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According to the so-called experts, this wasnât the year Sweetwater was supposed to get back to the playoffs.
Yet thatâs exactly what will happen if the Mustangs (4-4, 2-1) defeat Monahans (4-4, 2-1) Friday at Mustang Bowl in the kind of game that will have a playoff-type atmosphere at kickoff.
âThe kids are excited,â coach Shane Mobley said on Wednesday. âI think they are going to play with a lot of adrenaline and effort. It should be a good game.â
Sweetwater vs. Monahans has always been an interes-ting matchup between a pair of West Texas schools with a longtime tradition of winning on the gridiron. And for the first time since 1999 â dating back to their 4A days â the teams are district rivals.
Thanks to their respective wins this past week, itâs a huge game that will send the winner to the playoffs while the loser will still have some work to do.
Sweetwater played by far its best game of the year this past Friday in romping to a 42-9 victory at Big Spring (5-3, 0-3) â a resounding victory that likely knocked the Steers out of playoff contention. Monahans beat Snyder, 37-12, after leading by just 20-12 at halftime. The Loboesâ only district loss, 20-17, was to No. 2-ranked Wylie (8-0, 3-0) just one week earlier.
Sweetwater, which had lost 31-13 to Greenwood in its previous outing, came back with a solid all-around effort against Big Spring. The 42 points were a one-game high, and Sweetwater had no turnovers while for-cing two by the Steers.
The Mustangs racked up touchdowns on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead before Big Spring rallied, but then answered with three more touchdowns to make it a rout.
Mobley said Monahans is used to being in games like this. âThey know how to prepare for an environment like what weâll have Friday night,â he said. âWeâre prea-ching to the kids this is what we need to expect and to not let the hype get to them and get in their heads.
âWe easily could be 6-2. We have talked about how good we can be. When you reach this point you canât be satisfied. You have to keep on working.
âLast week was a big win. I think everyone wants to pick up from where we were last Friday, but Monahans has the same mentality. Weâve got to play four quarters of football.â