By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigers knew it’d be a tough battle to defeat the No. 3 State ranked Shallowater Mustangs Friday evening (Oct. 30).
While they didn’t succeed in breaking Shallowater’s perfect streak, losing 42-6 in their last District game of the season, Head Coach Lawrence Johnson had nothing but positive things to say about both teams.
“We played a great opponent. They are the No. 3 in the State for a reason and it showed when they executed for an entire ball game,” he said. “Our kids fought the entire game regardless of what the scoreboard displayed.”
Shallowater started its scoring run in the first, scoring on a five-yard pass.
The Mustangs again scored in the second on a 10-yard run and then a two-yard run.
Three more scores rounded out Shallowater’s scoring: a three-yard run pass then nine-yard pass in the third, and then a one-yard run in the third.
The Mustangs also made three two point conversions out of a total of six attempts.
Slaton would score its lone touchdown near the end of the game, when Ayden Ramirez’ 39-yard-pass to Matt Vigil connected.
The two-point conversion attempt did not succeed.
Johnson added the team had to make some adjustments to this week’s game. “Jacorien Doss ran the ball hard at running back, which isn’t his offensive position,” said Johnson. “He stepped up and did what was asked out of him.
“We had a collective effort on both sides of the ball that stood out after watching the film as well as the lack of execution plays.”
Ramirez completed nine of 17 passes on the night for 108 yards. He also had three interceptions.
Doss lead in rushing, going 16 times for 71 yards. Other rushers include Chris Rader (six times for 15 yards), Ayden Ramirez (four times for 10 yards) and Andre Trotty (once for five yards).
Vigil received the ball three times for 54 yards, including the touchdown. Other lead receivers were Eddie Betancourt (three times for 24 yards) and Trotty (three times for 30 yards).
The team had a total of 209 yards for the night, compared to Shallowater’s 394.
The Tigers punted five times for an average of 42 yards.
Slaton advances from fourth in the District, with undefeated Shallowater, Denver City and Lamesa.
The team has a bye week this week, which was rescheduled to the end of the season in case the teams needed to make up a game due to COVID.
Slaton will next compete against Bushland Nov. 14 in Bi-District play. The game’s time and location were still being worked on as of press time Tuesday.
Johnson said they will be using this week’s bye as a time for both players, and coaches, to prepare to compete against the undefeated Falcons.
“We are putting our total focus on Bushland,” said Johnson.
“We owe it to our kids to set them up for success by doing our homework on our opponent and then presenting that to our kids.”
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(Editor’s note: Game date and team are as of press time Tuesday, Nov. 3. Should there be any changes, delays or cancellations, The Slatonite will post updates on its Facebook page Slatonite).