By Melissa McCaghren
Slaton knew they’d have a challenge in Shallowater if they wanted to finish second in District.
In the end the Tigers (2-3 in District) came up short, losing to the Mustangs 49-19 Friday (Nov. 8) during the last game of regular season.
Slaton finished third in the District behind Bushland and Shallowater and ahead of final qualifier River Road.
Head Coach Jeff Caffey said the place was a bit of a surprise. “Everybody thought it’d be second or fourth and the scenario we all never did not expect happened,” he said, adding that they’d play the Brownfield Cubs in for the Bi-District crown.
Shallowater struck first in the game, scoring on a 43-yard pass in the first quarter.
The Mustangs added on to their score in the second on a six-yard run before Slaton’s Zephron Ortiz scored on a four-yard pass from Laz Galindo.
Shallowater went on to score twice more in the quarter, on a one-yard run and a 10-yard run, getting past the Tigers’ defense.
Caffey said defense hurt them in the game. “We didn’t play very good defense that night and I was not very pleased with that aspect. We didn’t tackle well,” he said.
That said, he said later in the game he saw promise that will help them in the next round.
“We had some kids step up and trying to make a difference, so we’re going to try and find a way to get those kids in the ballgame more,” he added.
In the third, Galindo scored on a one-yard run while the Mustangs scored on a 65-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, Galindo would again score on a three-yard run.
Shallowater added on to their total twice more with a 40-yard run and a 63-yard run.
Overall, the team rushed 47 times for 195 yards and received for a total of 202 yards.
They had one punt on the night for 24 yards.
Caffey was pleased with the offensive in the game. “Elijah Williams probably played jis best game of the year to this date and that’s a good thing,” he said.
“Quevon McDaniel had a good night receiving. Laz threw the ball well. Zephron had a good night rushing the ball well.
“Offensively we did our job and I’m very proud of those guys.”
The team now face the Cubs in a rematch. Earlier this season the Tigers narrowly won the game by a single point.
“Now we start the new season,” said Caffey.
“(Brownfield) is a rematch, and it’s a rematch here at our own stadium, which is good for us. That was a very adversarial night for us, but we’ve grown since then and so have they, so we’re expecting a dogfight like what we got the first time we played.
“It’s going to be a 12-round slugfest to see who really wants to take home that trophy.”
Caffey said he was excited for the upcoming game. This also holds true for the Tigers.
“I’m ready for the week. We’ve played well in the playoffs the past two years. When I saw the kids over the weekend and told them how it turned out, they were all excited. They get to make up for the last time we played them,” he said.
“I think for them to be excited about that aspect is a very good thing, so I look forward to bringing home another gold ball for the town.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. The game will be $5 adults and $3 for children and they will accept passes from District.
All seats are general admission. There will be no reserve seats.