Cauble, Coffey raise level of play for Mustangs
June 26, 2013, 10:00 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Marble Falls showed a competitive fire in Saturday’s 7-on-7 tournament at Mustang Stadium.
The Mustangs won two of three pool play matches, but failed to advance to the bracket play in the 16-team state qualifying tournament.
Afterwards offensive coordinator Bill Poe reminded the Mustangs of their improvement in three 7-on-7 tournaments for the summer.
In this one, the Mustangs showed they have some depth.
With four front-line players out, the Mustangs turned to senior Ty Coffey and sophomore Eric Cauble for some big showings. Coffey, a starter on the JV last year, showed his speed and ability to get deep in the three outings.
The tournament started with a 37-34 win over rival Burnet with Coffey scoring three second-half touchdowns, including the game-winner with 22 seconds left.
Sophomore quarterback Brennan Wooten showed his ability to spread the ball around on offense and the defense came through with some big plays, too, in the all-passing format.
In Game 2, the Mustangs fell behind 25-7 against Hutto with two interceptions igniting the Hippos. The Mustangs made it a game, rallying with Wooten getting on target with Coffey, Cauble and Zuri Buchanan. Keith Jerome also had some nice catches as a crossing receiver out of the backfield.
David Spurlock had a key interception and return for a score to cut the lead to 39-28 with 7:58 left in the second half.
A strike to Cauble and extra point to Jerome cut the final margin to, 39-36.
"This was my chance to shine,’’ Cauble said. "With all the guys out, it was an opportunity. I was glad to be out here.’’
Garrett Gray, Carson Bowen, Aidin Parnell and J.T. Watson missed the tournament. Gray was at a funeral and Bowen and Watson had responsibilities with summer baseball. Parnell was at a football camp.
R.J. Mintz had a big day on defense with a pair of interceptions. Mintz’s second pick in the team’s three-touchdown win over Bastrop was negated because Bastrop didn’t get the ball away in less than four seconds.
Mintz ran it back down the sideline before making a spin cut against a Bear defender.
"At least that one in the first game counted,’’ said Mintz, who has stepped into a leadership role among the defensive backs.
"I got to learn last year on the JV and now I’m trying to get everybody in the right places,’’ Mintz said.
One of the big moves in the secondary under first-year defensive coordinator Tony Salazar has been moving Cody Seelig from safety to cornerback. Marble Falls defense was solid against Bastrop in getting the Bears off the field in the first half.
Marble Falls freshman Daven Manning also showed his skills Saturday as a defensive back.
"It took him a little bit to know the defense and then he just kept making plays,’’ Mintz said.
The tournament proved the Mustangs have made some progress.
The win over Burnet snapped a 25-game win streak for the Bulldogs in 7-on-7 football.
Burnet finished 1-2 in the tournament, but have already qualified for state in the small school bracket.
Burnet won the Lometa qualifier and also went unbeaten at McGregor.
The state 7-on-7 tournament is July 11-12 in Round Rock.
"It was disappointing to lose two, but they were both close games,’’ said Burnet quarterback Derek Kiser. "It was good for us to play against some of the bigger schools.’’
Blayne Parisher and Trent Halfey had solid days receiving for the Bulldogs.
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