The Dilley hex not welcome in Mustang Stadium

Varsity Mustang #5 Michael Martinez, and other members of Natalia’s offensive line clear a path for #6 Jacob Jass, who accepts the handoff from #2 Wyatt Woodson.

The Dilley Wolves are no strangers to the Natalia Mustangs as the IH-35 rivals have been long time district opponents for the boys in blue. The Dilley hex as some refer to is the fact the Natalia Mustangs have not won on the road in Dilley since 1989. Luckily this season, the Wolves do come to Mustang Stadium for the second District 15-3A (Div.II) battle.
The Dilley Hex- A season ago, the Mustangs traveled to Dilley and were up against a winless Dilley squad. Somehow, someway, things went south and Dilley picked up their first win of the season 7-6.
In 2017, Natalia defeated Dilley for just the second time since 1989 at home with a 20-17 loss, as Natalia had also lost their road trip in 2016 by a score of 6-3.
Natalia and Dilley have faced off every year but two, dating back to 1989 and Natalia is excited they have the opportunity to host the Wolves Friday night as the Stangs are rolling into the game with a 5-1 overall mark and a 1-0 mark in 15-3A.
Dilley Outlook
Dilley on the other hand, is off to a 0-6 start and 0-1 mark in 15-3A under 1st year Head Coach Lamar Rodriguez who served as a coordinator over departed head coach Manny Martinez who is now coaching with Bandera (5-1).
The Wolves return seven starters on both sides of the football from their squad that went 2-9 a season ago and 2-3 in district play falling in the Bi-District round of the playoffs.
“Dilley is going to be a tough match-up for us,” Coach Ilyan Martinez said. “They are going through some transition right now as Coach Rodriguez takes over this program, but they are still Dilley and they play with a ton of pride. They are physical up front and very athletic.”
The Wolves have suffered the following losses this season: 16-12 to Carrizo Springs, 56-7 to Jourdanton, 34-7 to Cotulla, 35-15 to Lytle, 14-6 to Crystal City and 48-18 in the district opener vs Skidmore-Tynan.
The Dilley Wolves base their offense out of the Slot-T with their running game doing the majority of the offensive work this season.
“#6 Carlos Gonzales is their guy on offense,” Coach Martinez said. “He is a strong athletic back that runs the ball with great awareness. They do a great job of getting movement up front and allowing him to find creases. He is a tough runner and will run through arm tackles, so we will have to do a great job of running to the football and getting a lot of hats on him.”
Defensively, the Wolves will run a 3-4 cover 4 defense.
“With the majority of their kids playing both ways, Gonzales is also in the secondary for them,” Martinez said. “He is a ball hawk and comes down hill in a hurry. We will make sure we know where he is at all times throughout the game.”
Natalia Outlook
The Natalia Mustangs will simply be the better squad on the football field Friday night at Mustang Stadium for a second straight district game. The only thing that can hold back the boys in blue will be themselves. Four unforeseen turnovers against Stockdale could have been a game changer.
Natalia will need to be very diligent in getting out to a fast start and putting the Wolves in a hole in which they have not played well in throughout their 0-6 start. At the end of the day, Dilley will come in with confidence, due to the fact they have always had the upper-hand versus any Natalia squad they face when it comes to the history between the two clubs.
“As we continue to change the culture of our program, we are excited to have an opportunity to set a new trend where we are on the other side of these games with Dilley,” Martinez said. “This year and years to come, that is our goal. We are not the same team and our kids take a great deal of pride in representing the name across their chest. We will have to play our game, establish our physicality early up front on both sides of the ball. We also have to take care of the football on offense and make the most out of our possessions.”
Kickoff is set
Texas District 19 Senator Peter Flores (R)-Pleasanton will be on hand for the coin toss for the Natalia-Dilley district battle this coming Friday.
Be sure to come early, be loud, wear blue and get ready for a little IH-35 Rivalry Football! The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium!
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer