The final score was just 23-13 when Sweetwater opened its 2012 season by defeating Eastland at home in Shane Mobleyâ€™s debut as head coach.
But the teams combined for 710 yards, and with Sweetwater having a year to adjust to Mobleyâ€™s spread offense, that number could go higher in Fridayâ€™s season-opening rematch at 7:30 p.m. in Eastland.
Eastland, meanwhile, has been running the spread offense for several years now and also has an experienced senior quarterback, Josh Moylan, who passed for 2,434 yards last season with 26 touchdowns. But Sweetwater kept him out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter of last yearâ€™s showdown, though he still completed 30 of 49 passes for 258 yards while setting a pair of Sammy Baugh Clas-sic records.
Meanwhile, Sweetwaterâ€™s Kaegan Jeffrey was 5-of-14 passing while Sweetwater rushed for 291 of its 326 yards in the contest.
Donâ€™t expect that to hap-pen again. Jeffrey made big strides during last season and was named District 4-3Aâ€™s newcomer of the year as a sophomore after com-pleting 141 of 245 passes for 2,089 yards.
So Mustang fans could be treated to an aerial show by both teams and a lot more points on the scoreboard.
The 13 points vs. Sweet-water were Eastlandâ€™s fewest of the year. The Class 2A Mavericks went on to average 36 per game en route to a 10-3 record and trip to the state quarterfinals under coach Brian Hulett, and Moylan should be even more productive this year.
â€ś(Eastland) has the same (offensive) concepts as we do,â€ť Mobley said. â€śIt could make for a long game. Their quarterback is very good and they have two big receivers that will play out on the edge. There will be a lot of adjustments to make. If our offense is moving the ball and scoring, we can bring more (defensive) heat.
â€śIt could be 48-45, but thatâ€™s not what I want,â€ť added Mobley, who coached the defense for three years under former Sweetwater coach Kent Jackson before returning in 2012. â€śBut Iâ€™m excited to see our offense and the stuff weâ€™ve added.â€ť
The Mustang offense produced four passing touch-downs against San Angelo Lake View last Thursday in its final preseason scrim-mage at the Bowl. Deâ€™andre Gatson had two TD catches for the Mustangs, and Bray Amos and Isaiah McGee had 70-yard scoring receptions during the scrimmage on back-to-back plays.
Jeffrey was 11-for-16 for 233 yards and three TDs and Hayden Reeves, his backup, also threw for a score.
Mobley, though, has put major emphasis this season on conditioning and the need to finish strong. And even though his team had a good scrimmage, â€śwe came back (last) Friday and worked as hard as weâ€™ve worked all year long,â€ť Mobley said.
Amos and Dylan Bennett will likely be the starting slot receivers with McGee at split end and Kaleb Hoover at flanker. Gatson, Quentin Wetsel, Reeves, James Clift and Johnathan Browning will also be passing targets along with running backs Marquees Jenkins and Ste-phen May. Though Hoover, normally one of the teamâ€™s top receivers, was shut out, six different players still caught passes last week.
Mobley said Eastland will be a good challenge.
â€śIâ€™m glad weâ€™re playing a tough opponent the first game,â€ť he said. â€śIt will give us a starting point and let us know how we stand as a team. But every week we have to get better. I think everyone we play (in non-district) will prepare us for our district.â€ť
After going to Eastland, Sweetwater is at Andrews before consecutive home games against Breckenridge, Wall and Brownwood.