ANDREWS – It was a defensive struggle between the Randall Raiders and the Andrews Mustangs in their opening week of the season.
But at the end of the game, it was the Mustangs who ended up prevailing, winning 11-7 Friday night at Mustang Bowl.
The victory put the Mustangs at 1-0 for the season and the Raiders at 0-1.
A scoreless first quarter was followed by an 11-point run in the second quarter by the Mustangs which was all they would need to do, offensively while their defense took care of the rest.
Randall (0-1) responded with a third quarter touchdown but it wouldn’t be enough, and Andrews (1-0) held on for the win.
“It was a lot of mistakes on our part,” Randall head coach Gaylon Selman said. “We had a lot of opportunities, but mistakes just got us. It just shot us in the foot. I thought Andrews played great. Both teams played hard all night. It was just our mistakes tonight.”
It was the first game for the Raiders since moving down to Class 4A.
Neither team could get anything going in the first quarter and both teams were tied 0-0 heading into the second.
A couple of times, Randall found itself pinned deep on its side of the field which led to Andrews getting good field position.
But even the Mustangs struggled to finish drives.
That is, until late in the second quarter.
It was a 3-yard run by Andrews quarterback EJ Lopez was followed by a 2-point conversion run by Ashton Galvan that put the hosts in front 8-0 with 3:42 in the second.
“They’re a great team,” Andrews head coach Tom Harvey said. “We’re dinged up. We’re going to get some players back that didn’t play this week. Our kids needed to know that they needed to win games and faced a few adverse situations. It was a big win for us.”
It was the first win for Harvey as head coach who took over after Ralph Mason’s retirement. Harvey had previously been the defensive coordinator for the Mustangs.
“I love defensive games because I’m a defensive coach,” Harvey said. “But I’m super proud of our offense too tonight.”
The Mustangs were able to capitalize on good position again later in the second quarter and a 40-yard field goal from Julian Mancillas extended the lead to 11-0 right before the half.
The Raiders got some momentum going in the third quarter, getting on the board with an 8-yard touchdown reception by Mason Gilbert and Amel Hadzisabic’s PAT made it a 4-point game with 5:16 left in the third.
“The kids weren’t down at halftime and they knew we had to eliminate our mistakes and they came out and that’s what you want to see,” Selmon said. “They did great coming out of the half.”
However, penalties and mistakes on offense would hurt the Raiders’ chances for a comeback.
“It was a defensive struggle,” Selmon said. “That’s good for our defense. We didn’t put (Andrews) in great situations but we just couldn’t get a rhythm offensively and that hurt us.”
The Raiders will play its home opener next week against Clovis (N.M.) while the Mustangs will face Monahans on the road.