A DOMINATING road win vs. KC

A two week halt to their season did not phase the Natalia Mustangs (6-2, 4-1) one bit last Friday night in Karnes City. The Natalia defense forced a three and out-right out of the gate and it did not take long for the Natalia offense to strike. The boys in blue dominated this game from start to finish, en route to a huge 62-20 road victory setting up a huge showdown Friday night vs. the #4 state ranked Poth Pirates (7-0, 5-0).
“I am really proud of how our kids came out and performed all things considered,” Natalia Head Coach Ilyan Martinez said. “I think that’s a credit to our staff for having our kids prepared and the kids buying into the things we asked of them.”
What has been awesome about this Natalia team this season was the same on Friday night. Each and every Friday night, various young men step up and various players will take the lead in the game.
After watching the Natalia defense force a three and out, the Mustang offense got the ball at their own 44 yard line with 10:36 to go in the first half. Natalia Mustang Jacob Navarro ran onto the field getting the start at the QB position. Navarro, who finished the game 4-4-72-2TDs, started the game with a perfect pass over the middle to Manuel Garcia for a 19 yard gain. The Mustangs then used three runs in a row by Adrian Vasquez, before QB Navarro ran in from six yards out to put the Stangs on the board with 9:45 to go in the first half. The two point pass from Navarro was good on a great grab by Enrique DeOsio, as Natalia led 8-0 early.
KC got the ball back at their own 36 yard line. Two plays later, the Badgers fumbled the ball as A. Vasquez recovered. Natalia took over at the KC 32 yard line and Natalia smelled blood and struck again! Navarro found A. Vasquez who out-raced the KC defense for a 38 yard touchdown run. The two point try was good, as QB Navarro ran in giving Natalia a 16-0 lead with 8:48 to go in the 1st Q.
KC got the ball back at their own 32 yard line, but the Natalia defense did their job again forcing yet another three and out.
Natalia took over at their own 41 yard line, as the Stangs put together a nice ten play drive. This used a patient dose of Navarro, RB Jared Stallworth and A. Vasquez to march down field to the KC 9 yard line setting up a 3rd down and 5 with 3:23 to go in the opening quarter. Natalia’s Navarro, found Manuel Garcia for a 9-yard strike. Navarro continued to be impressive with his arm, as he found DeOsio for the two point try which gave the Mustang fans plenty to cheer about. Meanwhile the KC home-side of Parents Night-2020, stood in shock as Natalia had opened up a 24-0 lead.
KC was able to finally find success on their fourth drive of the game, as the Badgers thirteen play drive including un-warranted personal foul that extended this drive resulting in a KC touchdown. Ryan Mathis was able to find Warrick Thompson on a nice pass play to put KC on the board with 10:38 to go in the 2nd quarter. The PAT failed as Natalia’s lead was cut down to 24-6.
Natalia Mustang Wyatt Woodson entered the game at QB taking over for Navarro who had done a great job filling in when called upon and #2 went to work for Natalia. Woodson took his first snap of the game eight yards before watching A. Vasquez run for gains of 17 and 8 yards getting Natalia down to the KC 24 yard line. Woodson then continued to impress with his arm, as he found Coltin Richardson for an 8 yard strike before finishing DeOsio for a 2 yard completion which set up a 3rd and 5 at the KC 19 yard line with 8:21 to go in the first half. Woodson did what he loves and that was to find a way to out-run defenders for a 19 yard touchdown with 8:21 to go in the first half. The two-point run by Woodson was good, as Natalia got creative with a neat two point try. This allowed the Stangs to take a 32-6 lead on KC.
KC got the ball and Natalia was able to force their 4th punt in five tries after the Badgers stalled out at their own 37 yard line with 4:39 to go.
Natalia got the ball back at their own 28 yard line as Vasquez, Woodson and Stallworth went to work with their feet taking the Stangs down to the KC 45 yard line. Woodson then connected with Garcia on a 28 yard strike and following a personal foul on the play, Natalia had a 1st and goal, at the KC 8 yard line. A. Vasquez was able to run in from 8 yards out, putting six more on the board for Natalia. The two point pass failed, but the Stangs led 38-6 with 2:02 to go in the first half.
KC was able to sneak in one final TD before the half on a seven play, 71-yard drive that concluded with a Ryan Mathis 26 yard touchdown to Aaron Smith. The two point pass to Warrick Thompson was good, as KC cut the lead to 38-14.
Natalia got the ball to start the second half and went back to work where they left off. Natalia used heavy doses of Vasquez, Stallworth, and Navarro to march down field from the Natalia 31 yard line to the KC 3 yard line. Navarro, who was back in at QB, ran in from 3 yards out. The two point try was no good, despite the fact it appeared A. Vasquez crossed the goal line. This allowed Natalia to take a 44-14 lead with 9:29 to go in the 3rd quarter.
KC was able to add one final touchdown with 5:22 to go in the 3rd quarter on a Mathis TD run.
The Mustangs finished off the Badgers with two more 3rd quarter touchdowns. The first was an impressive 33 yard run by Jared Stallworth with 4:05 to go in the 3rd and the final in the quarter was another Stallworth run as time expired in the 3rd quarter. Neither 2-point try was good, but it allowed Natalia to take a 56-20 lead.
Natalia finished the game with a Nate Banda touchdown with 7:06 to go in the game. The two point try failed, but the Stangs would run away with a 62-20 victory over the Badgers.
Final #s
Total Offense: Natalia 621, KC 197. Passing: Natalia 171, KC 119. Rushing: Natalia 53-450, KC 36-78. Penalties: Natalia 11-105, KC 10-67. Turnovers: Natalia 1, KC 2. 1st Downs: Natalia 35, KC 17. 3rd down conversions: Natalia 9-10, KC 6-17.
Individual Stat Leaders: Woodson 6-7-99, Navarro 4-4-72-2TDs. Rushing: A. Vasquez 13-129-1TD, Stallworth 17-118-2TDs, N. Banda 8-87-1TD, Woodson 8-66-1TD, Navarro 6-43-2TDs. Receiving: A. Vasquez 2-74-1TD, Garcia 3-56-1TD, X. Vasquez 2-28.
Natalia Head Coach Ilyan Martinez was asked his thoughts on what went well offensively.
“I thought our offensive line did a great job of establishing the line of scrimmage early and it allowed us to play at the pace we wanted to all night.”
Thoughts on so many personnel stepping up at various times and doing their part: “All year long, it’s been the next man up mentality and our kids have done a great job of being ready when their name was called,” Martinez said. “I am proud of them and we wouldn’t be in this position without them.”
What went well defensively? “We knew they had some playmakers on their team and I was really proud of how well our defense played, especially taking away their big playability.”
The offensive production and first downs by Natalia were among the top 3 ever in Natalia football history.
Defensive Stat Leaders: Assists: Gaylen Garcia 7, Navarro 5, Justin Watkins 4, Garcia 3, Isaac Rios 3. Solo Tackles: Navarro 6, Rios 6, Garcia 6, Gavin Martinez 3. Tackles for a loss: G. Garcia 3, Navarro 2. QB Hurries: M. Garcia 5, Navarro 4. Sacks: G. Garcia 3, Rios 1, Navarro 1. Big Hit: Navarro 4, G. Garcia 1. Caused Fumble: Watkins 1, Navarro 1.Pass Break-up: Navarro 4, G. Martinez 2.
Natalia will welcome #4 state-ranked Poth Friday night at Mustang Stadium. See the preview story for further details.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer