Homecoming. I can just imagine the conversations in the stands.
“I remember when I wore that band uniform.” “That’s right honey, back in my high school days, I could jump just like those cheerleaders can.” “We were called the Purple Flames when I was on the drill team.” “When I played football, our biggest player was 220 pounds.”
Homecoming. That’s what makes it so special to former students and fans as well as to current Wildcats (2-3, 1-1). The memories. The Royal Pageantry of the King and Queen and their court. And Friday night provided a pretty convincing victory for the Wildcat football team, a much-needed District win over the Mustangs of Marble Falls (0-5, 0-2).
After trading opening possessions, the Mustang’s quarterback fumbled on their 34-yard line, and Wildcat defensive lineman Xavier Nuells, #90, pounced on the loose ball. A few plays later, Elgin quarterback Daniel Gonzales polished off the drive on a four-yard touchdown run right up the middle of the defense. Jaden Strong was good with the extra point attempt, and Elgin led 7-0 midway through the first.
Later in the quarter, the Mustangs mounted a long drive, culminated by a short run by their quarterback for a score. Elgin blocked the extra point attempt and Elgin led 7-6 after one period.
It was obvious that the 'Cats felt like they could run the ball right down the defense's throat, which is exactly what they did the rest of the game. With Peter Mc-Farlin leading the way, and timely runs added by Gonzales, Trevon Black and Tristan Carlos, Elgin’s ground attack was relentless. Like a wall being beaten down by cannon fire, Marble Falls’ defense soon had weak points everywhere you looked. Midway through the second quarter, McFarlin dazzled in a 46-yard scamper to the end zone. After the successful point after, Elgin led 14-6.
The Mustang offense then got in gear and drove the ball deep into Elgin territory. The Marble Falls quarterback attempted a pass down the right sideline, where Wildcat defensive back Daniel Meurin, #11, stepped in front of the receiver to intercept the ball and returned it back up the field on a nice 10-yard run.
Elgin continued to pound the ball, culminating when McFarlin weaved a beautiful 31-yard jaunt to pay dirt. The half ended with the score 21-6, Elgin.
The third quarter was scoreless until the Mustangs punched in a run with three minutes left, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful, making the score 21-12. The Wildcats responded with their own drive, and with 18 seconds left in the period, McFarlin once again found the end zone, making the score 28-12.
In the final period, a Mustang fumble in Wildcat territory was recovered by John Rebolloso, #65. Elgin took advantage of the momentum, with the drive ending on a very nice 30-yard field goal by Jaden Strong. Elgin led 31-12.
On the ensuing kickoff, Elgin pooched the kick, and Trevor Kirgan, #14, raced down the sideline to recover the ball back for the 'Cats on the Mustang 40-yard line.
The Wildcats continued to rumble downfield before their own fumble cost them possession. The Mustangs' last drive was ended in grand style when Meurin snagged his second interception of the Marble Falls quarterback. Game over, Elgin 31-12.
It was a good night for the entire Wildcat defense, but Meurin's and Lyndon Rangel's names were called all evening for stops on the Mustang offense. The defensive line plugged the front running lanes, and the linebackers provided second line support in good fashion. Kicker Jaden Strong has been a consistent weapon for Elgin, with strong kicks on field goal and point after attempts.
The offensive line wore down their opposition as the game went on. Mc-Farlin and Gonzales are a dangerous one-two punch that get better as the games progress. The I’som brothers, Magnuson and Remington provide an experienced group of receivers.
Elgin had 300 yards rushing, including Mc-Farlin’s 182 yards. The passing total was 90 yards, with Magnuson hauling in four catches for 55 yards.
Other Elgin scores include Elgin freshman defeating the Mustangs 28-14 and the junior varsity losing 22-7. The middle school teams had a bye week.
Half way through the season, as Coach Anderson predicted, the Wildcats can play with anyone on their schedule. The three losses have been by a total of 14 points; they were in the games until the very end.
One of the four spots that will make the playoffs are within reach for Elgin. The next five games, though, are a tough run, with District leaders Weiss and Brenham coming up next, followed by Cedar Creek, Bastrop and East View.
Other district scores included Weiss 42, Glenn 0; Cedar Creek 17, Bastrop 7; and Brenham 35, East View 30.
The Wildcats take on Pflugerville Weiss (5-0) at home on Friday night, 7 p.m. Come cheer this special team on in their toughest contest yet to date.