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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 17 - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 17

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 7:52 pm

Andrews football coach Ralph Mason likes to have the Mustangs moving at high speed on offense.

High-scoring contests have become the norm in Mason’s eight years at the helm, but rarely has he seen a performance like the one wide receiver Markeese Lawrence put on Friday against Levelland.

Lawrence, a junior, caught 14 passes for 245 yards and five touchdowns in the Mustangs’ 44-19 victory against the Lobos.

Quarterback Brett Leach completed 39-of-53 passes for 417 yards and six touchdowns but truly was in sync with Lawrence on this evening.

“That’s one of the best individual performances we’ve had,” Mason said. “I think Devon Fitzgerald, in 2016, had one that was real similar.

“But it’s definitely the most catches and touchdowns by an individual. The way they were trying to cover him (Lawrence) left us some great opportunities and I don’t think it’s any secret the Markeese is Brett’s favorite target.”

Lawrence has 24 catches for 406 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. While he might be Leach’s favorite target, he’s not the senior quarterback’s only one as 13 different Mustangs have caught passes this season.

The Mustangs’ offense has been matched by its defense the past two weeks, allowing just 25 points, combined, in victories against Monahans and Levelland.

“Our defense is playing so much better,” Mason said. “We expected to be better, with the experience coming back, because this is the second year in a new system for these guys.

“We are a more aggressive-type defense and have really been enjoying it.”

Andrews travels to face winless Snyder Friday, in a game that will give Mason a chance for a second reunion this season.

The first came on Sept. 6 when the Mustangs defeated Monahans, which is coached by former Andrews assistant Fred Staugh.

Wes Wood, the quarterback for Muleshoe when it won the 2008 state championship with Mason as the offensive coordinator, is the new head coach at Snyder, which is 0-3.

“Wes is trying to get things installed; they’ve struggled a little bit,” Mason said. “It’s going to be fun to see him, like facing Fred at Monahans, where he’s had some injuries and is changing things up on offense from that they’ve done in the past.

“You have some emotions facing former coaches or players, but you have to think about yourself and your team, too.”

>> NOT CLOSE: Balmorhea and Garden City consistently field some of the best Class 1A (six-man) teams in the Permian Basin, if not the state.

That was true again last week as the schools prepared to meet in a nondistrict game at Balmorhea.

The host Bears, coached by Vance Jones, were second in the state, while the Bearkats, led by Jeff Jones, entered the matchup No. 8 in the polls.

Balmorhea (3-0) still is No. 2 in the rankings following a 68-22 thrashing of Garden City. The Bearkats dropped to No. 20 after suffering their first loss of the season.

>> HELPING HAND: With 23 schools playing each week around the area, it takes plenty of help to get the results and statistics reported in a timely manner.

One of the best in making sure the players get recognition is Melissa Hanna of the Iraan-Sheffield ISD.

Hanna has quickly provided the Braves’ results each of the first three weeks, in spite of the fact that Iraan has been on the losing side of the scoreboard each week and is struggling with lower numbers on the roster this year.

Thank you.

>> TOP MATCHUPS: Greenwood is traveling to Seminole for a 7 p.m. game Friday and the visiting Rangers are going to need to be very efficient when they have the football as the host Indians have proven to be stingy with the number of possession they allow opponents, given the downhill, between-the-hashes triple-option they run.

Fort Stockton is on the road in a meeting of undefeated teams when it faces San Angelo Lake View at 7 p.m. Friday at San Angelo Stadium. The Panthers have outscored their opponents 93-27 in the first three weeks, while the host Chiefs (3-0) have a 97-56 margin in their victories, two of which were at home.

Alpine (1-2), coming off back-to-back losses (Fort Stockton, Denver City), travels down the mountain to face Wink (1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Wildcat Field. The Fightin’ Bucks have scored just 18 points the past two weeks after a 55-point outburst in the season opener against Tornillo. Wink is 1-1 at home this season.

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