Mustangs visit Vipers tonight
October 18, 2013, 7:14 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Vandegrift’s Vipers have already turned the corner in building their football program.
The Vipers are 3-0 in District 25-4A play for the first time and will hold their homecoming court Friday night when the Marble Falls Mustangs visit Monroe Stadium.
Vandegrift is 6-1 overall and have something in common with other frontrunners in the district that was 13-3 in playoff games a year ago.
Marble Falls is 2-4 and 0-2 and looking to turn the corner to prosperity on the season.
Since getting nudged out last year with a 3-3 mark and late losses to Cedar Park and Rouse, the Vipers have been a solid squad on a mission.
In just their fourth year as a varsity program, the Vipers have used a strong run game and a stingy defense to dominate.
Only two of their games have been close, a 36-29 win over Killeen in Week 2 and a 28-21 win over Vista Ridge. The one loss by Vandegrift was a 49-14 blowout loss to Pflugerville Hendrickson, a squard that has three wins against District 25-4A teams.
Marble Falls and Vandegrift meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday after both have had different paths in district.
The Mustangs have lost to Cedar Park and Rouse. Vandegrift has beaten a pair of 2-5 squads in Drippings Springs and Leander in its last two games.
"If we play like we did that last half against Cedar Park, we can play with anybody,’’ Marble Falls senior running back Keith Jerome said.
Jerome has 92 carries for 589 yards rushing and has 11 rushing touchdowns. He’s averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has a season long of 74 yards.
Jerome said he’d love more carries, but he’s willing to help any way he can.
"That’s up to coach,’’ Jerome said. "The last game, I was needed to protect the quarterback that’s what I’ll do.’’
Jerome will be a big part of the Mustangs attack this week against a 3-4 alignment by the Vipers.
The top defenders for the Vipers are linebacker Jason Lanthier (33 solo tackles), end Sammy Zugg (24 solo tackles, 10 for loss), Elliott Byrd (34 solo tackles) and safety Tristian Prukop (25 solo tackles, interception).
Quarterback Jamie Hudson is Vandegrift’s top rusher with 660 yards on 92 carries and eight touchdowns. Hudson has completed 29 of 67 passes for 626 yards and sven touchdowns. He has thrown two interceptions.
Marble Falls Brennen Wooten has thrown for 1,859 yards (144 of 229) with 19 touchdowns and three picks.
Garrett Gray and J.T. Watson pace the Mustangs offense, combining for 79 catches for 1,145 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Mustangs will be without Carson Bowen, who went down with a knee injury last week. The void left by Bowen has made the coaches scramble the lineup.
The Mustangs have used several players in dual roles, especially on defense where the Mustangs have allowed 494 yards per game. The Mustangs offense has generated 448 yards per game.
Vandegrift blistered the Mustangs last year. 37-7, at Marble Falls.
This week marks the third straight homecoming game the Mustangs have had on the schedule.
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