Sweetwater was on the verge of starting out 2-0 for the first time since 2006 — as well as overcoming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against Andrews.
Instead, it came up one yard short of the winning touchdown with nine seconds left in a 20-16 loss.
The finish capped a fourth quarter that was quite frustrating for Sweetwater. It also included a bad snap on an extra-point kick attempt that kept the Mustangs from pulling within a field goal (20-17) with 3:27 to play following Sean Morrow’s 2-yard TD run, as well as a questionable official’s call that gave the ball back to Andrews after Sweetwater appeared to have recovered an onsides kick at midfield.
As a result, the Mustangs had to use up their remain-ing timeouts, and were also forced to go for the go-ahead touchdown on their last drive in the final seconds instead of a tying field goal that would have sent the game to overtime.
Despite last week’s dis-appointing loss, head coach Shane Mobley said “there’s no doubt” his team played better than in a 23-13 victory over Eastland to open the season. “Even though we lost, the kids could hold their heads up,” he said. “I thought we executed better on offense and defense. It was a good game. Andrews was a big test because they’re a great ball club.”
Next up is the first road game at 0-2 Breckenridge — one that begins a three-week stretch away from home which also includes games at Wall and Brownwood to end non-district play.
Mobley said Sweetwater — which also not only has to get past last week’s loss, but also continue to improve.
“Even though we’ve had some adversity in our first two games, we’ve been able to fight through it,” the first-year head coach said of his team’s early-season play. “The most important thing (this week) is not to go backward. Every week we’ve got to step forward. If we do, I believe the winning will take care of itself.”
Breckenridge has lost to Colorado City (15-18) and Vernon (12-55) after starting the year with high hopes. That’s because the Bucks, under coach Steve Freeman, have advanced to the area playoffs in each of the past two seasons after dropping to Class 2A. They were in Sweetwater’s 3A district from 2006-2009.
A big reason for Brecken-ridge’s early struggles has been injuries and turnovers, Mobley said. Breckenridge had a potential game-tying field goal blocked against Colorado City that would have sent the game to OT, then fell behind 41-0 before scoring two late TDs in a lopsided loss to Vernon.
Sweetwater has also been hit by injuries. Linebacker Alex Garcia (anterior cruciate ligament) is out for the year after being hurt in the season opener and of-fensive lineman J.D. Davis is expected to miss Friday’s game as well after being injured last week.
Stephen May, who was in on 12 tackles against And-rews, will start at linebacker in Garcia’s place while Luis Gaxiola will start for Davis at right tackle in addition to starting at defensive end.