The Mules beat the Merkel Badgers 33-27 tonight at People’s Bank Stadium in Frenship on a breezy, damp, cold night. Apparently not too cold, however, as Mule fans were everywhere.We had a good crowd, but then, we only had to drive an hour to the game; Merkel fans had to commit to about three hours, but they had a good crowd, too.
The Mules jumped out ahead 7-0  first quarter on a Saul Elizalde touchdown, but Merkel bounced back second quarter and took the lead 7-14. I will have to admit I dropped the ball-no pun intended!- on my notetaking for a bit right here (long  story, don’t ask), so you will have to rely on the newspaper stats to fill in the blanks, but I can tell you that the score is tied in the third quarter 21-21, Merkel gets three penalties right in a row, and we start the fourth quarter with the ball, but can’t move it, and Merkel makes the touchdown but fail on their two-point conversion attempt. So now the score is 21-27 with 9:22 on the clock. We retaliate with an Elizalde run and a Jr. Baca touchdown, but then we miss the extra point, so it is tied up again, this time 27-27. The ball changes hands two more times, and Beau Avila and Elizalde set up a 61-yard touchdown with 3:12 on the clock, but Juan Guerrero misses the PAT and the score is 33-27. Merkel can’t move the ball and we get it back, thanks to a Ray Martinez interception. We are able to keep the ball for the remaining 1:17, and the game is over. Final score- Mules 33, Merkel 27.
Merkel had a strong running game, not so good with the passing game: Muleshoe’s offense was a little out of sync at first,  but the Mules were able to take advantage of Merkel’s mistakes, and the rest, as the cliche goes, is history.
The Mules will meet Eastland next Friday, but time and location have not been announced yet. So check the newspapers, Gil Lamb, or the Muleshoe Sports, fill up the gas tank, wash your black sweatshirt, and get ready for the road trip.
Mule Mania is still kickin’!