Mustangs need win to eliminate Steers, stay in playoff contention
For the second straight week, Sweetwater will be facing a team Friday that is desperate for a win in order to remain a viable conten-der for the postseason.The Mustangs are facing a Big Spring team that is 0-2 in district play after rolling through its non-district schedule with a 5-0 record. The Steers can’t afford ano-ther loss, but Sweetwater (3-4, 1-1) will be almost as desperate when it takes the field at Big Spring.Last week’s 31-13 loss to Greenwood has made this week a near must-win situ-ation for the Mustangs, who still have to face Monahans and No. 2-ranked Wylie — two perennial state powers who are regarded as the class of District 4-3A.Despite Big Spring’s great start, in a sense its district record isn’t all that surprising because the Steers have struggled against their district foes since dropping down from Class 4A two years ago. Big Spring’s only district win, in fact, came against Sweetwater in 2010 — the last time the Mustangs faced Big Spring on the Steers’ home turf. Since then, Big Spring has lost eight straight to its district competitors, including a 28-6 loss to Sweetwater last year at Mustang Bowl.If Big Spring — which lost to Snyder 31-21 last week — defeats Sweetwater, there is a possibility of a four-way tie for third place behind Wylie and Monahans, who are both favored to win their games this week.Big Spring is led by sophomore quarterback Tobyn Tannehill. If the name is familiar, it’s because he is the younger brother of two former Big Spring quarter-backs, Ryan and Tyler.Ryan Tannehill, of course, went on to be a star quarterback at Texas A&M and now plays for the Miami Dolphins. Tobyn leads Big Spring in both passing and rushing yards, but he has been intercepted five times in two district games and turnovers were a big reason for the loss to Snyder.Sweetwater is currently in a four-way district tie for second place with Snyder, Greenwood and Monahans. Greenwood will host Wylie (2-0) on Friday and Mona-hans will host Snyder in the other district contest.Sweetwater also has a sophomore QB is Kaegan Jeffrey, who took over as the Mustangs’ signal caller this season following the graduation of three-year starter Taylor Jones.Last week, Jeffrey threw for a season-high 341 yards against Greenwood inclu-ding two TD throws to Kal-eb Hoover, and for the year has passed for 1,337 yards and 11 TDs. But like Tanne-hill, he threw two intercep-tions last week and Sweet-water had four turnovers in all against Greenwood.Due to injuries, Sweetwa-ter may have to shuffle its lineup when the Mustangs face Big Spring. Among the injured is the team’s top rusher, Marquees Jenkins, who is out for the year after suffering a dislocated shoulder against Brownwood in late September. Sweetwat-er still has three top receivers in Hoover, who has 437 yards and five TDs on 26 catches; Bray Amos (30 catches, 433 yards, 3 TDs) and Willie Norman (21, 380 and one touchdown).