Childress is a three-hour drive from Muleshoe, so you can see my dilemma when we rolled into the drive-way at 1:45 am: write about the game or hit the bed. Alas, you can see which won. But – I can tell you that the Mules won the ball game, 41-19, so it was worth the drive. We had a decent crowd, actually about as many Mule fans came as Bobcat fans, and they didn’t have to make the drive. But it wasn’t crowded, so we had 50-yard line seats and room to stretch out. The band was late because they had to wait until 4:30 for a bus to be available to leave town, so when the team ran onto the field, it was a little quiet. Then a few of us bravely sang the school song a cappella, and the fight was on. And it was a fight. I think we were supposed to win this game, but apparently no one told Childress. They played until the end, no running of the clock, and passed their little hearts out. And were successful doing it-they even scored first. We need to work on pass defense or sacking the quarterback, I guess. In the next sixteen seconds, however, we responded with a touchdown of our own, run in by Ryan DeLeon  on the first play of our possession. The announcer, who was fun to listen to, had trouble with some of our players’ last names, and he announced that the kick by Saul, no last name, was good. So now the score is 7-7. That was a humorous play because it caught the refs off guard and no one was down there to call the touchdown, but our players did! But aside from a cool sack made by Cooper Washington, we do nothing else spectacular and the quarter ends 7-7. The band finally arrives, just in time to see Jr. Baca break loose and score, 14-7.  Later in the quarter Rico Alacron blocks a punt and we have the ball on the 30 yard line but can’t seem to take advantage of the break because Cooper throws a long pass that is intercepted in the end zone. Childress takes it down to the other ten yard line with one second left, pass and we intercept and save a score. The score is still 14-7. The third quarter starts off with a bang as Ray Ramirez has a good run, setting up Isaac Baca to score, 21-7. Then on our next possession Childress was expecting an option play to Juan Sanchez  again, but a pass to Ryan DeLeon scores, and we are now at 28-7. But Childress doesn’t give up, continues  their throwing game and score, only to miss the PAT, making the score 28-13. They follow that with an onside kick and get it. We manage to finally get the ball back but then throw it right to one of their players. The fourth quarter starts with a good drive, Cooper Washington making a nice 30-yard run and Eric Orozco scoring. But we miss the point after and the score is 34-13. Childress follows with yet another series of good pass plays, until Eric Orozco blocks a scoring pass but they do manage to score with 2:53 left but  failing on a 2-point conversion, so the score is now 34-19. The last two minutes of the game are exciting because we drop the ball, they recover, we respond with an interception, Saul Elizalde runs it to the 3-yard line, Jr. runs it in, Juan Guerrero kicks the point and the final score is 41-19. This was an interesting game for several reasons. Childress never gave up, even though they were probably not going to catch up, which made it exciting and certainly gave our players a run for their money, even beating us in the stats as reported in the paper this morning. The Childress stadium is a neat place to play. I don’t know this, but it looks like something built during the Depression  by the WPA  out of natural stone,  and it has a nice character to it. And is holding up well, Depression era or not. They have a concession stand on both sides of the field. Our band being late made the first of the game uncharacteristically quiet.  Their band chose not to dress in uniforms and at halftime formed a semi-circle and played while the cheerleaders danced, did routines, and executed gymnastics flips and runs. And the announcer went out of his way to  thank us for coming and wished us  a safe trip home. The Mules are the Division 1 District 1-2A champs and as such, have a bye next Friday, as do all district 2A division 1 champs in the state due to re-alignment, so the playoff schedule is still to be determined. Tune in next week for details.