By Tom Curtis
Daily Light contributor
GODLEY — What began as a defensive struggle turned into a scorefest in the second half between Godley and Waxahachie Life with Life coming out on the short end of it, 50-27. The two teams combined for 59 points after intermission.
It was as though the lethargy of the off-season purged itself at halftime as the two teams came out in the second half in midseason form.
But while Life was able to move the ball better at that point, the Mustangs also committed the most errors, fumbling the ball away five times. They also threw a late interception. Godley was able to turn two of the fumbles into touchdowns, one directly and the other setting up another score. The Wildcats, meanwhile, had no turnovers.
Though he scored only one touchdown, Kolby Bartlett led the Godley charge, rushing 31 times for 201 yards. He left the game midway in the fourth quarter.
Both teams passed a lot. Bartlett’s teammate, quarterback Caden Burke, a senior, was 15-32-0 for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Godley led, 15-3, at halftime. Life, though, threatened to make a game of it when the Mustangs took the opening kickoff and promptly marched 67 yards in five plays with Elyjah Berry getting the last six. It pulled the Mustangs to within five, 15-10, after Kennedy Hartman’s extra point.
Moments later, after stopping Godley on fourth down, Life was on the move again. The Mustangs began moving the ball after a quarterback change late in first half when Justin Tims’ number was called. The junior began connecting on quick swing passes to his left, usually near or behind the line of scrimmage to Chris Gillespie. The senior was able to convert these into long gains and first downs down the left sideline. Teammate Detyrian McCoy also contributed with a 31-yard reception near the opposite side to the 6-yard line. This led to the Mustangs’ first touchdown by Berry a play later.
The Mustangs’ momentum, however, was abruptly stopped when they were at their 46-yard line. Disaster struck. Tims fumbled as he was sacked by Braden Barack leading a blitz. Daniel Porras scooped up the loose pigskin bouncing towards the Life goal line and returned it about 15 yards to the 9. Three plays later, big Collin Black bulled his way up the middle for a two-yard touchdown and a 22-10 Godley lead with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter. It would be the first of two touchdowns by Black from the same distance.
In the first half after a scoreless first quarter, Isacc Paniagua would also sack the quarterback, strip him of the ball, and return it 11 yards for a Godley touchdown. It gave the Wildcats a 15-0 lead midway in the second quarter after a conversion run by Black. Kaden Mayfield was the Mustang starting quarterback at the time, but he would return late in the third quarter to lead his team to a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Tims and Mayfield each threw for a touchdown.
But as they would do throughout the remainder of the game, whenever Life scored some points, the Wildcats, it seemed, would reply with a score of their own.
Hartman was good on a pair of 27-yard field goals.
Most of Life’s yardage was through the air. Gillespie had nine receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Teammate McCoy had 6 catches for 103 yards. Tims was 13-21-0 for 183 yards. Mayfield was 9-18-1 for 91 yards as the two quarterbacks alternated.
Both teams are in Class 4A. Life is in Division I while Godley is in Division II.