Mules dominate lions, look to Washburn

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By STEVEN SPEARS
Managing Editor

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — The Mules are looking to repeat last week’s domination of Missouri Southern as they face Washburn homecoming weekend.

Coming off a two-game losing streak that started with a loss to Emporia State in week four, Central wasted no time getting back on track.

The Mules blew past Nebraska-Kearney in a 36-16 win at home and went on to face Missouri Southern in a one-sided competition that saw Central earn 672 yards of total offense on their way to a 56-7 victory.

Mules head coach Jim Svoboda said it’s always gratifying when you have a game like the one against Missouri Southern where everything seems to fall into place.

“Last Saturday was one of those games where we played really well on both sides of the ball,” Svoboda said. “And that’s what you strive for. More often than not you have to really fight to get those wins and play all four quarters to do it.”

Although Svoboda and the Mules don’t take this season’s loses lightly, they’ve brushed them off and set their sights on the upcoming schedule. Svoboda said he feels good about how the team has played so far this season.

“We’ve had a couple of tough losses but we’ve also, arguably, played the toughest first five games of the season as anybody has in the country,” he said. “When we play well and we don’t have self-inflicted wounds we’re a really good football team.”

Looking ahead to this week’s matchup against Washburn (5-2, 5-2), Central is focusing on improving efficiency and productivity.

“We’ve had a good mix of run and pass on offense and when we can do that – establish the run – our play action pass is very difficult to defend,” Svoboda said. “We really try to focus on how we’re executing, we try to focus on measuring up to our own standards and then playing well on Saturday.”

The Mules bested the Ichabods 38-28 in their last meeting, racking up 463 yards of total offense with quarterback Garrett Fugate rushing for three touchdowns and connecting with tight end Ian Toalson for another.

Svoboda said the Mules have struggled with turnovers in a couple of games this season. With Washburn’s third-ranked defense having forced 18 turnovers, while tallying 52 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in seven games, Central has a lot to contend with.

“They’re a physical team,” Svoboda said. “We have to match their physicality. That’s kind of their moniker. They have a big offensive and defensive line and they want to establish the run, so we have to make sure that we’re good on first down.”

The Mules take on Washburn at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Walton Stadium/Kennedy Field in the annual UCM Homecoming game.