Mineral Wells Index
By TONY EIERDAM
WICHITA FALLS – For a team that began the season with 30 varsity players, the Mineral Wells Rams keep having bad luck on the injury front as MWHS was forced to play several backups after key injuries in a 68-0 loss to Wichita Falls Hirschi Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
The loss drops the Rams to 0-2, while the Huskies move to 2-0.
The Rams will continue non-district play at Glen Rose (0-2) on Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
“We got beat up again, and we don’t know the extent of all the injuries,” Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence said. “We had some young kids out there playing, and we just got to keep working hard and getting better.”
Despite the loss, the coach put the young season in proper perspective.
“I told the guys our record is still 0-0,” Lawrence said. “We have four weeks to get better (before District 6-3A play begins) and its starts in the locker room right now.”
The Rams could not stop Hirschi running back Cedric Battle, who scored five touchdowns, including two on punt returns.
On his last punt return – Hirschi’s last touchdown – Battle demonstrated that he plays until the whistle.
After Mineral Wells punter Caleb Acosta booted a short punt, all of the Rams and 10 of the Huskies stood around and watched the ball, which most thought would roll to a stop near mid field.
But Battle sprinted to the ball, scooped up the pigskin and strolled to the end zone.
Hirschi led 41-0 at the half thanks in part to Battle and quarterback Terrance Cooper, who recorded 222 total yards in the first half, including 139 yards in the ground.
Battled opened the scoring on a two-yard touchdown run, and Cooper followed on a 12-yard run to the end zone on a zone read option play.
Meanwhile, the Rams were having trouble moving the ball. MWHS’ first drive produced one first down when Acosta completed a nine-yard pass to receiver Colby Kissinger.
But the offense went backwards in three plays and the Rams were forced to punt.
MWHS moved the ball with a little more success on its next drive.
Acosta fired a 23-yard pass to receiver Omery Trevino, and on the next play junior running back Josh Hardee blasted up the middle for an 11-yard gain and another first down.
But with the ball on the Hirschi 29-yard line and the Rams facing a fourth and two, Acosta was stopped for no gain and the ball went over on downs to the hosts.
The next two MWHS drives did not result in points despite a 28-yard completion to McCain Mason that produced 28 yards on the second of the two drives.
The Rams excited their fans on the next series. Forced to punt, Acosta noticed that no Hirschi defender was covering Kissinger, who lined up wide to the right side.
After taking the snap, instead of punting, Acosta sent a pass to Kissinger, who caught the ball and raced 33 yards deep into Hirschi territory. But the football gods were not smiling on the Rams as Kissinger was stripped of the ball and the Huskies recovered.
It was just that kind of an evening for the luckless Rams.
“Colby was uncovered and it is an automatic read,” Lawrence said. “He wasn’t covered so Caleb did what he was supposed to do and Colby caught the ball.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t totally work out, but the fumble down deep ended up just as good as a punt anyway.”
In the second half the Rams shut down the Huskies on their first two drives of the second half. But the Huskies added four scores in the second half, including Battle’s second punt return score and Victor Jones’ interception return for a TD to close the scoring.
One positive displayed by the Rams in the contest came on the offensive line, a line that was plagued by illegal procedure penalties in the season-
opening loss to Graham.
The Rams committed only one illegal procedure penalty in the game, a sign that the unit focused on and almost eliminated what was a problem in the past.
Lawrence said it was a step in the right direction.
“Sure, any step forward for us right now is a big step,” Lawrence said. “We have to continue to get some of these young kids ready to go.”