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Unbeaten Hughes Springs Has Blown Away the Competition

Fullback Michael Martinez leads an explosive Hughes Springs running game that’s been tearing up opposing defenses all season. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

Most undefeated football teams have battled through their fair share of adversity, escaping close calls and coming away with wins they probably shouldn’t have.

The Hughes Springs Mustangs aren’t one of them. The term “undefeated” doesn’t quite describe what the they’ve done to the opposition.

Following last week’s 70-20 playoff annihilation of Hearne, Hughes Springs (11-0) has outscored opponents by an average score of 49-10.

“I guess we’ve been pretty fortunate in that area,” Hughes Springs coach Chris Edwards said. “We really try to focus on doing our job and not what the score is. We just worry about how well we’re playing. That’s kind of been our philosophy. It’s worked out for us, obviously”

Only one team has played Hughes Springs close this season. Clarksville dropped a 28-21 decision to the Mustangs in the season opener.

And despite the one-sided outcomes, Edwards refuses to buy into the hype.

“We’re still finding things on film we can coach and get better at,” he said. “It’s an on-going process. As far as expectations go, I thought we’d be good but they’re probably playing better than I expected. And that comes from the kids buying what we’re selling.”

Hughes Springs’ M.O. has been its talented backfield, which goes five-deep with Michael Martinez, Kane Sampson, Chad McKinney, Fred Hopkins and Dustin Garamillo.

Martinez leads the team with 1,723 yards and 28 touchdowns. Sampson, McKinney, Hopkins and Garamillo have combined for 1,987 and 28 more TDs.

“We’ve got five kids that can handle the football and have a chance to score,” Edwards said. “Our workhorse is our fullback Martinez. He’s just one of those kids with great vision, he’s strong. He’s not overly fast, but he’s fast enough. He’s able to make really good cuts and he always gets two or three extra yards after contact.”

Edwards is quick to credit his offensive line, consisting of tackles Cameron Brewer and Kyre Lewis, guards Luis Dorantes and Josh Anton and center Kadarrian Chism.

“As a unit, they get after it,” Edwards said of his linemen. “We’re not huge; we’ve got one kid right at 300 pounds and he can move pretty well for a 300-pounder. The rest of them are 250, 240, 230 and 210. They can all move around and that helps lining up against a bigger kid. With our offense, you don’t always to have blow them off the ball, you just need a tie.”

Hughes Springs may finally be tested this week against state-ranked and unbeaten Centerville (11-0). Kickoff for the Class 2A Division II Region III semifinal is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Whitehouse’s Wildcat Stadium.

“It could be a nailbiter or a blowout either way depending on which team shows up,” Edwards said. “I think they’re going to show up, I think we will too and I think it’s going to be a war. All year we’ve talked about handling adversity when it comes to close games.”

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