Mus­tangs Tackle Marsh­field

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 47 YEARS, MUS­TANGS WIN FIRST TWO GAMES

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rick Peck

The year was 1970. The num­ber one song was “Bridge Over Trou­bled Wa­ters” by Si­mon and Gar­funkel. The high­est gross­ing movie was “Love Story.” The top TV show was “Mar­cus Welby, M.D.” Also in 1970, the McDon­ald County High School foot­ball team started the sea­son by win­ning its first two games. Not since that year — un­til McDon­ald County’s 14-7 win over Marsh­field on Fri­day night at MCHS — had an­other Mus­tangs team won its first two games of the sea­son.

The year was 1970. The num­ber one song was “Bridge Over Trou­bled Wa­ters” by Si­mon and Gar­funkel. The high­est gross­ing movie was “Love Story.” The top TV show was “Mar­cus Welby, M.D.”

Also in 1970, the McDon­ald County High School foot­ball team started the sea­son by win­ning its first two games.

Not since that year — un­til McDon­ald County’s 14-7 win over Marsh­field on Fri­day night at MCHS — had an­other Mus­tangs team won its first two games of the sea­son.

McDon­ald County used a sim­i­lar for­mula of a stout de­fense and a power run­ning game that

“I love to see all those Mus­tang hats fly­ing to the ball. It is fun to watch from the side­line how our kids run to the ball. If one kid does miss a tackle, there are two or three oth­ers to clean it up. You have to gang tackle and our kids are do­ing that re­ally well.”

high­lighted the Mus­tangs’ open­ing week win over Salem. But the Mus­tangs had to over­come some fourth-quar­ter ad­ver­sity af­ter mak­ing sev­eral mis­takes in the fi­nal nine min­utes of the game.

“First of all, the de­fense played lights out,” said coach Kellen Hoover. “Two weeks in a row they have showed up and played ex­tremely well the en­tire game. We are go­ing to con­tinue to lean on them be­cause I think win­ning foot­ball is great de­fense and be­ing able to run the foot­ball. That’s what we are try­ing to get to. I am not say­ing we are per­fect at it yet. It is a process that we are slowly try­ing to im­ple­ment. The kids are buy­ing into how we want to play and are do­ing a great job with it.”

McDon­ald County held Marsh­field to 193 to­tal yards (35 in the first half), in­clud­ing just 68 on the ground.

“I love to see all those Mus­tang hats fly­ing to the ball,” Hoover said. “It is fun to watch from the side­line how our kids run to the ball. If one kid does miss a tackle, there are two or three oth­ers to clean it up. You have to gang tackle and our kids are do­ing that re­ally well.”

The teams traded punts for all of the first quar­ter and to start the sec­ond be­fore McDon­ald County opened the scor­ing with a 10-play, 53-yard drive capped by Is­r­rael De San­ti­ago’s five­yard touch­down run. Dy­lan Al­li­son booted the first of his two PATs to give McDon­ald County a 7-0 lead with 4:55 left in the first half.

The Mus­tangs’ sec­ond touch­down came just a minute and 13 sec­onds later, when De San­ti­ago scored from eight yards out.

The short scor­ing drive was set up by David Roark in­ter­cep­tion of a ball tipped by Cole DelosSan­tos that gave McDon­ald County the ball on the Blue Jays 19-yard line.

De San­ti­ago fin­ished with 113 yards on 25 car­ries while Pey­ton Bar­ton added 48

— Kellen Hoover

Mus­tangs Foot­ball Coach

yards on nine car­ries, Oak­ley Roessler had 43 yards on 10 car­ries and Tim­ber Teague had eight yards on six car­ries as the Mus­tangs fin­ished with 212 yards on the ground.

“We are try­ing to stick with what we are good at on of­fense,” Hoover said. “We spread it out a lit­tle bit more tonight and Pey­ton did a good job of read­ing the de­fense. He kept the ball when the de­fense dic­tated and picked up some good yards. When push comes to shove, we are go­ing to turn around and hand it to Izzy (De San­ti­ago) or Oak­ley (Roessler) and say ‘we are go­ing to lean on you.’”

Marsh­field took ad­van­tage of a pass-in­ter­fer­ence penalty to put to­gether its best drive so far to start the sec­ond half.

The Blue Jays started on their own 29-yard line af­ter an in­ter­cep­tion and moved to the McDon­ald County 31 be­fore the Mus­tangs held on fourth and six with 4:16 left in the third quar­ter.

McDon­ald County then launched what ap­peared to be a clinch­ing drive, us­ing al­most eight min­utes and 16 plays to move the ball to the Marsh­field 12-yard line. But a botched ex­change led to a Blue Jays fum­ble re­cov­ery with 8:43 left in the game.

It took the Blue Jays just six plays to march 88 yards, capped by a 14-yard touch­down run by Ja­son Whit­ting­ton, to cut the lead to 14-7. A rough­ing-the-passer penalty and a per­sonal foul against the Mus­tangs ac­counted for 30 of those yards.

But the Mus­tangs de­fense answered the call for the rest of game, in­clud­ing af­ter McDon­ald County fum­bled on its first play from scrim­mage fol­low­ing Marsh­field’s touch­down.

Helped out by a pair of hold­ing penal­ties, the Mus­tangs de­fense pushed the Blue Jays back from mid­field to the McDon­ald County 11-yard line be­fore the Mus­tangs took over on their own 43-yard line.

McDon­ald County ap­peared to have picked up a first down on fourth and one in an at­tempt to run out the clock, but an il­le­gal=pro­ce­dure penalty forced the punt. Bar­ton’s 46-yard ef­fort pinned Marsh­field back to their own seven-yard line with 3:04 left in the game.

The Blue Jays were able to move into Mus­tangs ter­ri­tory in the fi­nal minute, aided by a 42-yard pass play on fourth and 20 with 1:13 left, but four con­sec­u­tive in­com­plete passes gave the ball back to McDon­ald County with 28 sec­onds left.

“There were three or four plays you can look back at and say ‘what hap­pened there,’ but I think in a cou­ple cases it was kids try­ing to do too much,” Hoover said. “I think they were try­ing to make that ex­tra play when we re­ally just need to do our jobs. If we can just ma­tric­u­late the ball down the field then we put to­gether a win­ning drive. In­stead we tried to do too much and it cost us a few times. We had to lean on our de­fense and what was cool about it was a cou­ple of the kids who made mis­takes had to turn around and play de­fense. I was re­ally proud of how they re­acted. Their heads were up and the kids around them were pick­ing them up and telling them ‘we’re fine — next play’ and that was cool to see them come to­gether af­ter those plays.”

DelosSan­tos fin­ished with 10 tack­les and De San­ti­ago had nine and David Roark seven to lead the tackle charts. El­liott Wolfe and Trey Black both had two quar­ter­back hur­ries. Caleb Cur­tis, Kennedy Hod­son and Roessler had three pass de­flec­tions.

Bar­ton threw for 41 yards on four-of-11 ac­cu­racy. DelosSan­tos caught two passes for 23 yards while Micah Burkholder and Roessler both had one catch for nine yards.

The Mus­tangs travel to Seneca on Fri­day night in a bat­tle of un­beaten teams in both teams’ Big 8 Con­fer­ence open­ers. Kick­off is set for 7 p.m.

RICK PECK/MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

McDon­ald County’s Cole DelosSan­tos (12) and Is­r­rael De San­ti­ago team up to bring down Marsh­field’s Brock Utecht for a loss dur­ing the Mus­tangs 14-7 win on Aug. 25 at MCHS.

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