Sweetwater and Snyder both know how to score with their spread offenses.
But so do their opponents.
And both teams have had an extra week to get ready for Friday’s District 4-3A opener in Snyder, where the winner could have an early leg up on grabbing one of the four playoff spots available starting this year.
Sweetwater has a better record (2-3) than Snyder (1-4), but the Tigers’ record is a bit deceptive. They’ve been in every game they’ve played so far and could easily be 5-0, since all four losses have come in the final minute and have been by a total of nine points.
Snyder finally ended its string of bad luck by beating Lake View 42-35 last week, but the Tigers almost blew it. They led 42-14 through three quarters, only to see the Chiefs score 21 straight points before falling short.
Sweetwater, meanwhile, will be eager to get its sea-son turned around by beating one of its biggest rivals. The Mustangs, like Snyder, have been in every game so far. But they lost to Wall (28-42) and Brownwood (30-35) in their last two non-district games after a 2-1 start.
Mistakes factored into the defeats, especially against Brownwood where Sweet-water had four turnovers, just one less than the Mus-tangs totalled in their first four games, and also had two long touchdowns wiped out by penalties. Despite all that, Sweetwater had a chance to win until the final minute of the game.
Sweetwater’s other loss was to Eastland — like Wall still unbeaten in Class 2A this season at 5-0. The Mus-tangs’ wins have been over Andrews (39-31) and Brec-kenridge (51-33).
Coach Shane Mobley said his team will have to deal with the loss of a handful of players for a few weeks due to grades. “It’s a hard pill to swallow,” he said. “But we’ve got some kids that have been working hard and deserve a chance to go out there and get after it.
“(Snyder) is a good foot-ball team, and have the biggest line we’ve faced all year. Their quarterback (Skillet Rinehart) and running back (D’Vincent Allison) are both back,” he continued. “Allison is a downhill runner, but he will attack the hole. We’ll definitely have to stop their running game. They are very multiple on offense; they have over 60 different formations.”
Allison has had a remar-kable season so far. In five games, he has rushed for 918 yards on 127 carries with 12 touchdowns.
Rinehart has rushed for 452 yards and four scores, and he has also passed for 557 this season, hitting on 46 of 89 attempts.
Rinehart’s favorite passing target has been Jonathan Garcia, who has 16 catches for 193 yards.
“We have got to slow them down defensively. And mentally, our kids have got to go in and play four quarters,” Mobley said. “Our motto this year has been to finish. If you look at our last two games, we gave ourselves opportunities, but we’ve got to limit turnovers and go out and execute our offense. So it is huge that we have ball security.
“It’s a big game for us,” he admitted. “I think right now (the start of district) is an opportunity. We’ve got to take it week to week and focus on Snyder.”
Kaegan Jeffrey, Sweetwa-ter’s junior quarterback, has completed 88 of 143 passes for 1,503 yards, and has al-ready thrown for 21 touch-downs this season.
His favorite receiver, Bray Amos, has caught 35 passes for 546 yards and 12 TDs. Kaleb Hoover is also having a big year, having caught 23 passes for 431 yards. Isaiah McGee has 15 catches for 315 yards, while J’Corey Amos, Bray’s younger bro-ther, caught his first two touchdown passes of the year against Brownwood.