Randolph Ro-Hawks come to town Friday

The Mustangs take on Randolph at home this Friday.

The Randolph Ro-Hawks will soar into town Friday night coming off a big 16-12 victory over District 15-3A (Div.II) favorite Poth a week ago. A season ago, the Ro-Hawks were able to blank the Natalia Mustangs in a tough 28-0 loss in Universal City.
One thing is for sure, and that is the fact the 2019 Natalia Mustangs are ahead of where they were a year ago on both sides of the football. That is one reason why, a 19-0 loss to Cole a season ago didn’t phase the boys in blue last Friday night at Ft. Sam Houston. The boys in blue recovered from a slow start and were able to win a convincing 21-9 victory over the Cougars in the season opener.
“Randolph is a really good football team,” Coach Ilyan Martinez said. “They proved that last week knocking off a good Poth team in their season opener.”
Randolph Ro-Hawk Outlook
One thing that continues to be a positive in Universal City is the fact they have veteran leadership in Head Coach Pete Wesp who has led the R-Hawks for many years. He has nine offensive and eight defensive starters back from their 5-6 Bi-District season a year ago in which they went 3-3 in district 15-3A (Div.I).
This year, most have the Ro-Hawks picked to finish in 2nd or 3rd in the competitive district. Jourdanton is the favorite and the Tribe has moved into the top 15 rankings in some polls, as others see Randolph and Marion battling out for 2nd and 3rd in the district ahead of Cole, Cotulla, Karnes City and Lytle.
“They are big up front and physical,” Martinez said. “They come off the football well and really dominate the line of scrimmage. They also have a fullback who is a returner for them who is a load who runs the ball well. He runs the ball well and will create some issues for us when it comes to tackling.”
That RB is Jaden Arthur who is a 5’10” 230 lb. young man who was injured early in their season a year ago, but is back and looking good. He is also complimented by talented dual threat QB Austin Fobbs who is 6’0” and 180 lbs.
“They have a lot of speed at their skilled positions including the QB,” Martinez said. “He is much improved from a year ago and can run and throw the ball really well.”
Offensively, the Ro-Hawks will base their offense out of the “old school Wing-T”
“They are very good at it and have shown to be multiple by getting into some spread formations as well,” Martinez said. “Running the ball and ball control is their bread and butter.”
Defensively, the Ro-Hawks will base out of an odd front and according to Martinez, they have talented line-backers.
“We are going to have to create some confusion and get moving side to side.”
Natalia Mustang Outlook
The Natalia Mustangs started off on their heels a week ago in their opening defensive drive against Cole. They didn’t come out with the physicality that was needed, but adjusted well throughout the game. Natalia will have to do a better job in the secondary as well as maintain their corners as the Ro-Hawks will have more speed than the Cougars.
Offensively, Vasquez, Jass and crew did a great job of running downhill and hitting the holes that the offensive line created throughout the game. Despite not being the bigger club last Friday, the line truly won the war vs the Cougars.
Natalia is hoping heir passing game comes around a bit more this week as timing between QB and receiver will continue to play key in their hope to keep a good run-pass mix vs. the Ro-Hawks.
“We know we have a lot to work on, but we will use what we learned last Friday vs. Cole to get better,” Martinez said. “We will be very intentional about that.”
Kickoff is set
The Mustangs and Ro-Hawks will kick-off at 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium for the home opener for the boys in blue. Be sure to come out, wear blue, be loud and cheer on the Stangs as the talented Ro-Hawks come to town!
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer