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Nixon-Smiley outscores Natalia
NATALIA -- If you like high-scoring games, then the meeting between Nixon-Smiley and Natalia was the one for you. From the first minutes to the last, it seemed someone was always scoring, as these two herds of Mustangs clashed last Friday night.
The first score of the game came within the first few minutes of the contest as Jared Van Auken of Nixon-Smiley capped off an initial drive with a 2-yard run into the end zone. Less than two minutes later, teammate Kevin Martinez was getting into the action as he scored from 38 yards out to give the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs a 12-point lead over the Natalia Mustangs.
Less than a minute after the Martinez touchdown, Natalia scored its first one of the night on a 26-yard passing play. Nixon-Smiley responded in kind, however, scoring its third touchdown of the game less than two minutes later on a 57-yard passing play from Nick Pena to Garrett Earlywine. As the first quarter came to an end, the score was already 18-7.
Not only did things not slow down in the second, they actually sped up, and even more points were scored.
Natalia scored back-to-back touchdowns by the middle of the second quarter, and actually held a 21-18 lead over Nixon-Smiley, but a pair of touchdowns put the visiting Mustangs back on top by the break.
Van Auken scored the first on a 10-yard run from scrimmage, and Martinez ran in the 2-point conversion. The second touchdown of the second quarter came on a 49-yard passing play from Pena to Earlywine, and Martinez again ran in the 2-point conversion. As the buzzer signaled the end of the first half, those in attendance drew a deep breath, and the scoreboard read 34-21 in favor of Nixon-Smiley.
Earlywine scored on a 10-yard run to get things going in the third quarter, and Coleton Trammell added the point-after kick. Natalia then responded with a 13-yard passing play, and then a 76-yard run from quarterback Erik Villarreal.
Things had tightened a little, and the score stood at 41-33, but that was as close as Natalia would ever get.
The Nixon-Smiley Mustangs ran off a trio of touchdowns before the game was over. Martinez scored the first on a 37-yard run, and Trammell added the extra point. Justin Ramos then scored on a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. Pena ran in the 2-point conversion.
The final score of the night came with 1:37 to play as Van Auken scored his third touchdown of the night on a 58-yard run from scrimmage. Trammell added the point-after kick, and the final score stood at 63-33.
Nixon-Smiley tallied 476 total yards of offense, led by Martinez and Van Auken on the ground. Martinez ran 15 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns, while Van Auken had 21 carries for 149 yards and three touchdowns on the night. Earlywine ran 10 times for 45 yards, and Pena had one carry for 3 more.
Pena completed 4 of 7 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Earlywine had two catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and Sam Moore caught two passes for 18 yards.
The win lifts the Mustangs to 6-3 on the year, and 4-2 in district play. Nixon-Smiley will close out the regular season this Friday, as the Mustangs host the district-leading Poth Pirates. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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