The rivalry continues: 60th battle between Lytle and Natalia Friday night

The Natalia Mustangs and the Lytle Pirates will square off Friday Night in Natalia for the 60th recorded time since 1933 in one of the best rivalries in South Texas. The Natalia Mustangs have won 31 battles as the Pirates have won 26 with 3 ties in the series.
This coming Friday night, the Natalia Class of 2021 will try and secure their sixth straight program win vs. Lytle in the annual Legacy Bowl Battle.
All tickets are sold out, but fans will be able to watch the game on Natalia ISD Athletics Facebook LIVE and a link will be on the schools website later this week.
Lytle Preview
“Natalia is the first game I made sure we had on the schedule,” Lytle Head Coach RT McConathy stated. “It’s more than just a game, there are scholarships involved and there is a great atmosphere that comes with the game that is awesome to be a part of.”
The Pirates are coming off a tough 1-9 season that saw the Pirates start a number of freshmen along with a heavy mix on juniors on their squad. This year, Lytle returns 14 seniors which is one of the larger classes in recent years.
“We have 14 seniors and it has been a while since we have had this many leaders on the field for us.”
McConathy has changed up their offense and defense and during the summer, stated he wanted to implement a new scheme that Lytle would be known for from the jr. high level on up year in and year out.
“The learning curve can be pretty steep with tough games early,” McConathy said. “Against Natalia, we need to limit their explosive plays, take care of the ball and establish our running game.”
Natalia Head Coach Ilyan Martinez was asked his thoughts on Lytle who is coming off a tough 60-7 loss to a very good Poth squad.
“Lytle is much improved from the last time we played them,” Martinez said. “They have their QB Carson Aldridge back from a leg injury a year ago and he is a difference maker. We will have to prepare for their best game.”
Lytle will base their offense out of a double slot formation with a lot of misdirection this season.
“It’s a different scheme from what they ran a year ago, but they are getting better at it each week and it will create some issues for us,” Martinez said.
Defensively, they run a split-cover 3 base defense.
“They don’t blitz much and they try and keep everything in front of them. They do a good job of taking away the explosive plays and force you to stay patient.”
Coach Martinez was asked which Pirates have caught his eye so far:
“Their QB can make plays with his feet and he is a true dual threat QB with the ability to throw the ball. We will have our hands full.”
“Senior LB Rylan Wagner does a good job of settling the defense and getting his guys lined up. We has the experience needed to lead their defense and we will have to throw a lot of different looks at him.”
Natalia Outlook
The Natalia Mustangs proved they could run and throw the ball against a 3A, Division I team ranked #1 in the Region and 7 in the state last week. Natalia’s simply was unable to finish what they showed they could accomplish.
“Coach Martinez has a quality squad, good athletes and an established system on offense and defense,” Coach McConathy said.
According to Martinez, he believes the key to success will be to dominate the line of scrimmage.
“This is where it will all begin,” Martinez said.
A season ago, Natalia lit up the Pirate secondary passing for 292 yards and rushing for 153 yards en route to a 445-229 offensive advantage in a lop-sided 63-10 victory.
Game is set
One thing is for sure, this coming Friday night as always, you can throw records and history out the window. It will come down to who comes to play in this huge rivalry battle. The Mustangs and Pirates will battle in Natalia at 7:30 p.m. Following the game, the Legacy Bowl Trophy will be awarded to their winning team as MVP trophies will be awarded to an offensive and defensive player of the game for both squads. New this season, the winning head coach will get a plaque. As always, $1.00 from each ticket will go to the Legacy Bowl Scholarship Foundation which handed out four $1,400 scholarships to four total seniors from Natalia and Lytle from the Class of 2020.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer