart in Hallettsville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 16.