WALL — After a 19-point win at Breckenridge the previous week, Sweetwater never got comfortable when it paid a visit to a very good Wall team on Friday.
The Hawks scored on the game’s first play from scrimmage on a 74-yard run by Grant Eubank, and never looked back in a 43-20 win over the Mustangs.
And Eubank’s head-turn-ing start was just the begin-ning of a remarkable first half for the 175-pound sen-ior, who accounted for five touchdowns before inter-mission in staking his team to a 37-12 advantage.
Sweetwater’s Tadeo Canon-Masjoan recovered a Eubank fumble inside the Mustangs’ 10-yard line to halt Wall’s next drive, but nearly everything else went the Hawks’ way.
Eubank added scoring runs of 6, 2 and 19 yards as the half wore on to give Wall a 30-12 lead. Then he saved his best for last.
The Mustangs (2-2) were just six yards away from paydirt in the final seconds of the half when quarter-back Kaegan Jeffrey’s third-down pass was intercepted by Eubank, who went 94 yards the other way to make it 37-12 as time expired.
Otherwise, Jeffrey had a pretty good night as he threw for 257 yards and two scores — first on a 74-yard pass to Bray Amos that was the longest scoring play of the year for Sweetwater and narrowed Wall’s first-quarter lead to 16-6, and later when he threw an 11-yard TD pass to Kaleb Hoover in the second quarter to cut the lead to 23-12.
Sweetwater scored its last touchdown on Canon-Masjoan’s 1-yard run, which was followed by a success-ful two-point conversion pass to Ryan Linebaugh, to get within 37-20 — but got no closer. Wall stretched the lead back to 23 (43-20) by scoring on its next possession, which ended the scoring for the night.
The only thing different about Wall’s final touch-down was that it came from someone else. On a handoff from the 1, Eubank was stopped before flipping the ball to quarterback Luke Dacy, who scored the TD.
Eubank, who is averaging over 10 yards a carry this season, rushed for 175 yards in the first two quarters before Sweetwater limited him to 44 in the final half of play. Dacy added 88 yards as the Hawks had 392 on the ground.
Sweetwater had just 134 yards rushing, led by junior running back Marquees Jenkins who finished with 66 on nine carries.The Mustangs have another tough game at Brownwood this Friday, then an open date before hosting Snyder in their district opener.
Brownwood was defeated by Wylie, 38-14, Friday after the Lions defeated Snyder the previous week.
Sweetwater head coach Shane Mobley was able to find some positives after the game despite losing to Wall by a decisive margin, and there were some. Wall was held to just 108 yards in the second half as the defense tried to keep Sweetwater in the game, and Mobley had praise for the Mustangs’ offensive line as well.
“They made the big plays on us,” he said. “But if we’d gotten a touchdown before halftime and then got the ball to start the second half it might have been a differ-ent story, but they made the big play (Eubank’s interception return). Then it just got out of hand and it’s hard to catch up when it gets like that. For us to be a good football team, we’ve got to make some of those plays. I think we’ve got to feel the emotions to play every game on the schedule.
“But we knew they were good. We didn’t underesti-mate them,” Mobley said of the Hawks, who have out-scored their last two oppon-ents 90-33 after a surprising loss to Merkel in the second week of the season and are now 3-1 overall.
Sweetwater finished with a very respectable 391 yards and the Mustangs have ex-ceeded the 300-yard mark in all four games this sea-son. However, they barely reached the 20-point plat-eau for the third time.