The Staley Mustangs 8th Grade Blue Team started their season off last night against the Clark Cougars. It was a nail biter. Staley kicked off and held Clark in the first series to get the ball. The Mustangs then proceeded to drive down the field, with a strong running game, and put the first points on the board. The Staley Mustangs led 8-0, midway through the first quarter. However, Clark proved they were quite proficient throwing the ball. After several completed passes, the Cougars also put points on the board, making it 8 all at the beginning of the second quarter. The Staley fans stood up and cheered when the kick off was returned 60 yards by #21 for a Staley touchdown. The Staley Mustangs had the lead 16-8. The Mustangs were fired up. Staley's #11 sacked the Cougar quarterback on consecutive plays for huge losses, setting up the Mustangs to get the ball back. The Mustangs #21 had some great blocking, and on second down he broke tackles and rocketed down the near sideline 50 yards for the score. A BIG score as the Mustangs went up 24-8 with 3:30 left in the half. But the Cougars answered with thier passing game, and threw a long pass to close the gap, and the Mustangs led 24-16 heading to half time.
The second half did not start off great for the Staley Mustangs, as a high, short kick was bobbled and fumbled, and the Cougars recovered. Setting them up at the 45 yard line. Once again, the Cougars relied on their strong passing game to drive down the field and put some points on the board. The Mustangs were able to block the kick, which proved to be crucial. The Mustang retained a slim lead 24-22 about halfway through the third quarter. The game was on, anybody's to win. The Staley fans were on the edge of their seats as the Clark Cougars defense stopped the Mustangs and forced a punt. But Staley's defense answered! Under great pressure from Staley's #52 and #72, the Cougar quarterback threw the ball. Staley's #23 and the Clark receiver both went for the ball, and the Mustang came up with a much needed interception. The Staley fans roared as #23 made a HUGE play, giving the Mustangs the ball, and most importantly a chance to score and increase their lead over the Cougars. The Mustangs set up shop on their own 40 yard line, and did what they do best: run the ball. On second down #21, ran the ball 45 yards for another Staley touchdown. Another perfect kick by #41, and the Mustangs took a ten point lead: 32-22 one minute into the fourth quarter.
Once again, the Mustangs were fired up, the defense put pressure on the quarterback, setting up fourth and long. However, the Cougars proved to be worthy opponents not going down without a fight. The Clark quarterback connected with his receiver, giving them a new set of downs. Two plays later, the Cougar quarterback ran the ball 30 yards for the a score. With just over three and half minutes left, the Mustangs retained a very narrow lead 32-30. Now it was time for the Mustangs to stay strong, play tough and play smart. The Cougars still had all their time outs, so the Mustangs needed to keep the ball, and make some first downs to eat up the clock. Strong running by #21 and #42 gave the Mustangs the much need first down with 1:41 left to play. However, the Mustang fans hearts skipped a beat, when on second down, the ball was fumbled. Luckily, the Mustangs moved quickly and recovered the ball. Third down and nineteen seconds left, the Mustangs took a knee and ran out the clock to preserve a 32-30 win over the Clark Cougars.
It was a nail biter! However, when push came to shove, the Mustangs buckled down and show their character. The defense played tough when needed. Great blocking made the running game spectacular, and the offensive line proved to be strong, especially at the end of the game with it all on the line. A fantastic win for the Staley Mustangs!! Awesome job boys!!
Here are some images of the game.