Mustangs fall in tough game with Bulldogs
Three Rivers 21
NIXON -- It was a physical game right down to the final buzzer, but in the end, the visiting Bulldogs of Three Rivers got the best of Nixon-Smiley, and left town with 21-14 win.
Early in the first quarter of play, the Bulldogs capped off a scoring drive with a 2-yard dive across the goal line. The point-after kick was good, and the score was quickly 7-0. The Mustangs thundered right back, however, driving down the field, and eventually scoring on a Tristan Newman touchdown run from 3 yards out. Eduardo Tovar booted the extra point, and things were tied at 7-all.
In the second quarter, Three Rivers struck a second time, scoring on a breakaway run from just outside the red zone. The extra point was good. Just as they had done in the first quarter, though, the Mustangs responded with another impressive scoring drive. Junior Tom Palacio did the honors this time, and Tovar added the extra point to once again tie the game. As the teams broke for halftime, the score stood at 14-14.
In the second half, the Bulldogs managed a final touchdown with a 33-yard passing play, and the extra point made it a 21-14 game. The Mustangs did what they could to even things up, but couldn’t close the gap on Three Rivers. The third quarter ended with a Bulldog lead, and the fourth quarter was scoreless by both teams. Three Rivers got the win, and Nixon-Smiley recorded its first loss of the season.
On paper, both offenses produced similar numbers, though the Bulldogs were ahead on the scoreboard. The Mustangs ran for a total of 216 yards, but threw for only 19. Three Rivers ran for 164 yards and threw for another 71. The big difference came down to holding on to the ball. While Three Rivers didn’t have any turnovers, the Mustangs put the ball on the grass six times, losing two of them to the Bulldogs.
Palacio led the Mustang ground game with 81 yards of rushing on 10 carries, followed closely by Newman with 80 yards on 10 carries. Jared Van Auken ran 11 times for 31 yards, and Sam Moore picked up another 20 yards on four touches. Nick Pena completed two passes for 10 yards, while Moore completed one pass for another 9. Garrett Earlywine caught two passes for 13 yards and Justin Ramos had a grab good for 6.
On the defensive side of things, Earlywine and Ramos led the team with eight tackles apiece, followed by Michael Scarbrough and Kevin Martinez with five tackles each. David Miles recorded one sack on the night.
After a pair of home games, the 1-1 Mustangs will hit the road this week, as they travel to Yorktown to take on the Wildcats. Yorktown won its season opener against Hallettsville Sacred Heart, but dropped a 28-7 decision last week in Goliad. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Yorktown.