The Natalia Mustangs scored with 1 minute, 1 second left on the clock to eventually claim a 48-41 win Friday night over the Poteet Aggies, who led 21-0 after the first quarter.
Natalia quarterback Wyatt Woodson lunged toward the end zone draped in Aggie defenders only to break the plane of the goal line for the final score of the game.
But it wasn’t necessarily just Woodson, who finished with 296 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, or Natalia that beat Poteet. The Aggies beat themselves, Poteet head coach Darby House said after his team turned the ball over twice, allowed a fake punt for a touchdown and an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Woodson’s third touchdown of the night, in fact, was set up by a bad snap on a punt that sailed over Eric Treviño’s head. Natalia ended up at Poteet’s 14-yard line following a personal foul on the Aggies.
“We’ve gotta get out our own way,” House said. “I mean, truthfully, it probably should’ve been 45-0. I mean, we gave up four special teams touchdowns, whether they went for it on a fake punt and we had them tackled for an 8-yard loss and he scores a touchdown; we had the snap that went over our head that gave them the winning touchdown; They punted it, our kid dove to catch it because he thought they threw it. Just getting out of our own way. We had two crucial fumbles that, instead of putting the game away, let them come back. We’ve just gotta get out of our own way. That’s the biggest message I’ve got for these guys.”
Poteet looked to be firing on all cylinders from the get-go. With 6-3, 300-pound senior Roderick King lined up out wide like a receiver, the Aggies ran a screen play to Davila who followed King’s block 67 yards to pay dirt on the opening play from scrimmage. Treviño would tack on another touchdown six minutes later with a 1-yard run to cap off an 8-play, 70-yard drive following a Martin Ibarra interception.
Offensive lineman Derek Scharmann almost proved the ball was going to literally bounce the Aggies way when he recovered a Davila fumble in the end zone to put Poteet up 21-0 in the first.
Then, on the second offensive play for Poteet in the second quarter, Davila fumbled again and the Aggies were unable to recover it at their own 37 with a 21-6 lead. Natalia would score eight plays later on a 2-yard run from Adrian Vasquez. A successful 2-point conversion cut Poteet’s lead to 21-14.
House said he saw his team start to get complacent right before that fumble.
“You could see, as soon as we got up 21, that we started to relax,” House said. “No matter how much you scream and holler, when you start to relax, that’s when the fumbles happen. We were gonna go up 28-6. We were about to drive again, then we fumbled on the second play and gave them another life. Then we came back and fumbled again. We can’t have those mistakes.”
In the end, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Aggies outgained Natalia in total offense 454 yards to 389.
Earlier in the week, House said the Aggies weren’t going to deviate from the ground game. They picked up 331 yards rushing in the loss, with Davila going for 191 and two rushing touchdowns on 20 carries and Treviño going for 141 and a pair of scores.
Letting those performances nearly go to waste was rough in House’s eyes, which immediately turned back to his message of getting out of their own way.
“I mean, it’s frustrating. There’s positives in every win and negatives in every loss and win as well,” House said. “We’ve just gotta come back and fix those things. We’ve gotta hang on to the football, we’ve gotta do the little things right. Like I said, it comes back to getting out of our own way. I mean, we’re a good football team. We just get in our own way.”
One thing House is beyond confident with is his offensive line, who paved the way once again for a stellar night on the ground. He feels their dominance is unquestionable after Friday night.
“Our O-Line has stated their dominance again,” House praised. “I mean, we came back and we ran people over. That’s what we want to do and that’s what we’re gonna keep doing.”
Poteet (1-3) will travel to Poth (3-1) next Friday for their final nondistrict game.