Loboes run past S’water

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

MONAHANS — For the second straight week, the Sweetwater football team found itself on the losing end Friday following a 7-0 start to the season.
This time, however — unlike the previous week — the Mustangs didn’t let a lead slip away.
Monahans scored on its first possession for a 7-0 lead, then broke a 7-7 tie after the Loboes’ defense stopped the Mustangs on a fourth-and-2 run from the Sweetwater 41.
Down 14-7, Sweetwater hurt itself further with two second-quarter turnovers and another turnover at the start of the second half.
Monahans converted the mistakes into 10 points for a 24-14 lead, and further wore down the defense with its ball-control attack to improve to 4-1 and drop Sweetwater to 3-2 in district play with a 45-27 victory.
Sweetwater will end the regular season this Friday at home against Midland Greenwood, which is also 3-2 after a 43-20 win over Lamesa. While Sweetwater and Greenwood are in the playoffs, their game will decide the order for the last two seeds in District 2-4A, Division II.
Seminole (6-0) is No. 1 and Monahans is No. 2 no matter what happens this week, with the other teams out of the playoff picture.
Sweetwater tied it on its first series on Chris Thompson’s 29-yard pass to Kaden Garrett and Ky Hoover’s extra point kick in the first quarter, but it went downhill after that. An interception led to a 31-yard TD pass and 21-7 deficit late in the first half. After that, the second half began with a Sweetwater fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a Monahans field goal and a 24-14 advantage. It ended the momentum Sweetwater had gained at the end of the first half when Thompson scored with 18 seconds left on a 3-yard run to slice Monahans’ lead down to a touchdown at 21-14.
Sweetwater had a chance to match Monahans’ field goal later in the third period, but it failed. The Loboes then launched a five-minute scoring drive to take a 17-point lead, 31-14, late in the quarter. Sweetwater quickly responded, however, as Thompson’s 48-yard pass to Kobe Clark cut the Loboes’ lead back to 10 points, 31-21, with :05 left.
Monahans got it back to start the fourth, and got its lead back to 17 (38-21) thanks to a 51-yard run by Tylan McCalister — who finished with 211 yards on 20 carries — with 8:04 left in the game. Sweetwater gave itself some hope again on Thompson’s 12-yard TD run with 5:42 remaining, but a 27-yard scoring run by Kye Noyola at 3:39 ended any real chance.
The losses to Seminole and now Monahans mean that Sweetwater must rebound against Greenwood to avoid a three-game losing streak entering the playoffs. Sweetwater has lost consecutive games for the first time since 2013.
“We’ve got to get ready for a pretty good Greenwood team and get back to work,” head coach Ben McGehee said. “We didn’t play good football tonight and you can’t do that against a good team. I thought for us it was just a lack of focus.”