Early momentum not enough as Sweetwater’s football falls to Aubrey

STEPHENVILLE – The game couldn’t have started better for Sweetwater’s football team. Then it all went downhill in Friday’s Division II 42-7 Region I-4A playoff loss to Aubrey at Tarleton Memorial Stadium.

In the opening kickoff, the Mustangs attempted and recovered a free kick. It turned into a 44-yard touchdown pass from Leo Holsey to Harrison Foster and a 7-0 lead.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Sweetwater first-year coach Russell Lucas said. “We get the ball from the start, score and take the advantage. … Our defense got us these saves from the start. It was 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. Just too many mistakes. When you get to playoff football, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes.

But Aubrey responded right away, using a long pass to set up a short run and the game was tied at 7.

At the start of the second quarter, it looked like Sweetwater had regained the advantage on a run from Holsey. But he was called back due to the outfit and the Mustangs went back, eventually throwing an interception in fourth.

The Chaparrals turned that into their own touchdown, taking a 14-7 lead they would never give up.

“We score and then all of a sudden it’s prime and -20,” Lucas said. “We end up throwing a pick and they have the ball at the other end of the field. This whole scenario has changed the color of the game. “

Sweetwater quarterback Leo Holsey (9) jumps over a defenseman during a run in Friday's Region I-4A Division II playoff against Aubrey.

Mistakes, including penalties and dropped passes, proved to be costly throughout the game. It seemed like every time the Mustangs got a mistake, Aubrey was there to take advantage of it.

“They are a very good team, one of the best teams in our region,” said Lucas. “We were able to cope with some people on our schedule, we just couldn’t do it tonight. … Leo came to me after the game and said: ‘Coach, I have no feelings because I don’t feel like it was our team. I feel like it was a different team. We did things that we don’t normally do and I can’t explain it.

Aubrey is leading a ground attack and a quick delivery with the quarterback under center and a true fullback. It’s not an offense that we see a lot these days, which makes preparation difficult in many ways.

“The hardest part is preparing for it because you can’t simulate it in practice,” Lucas said. “It’s not what you do and you sure can’t do it at the speed that they are doing it. I thought we had a good plan and those first two sets, I thought we executed that plan. We knew they were going to score points. You are not going to exclude this team. We said we had to match them… and we just weren’t able to.

Sweetwater's Armando Torres (1) tackles for loss in Friday's I-4A Division II region playoff against Aubrey.

This ended the team’s season and the careers of a group of seniors who have helped rebuild the Sweetwater program, sending it back to the playoffs in 2019 and making it to the second round in consecutive seasons after missing the playoffs in 2018.

“So many of them have been playing college football for so many years, they bring that confidence,” Lucas said. “… It made my transition really easy, the confidence that they all have. And these are their abilities. With Leo being a four-year-old starter, Harrison and these guys played together the entire time they played. They made a lot of things pretty easy, the transition. Great group of seniors, super proud of them and they will be sorely missed.

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Sweetwater's Jacob Gonzales (26) recovers a fumble in Friday's Region I-4A Division II playoff against Aubrey.

Game summary

Turning point: The Mustangs appeared to have taken a 14-7 lead in the opening play of the second quarter. Instead, a sustaining penalty backed Sweetwater and the drive ended in an Aubrey interception that would turn into a 14-7 lead.

Players of the match: Martavious Hill and Braylon Colgrove, RBs, Aubrey – The pair combined for 198 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Hill totaled 23 carries for 157 yards and four goals while Colgrove amassed 141 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns.

► Key statistic: The Chaparrals did what they do, run the ball. They rushed for 319 yards on 55 carries, averaging nearly six yards per carry and six touchdowns. Aubrey only attempted five passes, completing one for 56 yards and an interception.

► Impact: For the second year in a row, Sweetwater’s season ends in the region as Aubrey continues his season.

► Next: Aubrey faces Monahans, who beat Van Alstyne 35-28, in the Region I -4A Division II semifinals.

REGION I-4A SECTION II ELIMINATORY ZONE

Aubrey 42, Sweetwater 7

Aubrey 7 21 14 0—42

Fresh water 7 0 0 0—7

FIRST QUARTER

SWE – Harrison Foster 44 pass from Leo Holsey (kick from Leo Aguayo), 10:43

AUB – Braylon Colgrove 3 run (Bryson Bohannon’s kick), 9:30 a.m.

SECOND QUARTER

AUB – Martavious Hill 9 run (Bohannon kick), 7:56

AUB – Hill climb 1 (Bohannon kick), 4:58

AUB – Colgrove 18 run (Bohannon kick), 1:01

THIRD QUARTER

AUB – Hill climb 1 (Bohannon kick), 4:57

AUB – Hill Run 36 (Bohannon Kick), 1:43

TEAM STATISTICS

……………… Aub… Sue

First stockings … 19… 13

Rushes-Yards … 55-319… 25-35

Who passed … 56… 204

Comp-Att-Int … 1-5-1… 18-38-3

Punts … 2-41.0… 5-32.4

Fumbles-Lost … 1-1… 2-1

Penalties-yards … 6-55… 5-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSH: Aubrey, Martavious Hill 23-157, Braylon Colgrove 19-141, Cody Smith 3-13, Grayson Ward 1-7, Semahj Brown 1-4, Lucas Harmon 1-3, Grant Green 4-3, Jacob Holder 1-2, Bryson Bohannon 1-0, Caden Liedenstein 1 – (- 11); Pure water, Malik Brown 5-17, Armando Torres 1-9, Leo Holsey 11-6, Ethan Brockman 3-6, Cedrick Brown 2-2, Ethan Aguilar 1-1, TEAM 2 – (- 6).

PASSAGE: Aubrey, Brown 1-4-0-56, Blayne Polen 0-1-1-0; Pure water, Holsey 18-37-3-204, Eric Martinez 0-1-0-0.

RECEPTION: Aubrey, Jett Reunion 1-56; Pure water, Harrison Foster 8-97, Brown 4-25, Torres 2-31, Brockman 1-26, Martinez 1-11, Joe Angel Reyna 1-10, Ector Martinez 1-4.

FILES: Aubrey 11-1; Fresh water 8-4.