Rangers run past SW in 2nd half

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

GREENWOOD — In the first half of its District 1-4A, D-II opener with Midland Greenwood, Sweetwater’s football team looked better than it had all year — especially on the offensive end.
In that first half, the team almost matched its season point total with three touchdowns and trailed by three points (23-20) against the Rangers at intermission.
That positive momentum didn’t carry into the second half, though, as Greenwood used a 42-0 run to win the game, 65-20.
The Mustangs were unable to control Greenwood’s running game, which produced seven touchdowns and 472 yards. The Rangers were led by Trey Cross, who had 282 yards and five TDs rushing and also returned a blocked extra point attempt for two points.
Greenwood (3-2) threw just seven passes, but two went for scores as the Rangers dropped Sweetwater’s record to 0-5.
Greenwood — generally considered the pre-district favorite — shares the early lead with Monahans and Fort Stockton after Friday’s win but it wasn’t as easy vs. Sweetwater as the final score would indicate.
Despite bad luck when Greenwood took a 10-point lead (16-6) by blocking a PAT kick and scoring on the return, Sweetwater scored on its next two possessions to stay right on the Rangers’ heels — first on a 20-yard pass from QB Leo Holsey to receiver Daiman Atkins and then on a 38-yard Kei’Arriyen Griffin run with 1:15 left in the half — to cut Greenwood’s lead to 23-20 after Holsey then threw to Tony Padilla for two points.
Sweetwater’s first score — they all came in the second quarter after the Rangers took a 14-0 lead in the first — came on Alex Gallegos’ 2-yard run. It was set up by several pass completions by Holsey, the freshman who was 14-of-19 for 120 yards. Gallegos also ran for over 100 yards to complement the passing game, but Greenwood held the Mustangs in check the second half and the Rangers were also helped by turnovers.
"The first half we played like we know we can and what we see in practice," coach Ben McGehee said. "We had a slow start the second half and they scored and it snowballed on us. We also had some turnovers. But we made positive strides. We need to put together two good halves and if we do, we'll be a really good team.
"We'll have a week off to rest and heal up and then start working hard again."
Sweetwater gets an open date this weekend before hosting Lamesa in its next game on Oct. 12, which will be Sweetwater's homecoming.

Pictured: Mustang quarterback Leo Holsey
Photo courtesy of James Durbin/Midland Reporter-Telegram