SHALLOWATER — After 212 yards and four touchdowns in the first half Friday against Muleshoe, what else did Shallowater running back Jarek Black need to do?
“Just keep running,” Black said after the game.
Sounds simple enough, and Black made it look easy.
Black, a junior, scored three more touchdowns in the second half as Shallowater overpowered Muleshoe 56-40 at Todd Field in both teams’ season operner.
Black scored on touchdown runs of 21, 37, 50, 69, 3, 20 and 52. He also intercepted a pass on defense.
“He was a man tonight,” Shallowater coach Kyle Maxfield said. “He’s just special. We got to get better as a team. We can’t rely on one guy, but he had a special night tonight.”
Black finished with 18 carries for a Madden-esque 311 yards, including two scores on his first three carries as the Mustangs jumped out to a 28-12 by halftime.
“Well I think he’s your Ford Built Tough player of the week,” Muleshoe coach David Wood said.
Black gashed the Muleshoe defense up the middle, then turned on the jets as he would outrun cornerbacks down the sideline.
“Our line did everything they could and picked up every single block,” Black said. “The outcome was obvious.”
The Mules made things interesting when they cut a 28-12 halftime deficit to 28-25, the latter score coming on a 49-yard strike down the middle from Caleb Wood to Austin Ross.
But the Mustangs had an answer.
Then after three running plays, Shallowater quarterback Conner Fields took advantage of Black’s rushing prowess and faked a handoff.
He found Jaleel Campbell in single coverage, and Campbell ran 53 yards for a touchdown.
“The run just opened up for Jaleel Campbell on that touchdown pass,” Black said. “Once they start keying and once we start banging it in there on the run, the pass will open up.”
Field finished 2-for-5 passing with 89 yards, not needing to air it out.
After Campbell scored, Muleshoe quarterback Caleb Wood fumbled the Mule’s next play, and Black would add his fifth score. Fifteen seconds later, the Mules muffed the ensuing kickoff and Black powered in for his sixth touchdown, putting the game out of reach.
“There’s ups and downs in every ball game,” David Wood said. “We had our spurts and they had their spurts. One of the biggest ones was not converting on two differnt plays back to back (to end the first half). Then that would have put us in halftime with a little but of momentum.”
Muleshoe had two dropped passes in the end zone to end their final drive in the first half, which could have put the deficit at single digits.
Jr. Baca led Muleshoe with 21 carries for 132 yards, while Caleb Wood had an inauspicious start as Muleshoe’s starting quarterback.
Caleb Wood, coach David Wood’s son, went 18 for 40 for 315 yards, also throwing an interception. Caleb Wood threw three touchdowns and also scored on runs of 15 yards and 1 yard.
Muleshoe’s Austin Ross led all players with 125 receiving yards on five catches.
Fittingly, the interception was thrown to Black.
“We need to figure our what he did to us to exploit us so bad,” David Wood said. “I don’t want to take anything away from him, he’s a great football player. Sadly to say, we got to play him again next year.”
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Shallowater 56, MULESHOE 40
Muleshoe 6 6 13 13 — 40
Shallowater 14 14 21 8 — 56
SHA — Jarek Black 21 run (Luke Stutler kick); 8:54
SHA — Black 37 run (Stutler kick); 7:06
MUL — Matthew Barron 5 pass from Caleb Wood (PAT failed); 3:20
SHA — Black 50 run (Stutler kick); 10:53
SHA — Black 69 run (Stutler kick); 9:01
MUL — Ray Martinez 21 run (run failed); 6:38
MUL — Martinez 29 pass from Wood (run failed); 8:29
MUL — Austin Ross 49 pass from Wood (Ignacio Elezalde kick); 4:20
SHA — Jaleel Campbell 53 pass from Conner Fields (Stutler kick); 2:31
SHA — Black 3 run (kick failed); 0:45
SHA — Black 20 run (Black run); 0:31
SHA — Black 52 run (Black run); 9:48
MUL — Wood 15 run (Elezalde kick) ; 7:34
MUL — Wood 1 run (Baca run); 0:58
First downs 15 24
Rushes-yards 38-346 37-249
Passing yards 89 315
Comp.-att.-int. 2-5-0 18-40-1
Punts-avg. 4-37 4-35.25
Fumbles-lost 4-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 9-55 4-24
RUSHING: Muleshoe, Jr. Baca 21-132, Caleb Wood 12-47, Ray Martinez 2-25, Joel Regalado 1-10; Shallowater, Jarek Black 18-311, Kade Willis 4-34, Phillip Martinez 1-9, Tyler Sturdivant 2-0, Luke Stutler 1-(-2), Conner Fields 12-(-8).
PASSING: Mulseshoe, Wood 18-40-1—315; Shallowater, Conner Fields 2-5-0—89
RECEIVING: Muleshoe, Austin Ross 5-125, Martinez 4-69, Matthew Barron 4-81, Chris Lozano 2-27, Baca 2-14, Saul Sanchez 1-12, Xavier Reyes 1-0 ; Shallowater, Jaleel Campbell 1-53, Landon McLellan 1-36