- Special Sections
EASTLAND â€” Plenty of fireworks were expected when Sweetwater and Eastland kicked off their respective 2013 football seasons against each other Friday. And the teams didnâ€™t disappoint as their offenses produced almost 1,000 yards as well as 48 first downs â€” and also no turnovers on a total of 134 plays.
But the Mavericks, who lost to Sweetwater 23-13 a year ago when the teams met at the Sammy Baugh Classic in Shane Mobleyâ€™s head coaching debut, turned the tide on the Mustangs as they rallied from a first-half deficit to take a 46-30 victory on their home field.
The biggest reason for Eastlandâ€™s turnaround was its 190-pound senior quarterback Josh Moylan, who accounted for 436 of the Mavericksâ€™ 584 yards.
Moylan directed seven Eastland scoring drives â€” his team punted just once â€” and was equally dangerous throwing and running. His three touchdown throws all came in the first half when the 2A Mavs built a 24-15 advantage; his three running TDs came after inter-mission and sealed the win over the 3A Mustangs.
Sweetwater had rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the second quarter of last yearâ€™s game to score 20 unanswered points and never looked back.
The Mustangs began Fri-dayâ€™s rematch with an impressive 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive and two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. And after the Mavericks rallied to take an 11-8 advantage, Sweetwater responded with another TD drive for a 15-11 lead with 8:11 left until halftime.
But the offense didnâ€™t get another first down until 2 1/2 minutes into the third period while Eastland had 20 unanswered points â€” giving it a 31-15 lead â€” during that time to seize control of the contest.
Eastland took the lead, 17-15, when Moylan connected with Mason Thayer on a fourth-and-8 pass from the 17. The defense then forced a three-and-out, giving the offense a chance to score again before halftime for a 24-15 advantage.
Moylan completed the decisive surge in the third quarter with a 30-yard touchdown run that capped a 5-play, 70-yard drive.
Sweetwater finally got its offense untracked with a 75-yard drive that produced a 39-yard TD throw from quarterback Kaegan Jeffrey to wide receiver Bray Amos. Isaiah McGeeâ€™s second two-point conversion run cut the lead to 31-23.
The teams then traded scores, with the Mustangs again pulling within eight points (38-30) on a 25-yard, fourth-down scoring throw from Jeffrey to Amos with 1:36 left in the third quarter. Michael Hunt kicked the extra point, Sweetwaterâ€™s final one of the night.
After stopping Eastlandâ€™s next drive at their 19-yard line, the Mustangs were in position to tie the game with just over 10 minutes still to play. But after forcing a quick punt, Eastland regained possession and got its final score with 6:50 to play on Moylanâ€™s 5-yard touchdown run.
â€śWe kind of went back and forth there for awhile,â€ť Mobley said. â€śBut we didnâ€™t take advantage of our opportunity to tie it back up. I tried three or four defenses to stop what they were doing, but we just never got comfortable.
â€śWe have to figure out a way to stop the run and make teams one-dimensional. Tonight (Eastland) was two-dimensional and they kind of picked us a part a little.â€ť
Amos and running back Marquees Jenkins both had big games for Sweetwater. Amos caught eight passes for 125 yards and three TDs, also scoring on a 15-yard Jeffrey pass in the first period, while Jenkins had 149 yards rushing on 15 carries including a 7-yard scoring run that gave the Mustangs their final lead at 15-11.
Sweetwater will travel to Andrews for its next game this Friday.