Wall and Sweetwater, who will meet Friday at Mustang Bowl for what will be Sweetwaterâ€™s homecoming contest, have a few things in common.
First of all, both have gotten their 2013 seasons off to solid starts.
Wall, which is current-ly ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press high school poll in Class 2A, has posted a flawless 3-0 record so far and the Hawks are coming off their most impressive win, a 35-14 victory over highly-regarded Sonora this past week.
Class 3A Sweetwater (2-1) is coming off back-to-back wins over decent teams from Andrews and Breckenridge after losing to a very good Eastland squad 46-30 in its season opener.
Secondly, both teams are putting up a lot of points; Wall has scored 131 so far while Sweetwater has 120.But the way theyâ€™ve gone about it is very different.
To say that Wall has lived by the run so far would almost qualify as an understatement. The Hawks threw no â€” thatâ€™s zero â€” passes against Sonora and only six in the two games before that, completing two for 55 yards.
On the other hand, Wall has rushed 109 times for just under 1,000 yards this year behind QB Luke Dacy and his backfield: Brent Matschek, Kris Gutierrez and Clint Masters. Each has at least one 100-yard rushing effort. Wallâ€™s defense has also allowed just 22 points while Sweetwater has surrendered 110, though it could be argued that the Mustangs have faced better competition so far than has Wall. And Sweetwater head coach Shane Mobley said he has seen improvement defensively since the loss to Eastland.
â€śWe did a lot better job of tackling last week (against Breckenridge),â€ť he said. â€śWe have a lot of kids that didnâ€™t have starting ex-perience before this year, but theyâ€™ve learned how to make adjustments.â€ť
That defense will be sore-ly tested again. â€śI think weâ€™ll be able to line up against them,â€ť Mobley said, â€śbut we have to line up in the right alignment. Weâ€™ve got to keep it simple, but the assignments have to change. Hopefully, that will give us a leg to stand on.
â€śWeâ€™ll have to have a lot of open field tackles against them. Itâ€™s going to come down to good tackling.â€ť
Sweetwater lost at Wall 43-20 last year, but Mobley said his team knows what to expect this time around. â€śI think our kids will have a little different mindset this year,â€ť he said. â€śThey know they are going to have to execute. Wall has a great football team and they are ranked high for a reason. Theyâ€™re going to stop us defensively and we have to do the same. Field position and turnovers will be big as well as special teams.â€ť
Sweetwater was mostly without its leading rusher, Marquees Jenkins, against Breckenridge after he suf-fered an injury in the teamâ€™s 39-31 win over Andrews. Mobley said Jenkins, who rushed for 279 yards in his first two games but carried just once for five yards last week, is expected to be back in a fulltime role Friday. His backup, Jay Lomas, ran for a touchdown last week.