Mustangs rout WF to give McGehee 1st W

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

WICHITA FALLS — After three-and-outs its first two series, Sweetwater had to rely on its defense early on in Friday’s season opener.
Once the offense got untracked, Wichita Falls had no chance.
Senior quarterback Chris Thompson, after misfiring on his first four attempts, wound up throwing four touchdown passes and ran for another as Sweetwater defeated the Coyotes 35-10 to give Ben McGehee his first win as a head coach after coming here in March to replace Shane Mobley.
Thompson was hardly the only standout. Kobe Clark and Andrew Melendez each caught a pair of TD passes against Wichita Falls. Clark had scoring catches of 57 and 46 yards. He set up two other TDs with a long punt return and an interception.
Melendez scored the first touchdown on a 17-yard catch and added a 24-yard score in the third period.
The defense twice held Wichita Falls in Sweetwater territory before the ‘O’ got going by forcing punts. Clark ran the second punt back to Wichita Falls’ 36 to set up Thompson’s 17-yard TD to Melendez with 4:24 left in the first quarter.
Wichita Falls cut the lead to 7-3 with a 24-yard field goal early in the second per-iod. Sweetwater answered quickly as Clark scored on a 57-yarder from Thompson to increase the lead to 14-3.
Thompson went to Clark again for a 46-yard score on the next series for a 21-3 lead over Wichita Falls at the halftime. Then, a Clark INT return led to Thompson getting the score on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
Sweetwater got a short field again and scored its last touchdown on a 24-yard Thompson-to-Melendez throw to make it 35-3.
Wichita Falls’ only touch-down came with 3:57 to play in the contest.
In his first game as a head coach after serving as offensive coordinator at Class 5A Temple the past five years, McGehee said he saw a lot of positives — although he thought his team was “flat” at the start. “We picked it up after the first couple of series and got rolling,” he said. “The defense also did a great job for us tonight.
“I really thought we did a lot of things well.”
The Mustangs still run a tempo, hurry-up offense and while it looked crisp at times, McGehee said it has room for improvement.
“We know that we need to correct some things and we will look at film and decide how to correct it,” he said.
Two touchdowns were called back due to penalty. Also, a first-half drive where Sweetwater began at its 4 and got to Wichita Falls’ 22 was eventually derailed by penalties and an interception killed another drive.
But since it was the first game, there will be a lot of opportunities to improve.
Sweetwater will now face ex-district rival Big Spring this Friday at 7:30 p.m., in the Mustangs’ opener at the Bowl to commemorate their Sammy Baugh Classic.
Sweetwater will have just four games prior to its district opener on Sept. 29, when the team begins 2-4A, Division II play at Pecos.