Mustangs overpower Bandera

The Mustangs put up a staunch defensive effort against Bandera.

The Natalia Mustangs had a strong showing in their lone scrimmage of the season in Bandera last Thursday. The Mustangs finished with a three touchdown production offensively, while holding the Bulldogs to limited success with a stout defensive outing.
“Keeping everything in perspective, I am very pleased with how our kids competed,” Natalia Head Coach Ilyan Martinez said. “We are a long way from where we want to be, but we saw a lot of good things on tape.”
To put things plain and simple, the Natalia Varsity Mustangs were the better team on the field last Thursday in every single aspect of the game. Natalia’s offense for the most part, moved the ball at will showcasing a ton of talent with three to four different backs getting touches as well as various receivers getting involved. To also be fair, many felt Bandera would have had more size and talent on the football field.
Defensively, Bandera had limited success moving the football, unless they allowed their QB to run unscripted plays where he was able to make a few things happen with his feet.
Natalia scored one time in the scripted portion of the scrimmage with their second string offense, as back-up QB Ryan Rizo found Colton Richardson on a slant route for the Natalia touchdown.
In the live two quarters of the scrimmage, Natalia’s first strike came in the opening quarter. After shutting down Bandera three straight plays, the Bulldogs punted the football and Natalia drove down around 70 yards and scored. This was courtesy of a Wyatt Woodson touchdown pass to Xavier Vasquez. In the opening full quarter of play, Natalia’s defense held Bandera without one single first down.
In the second quarter, Natalia had their biggest play strike of the night when Woodson found Richardson on a 40 yard+ play down the visitor sideline of the field. One play later QB Woodson made a number of Bulldogs miss on an impressive run which set up a 12 yard touchdown run by RB Nate Banda.
The Natalia defense only gave up two first downs in the second live quarter, both of which came on busted plays by the Bandera QB who was quite impressive with his feet. Overall, the defense shut down everything else the Bulldogs attempted.
“I felt like the conditioning of our team was where we expect our kids to play, considering we didn’t have a spring and an inconsistent summer and I felt we handled it very well,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, he did see some things that need work. “We still need to clean up our execution and I think we can always get better in this area,” Martinez said. “Overall, I was just happy to be back on the field and I felt our coaches and kids did a great job.”
Bandera finished 3rd a season ago in Class 4A, Division II and is currently picked to finish 3rd in Devine’s district behind the Horses and Owls according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
The Natalia Mustangs will open their season Friday night in Atascosa County vs. the state ranked Jourdanton Indians at 7:30 p.m. See the Jourdanton preview story for more details.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer