Road trip to Skidmore-Tynan Friday night

Varsity #5 Micahel Martinez and #74 Dustin Soto wrap up a Nixon-Smiley player with the assist of their teammates. Photo by Brigid Howard.

The Natalia Mustangs (7-2, 3-1) are set for their final regular season game of the 2019 season. For just the fourth time since 1989 and the 11th time in program history, the Natalia Mustangs are playoff bound after clinching a 28-6 win last Friday vs. Nixon-Smiley.
The Stangs will travel to the Coastal Bend to Skidmore Friday to battle the Skidmore-Tynan Bobcats (4-5, 0-3) who will miss the playoffs for the first time in two seasons as they have had their share of bad luck, injuries and miscues resulting in a struggling season under Coach Livas who is in his 7th season at the helm of the program.
Natalia is all but locked in at 2nd place in 15-3A (Div. II), unless Stockdale was to upset Poth and Natalia was to lose to Skidmore-Tynan.
Skidmore Tynan Outlook
The Bobcats dropped their opening two games of the season to Paladins 37-6 and to John Paul II-Corpus 47-27 before finding a victory vs. Benavides 41-0. This parked the Cats to four straight wins including a victory over Rivera Kaifeng 34-6, Runge 33-12, and Dilley in the district opener 48-12.
Skidmore then fell to Poth 33-9 before being blown out by Nixon-Smiley 40-12 in Nixon leading to a lop-sided loss last week in Wilson County vs. Stockdale 48-18 which brings us to week 11 of the Texas High School Football season.
“Skidmore is always a tough game for us,” Coach Ilyan Martinez said. “They run a unique style of offense that is hard to simulate in practice and we do not see offenses like theirs throughout the season.”
Skidmore-Tynan runs a Slot-T offense and will also base out of the spread.
Skidmore-Tynan has had Natalia’s number over the last 20 years defeating the boys in blue twice in 2006 (22-0) and 2007 (43-0) before rallying to upset Natalia in the Bi-District Playoffs in Jourdanton in 2017 34-31 in a game Natalia led by double digits on two occasions.
Of course, no one can forget last year in which Natalia also led by double digits in the first half and into the second before Skidmore-Tynan rallied past the Stangs 48-38.
“They have a senior heavy three headed attack in the backfield with #7 Logan Schafer, #12 Klay Alvarado and #44 Felix Menchaca,” Martinez said. “We are going to have to limit their opportunities and find a way to create negative plays.”
Defensively, the Cats will run a 4-3 with cover 2/3.
“To no one’s surprise, those three athletes are their best defenders as well,” Martinez said. “Schafer is their best DB, Menchaca secures in the inside well at MLB and Alvarado is an edge setter and brings pressure off the edge at OLB.”
“They are a veteran football team with 12 seniors and a good junior class, so you can expect them to be prepared to host us in the final game of the season,” Martinez said. “IT will be a special night for them and we expect to get their best. Our kids will have to play their best game to finish the season off the right way and get ourselves ready for the playoffs.”
Martinez expects junior QB Wyatt Woodson to make a return, but to what extent they are not sure as of press time.
Kickoff is set
The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Skidmore as the Mustangs will battle the Cats. Head down early and make a day of it along the Coastal Bend before the big road game. Head down and support the boys in blue!
“We know this is a little bit of a road trip, but we are hoping folks will head down and pack the stands with plenty of blue and white,” Martinez said. “We expect another dog fight with Skidmore.”
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer