The drought must end in Dilley

Matt Contreras and Joel Rios wrap up an opposing ball carrier.

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The Natalia Mustangs are hungry after a disappointing set-back in Stockdale last Friday night. The best part about a loss, is the fact you can learn from it, move on and make the following Friday a success. Success may look easy when looking at a winless Dilley squad on paper, but one fact that hangs over the heads of the Natalia Football program is the fact no one has been able to pull off a victory at Gosch Field since Roman Soto kicked a Field Goal lifting the 1989 Natalia Mustangs to a last second victory over the Grey Wolves. A Bobby Morales fumble recovery and long run back set up this game winning field goal under the “late” Head Coach, Pat Casey.
Dilley Outlook
Dilley has had a slow start, but they went back to their spread offense and the kids are starting to settle back into what they are used to doing,” Coach Ilyan Martinez said.
Aside from trying to find their identity on offense, Dilley has been handed a deck of cards which has included a ton of injuries this season.
“Our problem all year has been devastating injuries that have depleted us at offensive and defensive line the entire season,” Dilley Head Coach Manny Martinez said. “We have not had the same five for any concurrent games and we also lost our best two linebackers in week four.” One of those linebackers was Anthony Aranda who had 132 tackles last season (He is out for the year). A linebacker by the name of Devon Rodriguez has missed the last three weeks also at middle linebacker.
“It has been unbelievable the amount of kids we have lost,” Martinez said. “We cant get any continuity because we are having to re-teach kids that have been moved from one position to another.”
According to Martinez, there have been some positives despite the struggles with their health.
“Since abandoning the slot-t after the 3rd game, our offense is looking a lot better,” Dilley Coach Martinez said. “QB Julian Cantu has been spreading the ball around and WR Shiloh Guerra, RB Enrique Garza and RB Drey Chavera have made some big plays.”
Natalia Head Coach Ilyan Martinez had the following to say when asked about Dilley:
“They are still very athletic and have a lot of speed,” Martinez said. “We are going to have to do a great job in space, if we are going to slow them down. Defensively, they are multiple and do a great job of running the ball.”
Natalia Outlook
One key to victory this coming Friday is going to be a quick start offensively. Despite the fact that Natalia is a strong second half team, they won’t be able to allow the winless Wolves to get any type of hope early on.
Natalia should have the advantage for the first time this season up-front with their line, due to the injuries by the Wolves. The Mustangs should be able to mix-up their play calling and attack the Wolves with both their run game and through the air.
“Defensively, Dilley is multiple and they do a good job of running to the ball,” Martinez said.
“We will have to stop Natalia’s deep throws and corral their QB, not allowing him to break runs,” Dilley Coach Manny Martinez said. “Our OL has to get the job done versus a good Natalia line.”
The last time Natalia played in Dilley, it was a defensive battle in which the Mustangs led 6-0 until the final minute of the game. Unfortunately, Dilley was able to escape with a 7-6 victory.
“Both teams need this win,” Dilley’s HC said. “Our last two games have been great games and I am expecting the same this Friday.”
Dilley ISD is asking that everyone attending the game on both sides of the stadium wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
So head down to Frio County Friday night, wear pink, cheer on the Mustangs and lets support this squad as they aim for a historic victory in Dilley for the first time since 1989! The drought must end Friday night, so let’s back the boys in blue!
#TTP #ChampionshipCulture
By Eric Smith