Gainesville Daily Register
Mineral Wells —
In a game to be remembered for its frosty conditions, defensive stands and back and forth play, the Muenster Hornets came up just short of securing what they set out to earn Monday: a berth to the Class A
state semifinal game.
After gaining a lead in the final minutes of the third quarter, MHS (12-1) could not hang on, allowing two late scores en route to a 20-13 loss to Albany in their playoff game at Mineral Wells.
The defeat was Muenster’s first loss of the season.
With ice still very much present on the ground – host Mineral Wells ISD was still shut down because of it – scoring was at a premium for both teams. The Hornets and Bears failed to put any points on the board until late in the first quarter, when Drew Neece gave AHS a 6-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run.
The scoring struggles continued after that. Each team had difficulties sustaining drives, with the Hornets going one-for nine and the Bears going three-for-fourteen on third down. Albany rebounded well from those missed opportunities, converting on five of six fourth down plays.
The Hornets found life early in the second half. MHS drove down the field on its first possession of the half, and tied the contest at six when Kyle Klement scored on a nine-yard rushing touchdown.
Following another quiet stretch for most of the third quarter, it was the Hornets passing game that elevated Muenster. Freshman quarterback Blayne Jones connected with Cole Walterscheid on a 22-yard touchdown pass – the ninth time the pair had connected for a touchdown since Jones took over at quarterback six weeks ago against Munday. Chance Herr made the first extra point of the game, and MHS looked poised to stay ahead with a 13-6 lead.
But it took just 13 seconds for that hard earned lead to dissapear.
Caleb Masters brought Albany back into the game on the next play of scrimmage, running 53 yards for a touchdown with 1:35 left in the third.
The pendulum continued to swing in Albany’s favor early in the fourth.
The Bears got the ball back less than three minutes after scoring, and Masters once again got the best of the Hornet defense. Masters scored the longest and last touchdown of the game, putting Albany ahead 20-13 on a 59-yard run with 11:29 left in the fourth.
Masters finished with 161 yards on 23 attempts – without the two long scoring runs, he had 21 attempts for 49 yards.
An offensive stalemate followed, and the Hornets watched their season end after failing to respond with a score.
Albany did all it could to keep the Hornets off the field, keeping possession for 30:22 out of the game’s 48 minutes. MHS was held to just eight first downs, while the Bears earned 17.
Klement provided a spark for MHS in the running game, leading the team with 88 yards on 11 carries. Mason Binder has 35 yards on eight carries, Clint Sidwell had 10 yards on eight carries and Dalton Bartel ran the ball once for seven yards.
Jones finished just one for nine, with his lone completion coming on the 22-yard touchdown to Walterscheid. He threw one interception.
Muenster was penalized four times for thirty yards.