Kirbyville Falls Short In State Championship

All good things came to and end this past Saturday for Kirbyville As Muleshoe captured the D1 2A State Championship!

Kirbyville Falls Short In Title Game!

Kerry Cooper

The magical journey of the 2008 Kirbyville Wildcats came to a close Saturday night at the Gopher Bowl in Grand Prairie. The Wildcats didn't get their happy ending, but it was a great year for Kirbyville and the resurrected program Coach Alvarez has turned around. Long gone are the losing seasons the Wildcats have had to endure, now they are one of the best teams in the State of Texas who just competed in their first ever trip to a State Championship game. Nobody should hold their heads down; hold them up in the air because even in defeat the majority of teams in Texas would have loved to be playing for a State Title in December.

The Wildcats started the game by winning the coin toss and elected to receive the ball first and things went bad early. In a penalty riddled opening series the Wildcats finished it off with an interception on the 39-yard line with 6:59 to go in the first quarter. Muleshoe capitalized on the mistake a few seconds later with an option #52 for the Wildcats Josh Harris wraps up the Mules quarterback for a loss on the play. pitch that got them to the Kirbyville 6-yard line. The next play Muleshoe's Juan Sanchez ran it in to for first score of the game. The Mule's Jared Skipworth booted the extra point and Muleshoe was up 7-0 with 6:23 to go in the first quarter. The Wildcats turned the ball over again late in the first quarter deep in their side of the field killing what looked to be a scoring drive by the Wildcats. Muleshoe took over on the 4-yard and quickly drove down the field. Muleshoe made the Wildcats pay for the turnover after racing downfield on a receiver screen pass all the way to the Kirbyville 22-yard line. The next play the Mules punched it in with a 22-yard pass from Wes Wood to Victor Vasquez. Jared Skipworth hit the extra point and the Mules were up 14-0 with 11:03 to go in the second quarter. The Wildcats got on the board for the first time in the middle of the second quarter. LeFrederick Ford capped off a great drive by Kirbyville with 5:15 to go in the half with a scamper from 6-yards out. Randy Musgrove hit the extra point making it 14-7 game. The Mule's scored again on their next possession with a 20-yard pass from Wes Wood to Cooper Washington who was wide open and ran in untouched with 3:49 to go in the second quarter. Jared Skipworth booted the extra point putting the Mules up 21-7. Kirbyville scored again with just: 38-seconds to go in the first half off of the legs of Broderick Jackson who rammed it in from the 1-yard line. Randy Musgrove hit the extra point and the new score was 21-14 at the half.

The Wildcats had to kick off to start the second half but the defense kept the Mules in check. The Wildcats scored with 5:45 seconds to go in the third quarter off of 19-yard LeFrederick Ford run. After two penalties against the Mules that pushed them back to the 1-yard line the Wildcats decided to try for the two-point conversion to go up by one point. The dive over the top was stuffed making it a 21-20 game. The Wildcats looked poised to work their second half magic and overcome the early mistakes and win this game. But the wheels started to come off for the Wildcats. After the Cats D forced a punt, Kirbyville turned the ball over after dropping the ball. Muleshoe quickly jumped on the ball and took over at the 44-yard line. A few moments later the Mule's Lane Wood rumbled in for the touchdown. The extra point was no good making the score 27-20 Muleshoe lead. With 9:49 to go in the game Wes Wood kept the ball and raced 42-yards for the score. Jared Skipworth hit the extra point putting the Mules up 34-20. The Wildcats were driving hoping to make something happen, but on a 3rd and 33 a huge hit on Aaron Hazlewood resulted in a fumble and the Mules held with 7:19 to go in the game. Muleshoe's Lane Wood rumbled 32-yards to the Wildcats 6-yard line to set up another scoring opportunity by the Mules. The Mules made the TD a few seconds later with 7:02 to go in the game making it 41-20 after the Jared Skipworth extra point with 6:52 to go in the fourth quarter. The Mules got the ball right back off of another Wildcat turnover and quickly converted that into points as well with 3:31 to go in the fourth quarter, the Jared Skipworth extra point was good putting the Mules up 48-20. Kirbyville closed out the game with a score of their on with: 34 seconds left in the game with a pass from Aaron Hazlewood to Randy Musgrove. The Wildcats went for two but it was stopped for a big loss to end the game. The Mules took over and ran out the clock to seal the 48-26 win.

The Wildcat's simply turned the ball over way to many times, which gave a potent offense numerous opportunities to score, it was too much for Kirbyville to overcome. Kirbyville had a great year going 13-1. The Wildcats came up short but had the support of the entire area, as witnessed by the huge crowd from all over there to support them. Congratulations to the Wildcats on a great year.

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