Mustangs survive 4th-quarter rally, subdue Andrews for 1st win of year

ANDREWS — When the Mustangs battle each other on the football field, it’s rarely a dull contest.Sweetwater and Andrews, who have played memorable games since they first met as district rivals in the 1980s, produced a non-district classic on Friday. When the dust had settled, the visiting Mustangs (Sweetwater) had a 39-31 win after holding off a fourth-quarter rally by the host Mustangs (Andrews), leaving both teams with identical 1-1 records. It was a shootout from the start, complete with several huge momentum shifts on both sides.Sweetwater scored first, fell behind 14-7 in the second quarter, then over-came a botched extra point after a touchdown — which gave Andrews two points at the other end — to score just before halftime and regain a 20-16 advantage.That led to a second-half Sweetwater tidal wave that produced three more touchdowns and a 39-16 lead in the fourth quarter that held up, but just barely.Bray Amos scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 9:24 to play, giving Sweet-water a 23-point lead.Then Kaleb Hoover inter-cepted an Andrews pass a minute later and returned it just past midfield, giving Sweetwater a chance to put the game away. But a three-and-out series gained just nine yards. An incomplete pass on fourth-and-1 gave it back to Andrews, who suddenly came to life and ended the game by scoring the last 15 points.The hosts needed just six plays to cut the lead to 39-23 with 4:33 left, and another touchdown with 98 seconds left — plus a two-point conversion — cut the lead to eight. Sweetwater got possession when the onsides kick failed to go far enough, but once again the Mustangs failed to convert.Andrews took over at its 38 with no timeouts and 1:14 to play, and soon got into scoring range on a long run by Tajh Kelly. However, a holding penalty brought it back to Andrews’ 38. After a 4-yard run and incomplete pass, Andrews quarterback Shane Dolgener called his own number on a third-down play and gained 14 yards before being brought down in bounds. However, he needed 16 to get a first down and stop the clock, which ticked away the final seconds and allowed Sweet-water to escape with a win.Coach Shane Mobley was glad to come away with the victory, which he said was a reminder that games are 48 minutes long and not 40. “We can’t think we’ve won until the game is over with,” he said afterward, referen-cing last year’s game against Monahans when the Loboes rallied from a 35-14 deficit to win 39-35. “But it’s still a big win. They beat us last year at our place (20-16) and this year we were able to win at their house.”Sweetwater’s offense pro-duced 558 yards divided almost equally between the pass and run. That was symbolized by Amos, who had two TD receptions and a pair of scoring runs, plus a spectacular 73-yard recep-tion (actually 75 prior to a penalty) that led to one of his touchdowns. Kaleb Hoover and Isaiah McGee also caught TD passes from QB Kaegan Jeffrey (17-of-28, 268 yards). Sweetwater has its home opener this Friday, when it entertains Breckenridge.