Levelland cannot hold off #2 Shallowater

photo: Melodee Gunter

Cross Classification Battle in Texas High School Football

The #2 ranked Class 3A DI Shallowater Mustangs traveled to Levelland, TX Friday night for their season opener against the Class 4A Levelland Lobos. Though the Lobos attempted to defend their home turf, the Mustangs left quite the mark.

Both teams struggled to take care of the ball, neither the Lobos nor the Mustangs could find an early offensive rhythm which resulted in a scoreless first quarter. Lobo QB Nick Gerber (18-32-328) took control of the reigns and started off the second quarter with a completion to WR Kentton Williams (2-105) for a first down. Rallying behind their QB, the Lobo offense glided down the field where Gerber rushed his way into the end zone to put the first points of the night on the board. Lobo kicker, Jeffery Elliott, added to that, making the score 7-0 with 11:18 to play in the second quarter.

Shallowater had a rough time moving down field on their next possession, but eventually found their way into the red zone off of a run from QB Chris Contreras (5-10-74). With 7:01 left in the first half, Contreras connected with WR Brody Hendrick (2-25) for a Mustang touchdown. Tying the score up at 7-7, Shallowater found their fire and kept it lit.

With 4:03 to go in the second quarter, Shallowater RB Cooper Ogle (22-187) ran the ball up the middle for another Mustang touchdown, giving them a 14-7 lead.

Shallowater stretched that lead when Contreras connected with WR Connor Smith wide open down field. Smith juked his way into the endzone, putting the score at 21-7 to end the first half.

Shallowater made it clear that they weren’t messing around when WR JD Townsend started off the second half with a 92 yard kickoff return for a Mustang touchdown. Earning their fourth touchdown in a row with no answer from Levelland, Shallowater extended the deficit to 28-7 with 11:45 left to play in the third quarter.

The Lobos were ready for revenge and found some success on the first play of the next drive when Gerber’s screen pass to Elliott resulted in a 6 yard gain. Continuing to propel down the field, the Lobos found their way into Mustang territory but fell just short of the goal line.

With 2:03 to go in the third, Shallowater’s FB Jake Johnson (5-42) rushed back into the red zone. Continuing the touchdown streak for the Mustangs, Contreras scrambled into the end zone to put the score at 35-7.

The Lobos weren’t going down without a fight though. They started their next possession off with two consecutive first downs. Then Gerber found WR Tandon Jones (4-130) down field for a 47 yard Lobo touchdown, cutting Shallowater’s lead to 35-14, which is how the third quarter would end.

To keep their big lead alive, Shallowater’s Ogle rushed for a Mustang touchdown to start off the fourth quarter. After a controversial call, the two point conversion was ruled no good, putting the scoreboard at 41-14.

 

After another Levellandd punt, Shallowater quickly made their way down the field on their next possession with a big gain from Contreras’s completion to WR Ran Johnston (2-46). Ogle found the end zone yet again for the Mustangs with 7:35 left to play, making the score 48-14.

The Lobos answered those points with with some of their own. With 7:16 on the clock, Gerber hit Williams down the field for a 33 yard touchdown pass, closing the gap,  48-21.

Levelland's momentum carried over on defense. Deep in Lobo territory, the Mustangs were forced to turn the ball over after Levelland DE Braden Price broke through for the sack on fourth down.   Back on offense, the Lobos had a successful attempt at one last drive down the field. With 51 seconds left in the game, Gerber spotted Jones down field for a 68 yard Lobo touchdown, putting the score at 48-28 which is where it would stay.

Despite the fight by Levelland, the Shallowater Mustangs took their season opener with a 48-28 victory at Lobo Stadium.

by Melodee Gunter