Sweetwater doesnâ€™t start district play until next week, but should get an idea of what to expect this Friday when the Mustangs make a second straight trip to Midland to take on perennial private school TAPPS power Midland Christian.
It will also be a chance for coach Craig Slaughterâ€™s team to get some redemption for this past Fridayâ€™s heartbreaking 28-26 loss to Midland Greenwood, and be in a much more positive frame of mind when it kicks off district Oct. 7 at Wylie.
Sweetwater (3-2) had a season-high six turnovers against Greenwood, which scored after three of them four touchdown drives. Still, Sweetwater was in position to force overtime, thanks to Taylor Jonesâ€™ 13-yard TD pass to Willie Norman on the final play of regulation, only to see a two-point conversion pass batted down.
Jones was for the most part spectacular, setting career highs for both yards passing (346) and completions (23). His two TD passes against Greenwood were his first of the 2011 season.But he also threw a season-high three interceptions.
Midland Christian will be â€śthe best team that weâ€™ve playedâ€ť despite having just a 2-2 overall record this season, Slaughter said. â€śI told the team that winning this game would definitely be a big step for our kids. But we have to stop the turnovers.â€ť
Midland Christian, also known as the Mustangs, has won two straight following an 0-2 start. Both wins were against teams familiar to Sweetwater: a 20-15 win over Monahans, which was ranked No. 8 in the state in Class 3A at the time after victories against Snyder and Sweetwater to begin the year; and district foe Big Spring (0-5), which was defeated 34-9 on Saturday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland. That is also the site for this Fridayâ€™s contest.
A win tomorrow would equal Sweetwaterâ€™s entire 2010 total when the team was 4-6, but 4-1 before losing five straight. â€śWinning this one will build some confidence,â€ť Slaughter said.