Roosevelt came to town tonight prepared to do battle, armed with a head coach and three assistant coaches who previously worked under David Wood at Muleshoe. Both teams were 3-0 in non-district play. Both teams ran the spread offense. Both teams really wanted to win. We were the team who did; 31-7.
The game started with quarterback Cooper Washington on the sidelines, not suited out due to a shoulder injury, we were told. The Mules were not at their best during the first quarter and finally managed to score with 6 seconds left in the first quarter, but missed the point after. But then early in the second quarter Roosevelt scores, and it is 6-7. Later we make a nice interception and score, only to have it called back, and at the half the score is still 6-7.
Cooper Washington comes back after the half suited up and ready to play. The team seems to rally around him and things pick up. We score but Cooper drops the ball on the two-point conversion attempt and the score is 12-7. We then recover an onside kick and after lots of work, still manage to turn over the ball when Cooper is sacked.  Later we get the ball again and make a great touchdown run, only to have it called back, but we finally score, so now it is 19-7. Later we fumble and they recover the ball at the two yard line, and in what I think was the best series in the whole game, we put on a spectacular goal-line stand and in four plays keep them from scoring and get the ball back.
The 4th quarter starts with the score still 19-7. Several plays into the quarter Roosevelt fumbles, we recover and run it in for a touch down, miss the point after again, and the score is now 25-7. After the ball changes hands a few more times. with 1:33 left in the game Beau Avila comes back in as quarterback, we score again, but miss the extra point again, and after an extremely long last 30 seconds of the game, we win, 31-7.
The score doesn’t indicate it, but this was not one of the Mules’ smoother games. Mistakes, penalties, and the tension of knowing that the other team was coached pretty much like they were, seemed to throw the Mules off their rhythm. But the final score is what will be remembered, and that’s okay.
I sat there in the new chairback seats with the improved leg room, admiring how nice the new field looked with its bright green turf contrasting with the crisp black and white of the mule and yard line numbers and hash marks on the field, and was quite comfortable until some overly zealous fan decided to start stomping the stands to make noise and it caught on. Now I know it is a football game and crowd noise and participation is encouraged, but my generation-gap age reared its ugly head, and I really wished the precedent had not been started. Now we will have to endure the racket at every game! If that is the only drawback to the new metal stands, I guess I will have to deal with it.
Next week we travel to Bushland for the second district game. Stay tuned. I wonder if they have metal stands…