In a battle of two 0-3 teams, the Aztecs of Farmersville edged the Minarets Mustangs last Friday night 14-13.
The Mustangs were positioned to win their first varsity football game in the short history of the school after recovering one of the Aztecs seven fumbles on the night with just two minutes left in the game, trailing 14-7.
The Mustangs drove the ball from the Farmersville's 40 yard line for a touchdown on a two yard run by Angel Saenz, getting the Mustangs within one point of the Aztecs, 14--13 with 42 second left in the game.
The Mustangs decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win.
A handoff to running back Zack Armas was unsuccessful and Farmersville held on for the win.
The game had 11 turnovers between the two teams including a recovered fumble in the Farmersville endzone by the Mustangs Andru Alvarez, good for a Minarets touchdown.
The Mustangs had plenty of opportunities to score but Farmersville's defense rose to the occasion when they needed to. After sustaining a couple good Mustang offense drives, the Farmersville defense would stand pat in their own red zone. Four times the Mustangs were inside the Aztecs 15 yard line and came away empty.
Farmersville went up 8--0 in the first quarter and the second quarter came to a close with the Mustangs coughing up the ball at their own 5 yard line. Running back Armas was stripped of the ball making his up the middle. Farmersville wasted little time capitalizing on the Mustangs turnover, running the ball in and going up 14-0 at the half.
Junior quarterback Keenan Reardon was 5 for 17 for 75 yards in the game.
Armas ran the ball 14 times for 49 yards and Saenz had 24 hard fought yards on 10 carries.
After a season high 289 yards on the ground against Avenal the week before, the Aztecs held Reardon and Armas below their season averages with 49 yards each.
The Mustangs had one of their better defensive efforts of the season. Lineman Matt Niblett, 6-foot, 198 pounds, forced three turnovers on the night including an interception, and recovering his own forced fumble.
Junior Nolan Corippo brought the crowd to their feet recovering an Aztec fumble and returning it 74 yards to the Farmersville 12 yard line, but the Mustangs were unable to convert on the turnover.
Vince Domingo, Andrew Alvarez, Saenz, and Ben Nelson, along with Niblett, all recovered Aztec fumbles.
Niblett led the team with eight tackles to add to his season total of 34. The D line played with a intensity the team has been searching for this year. Senior Cooper Manley, at just 140 pounds, recorded four solo tackles and one sack.
Junior receiver Sam Reyes had two catches in the game, one for 30 yards. Reyes is quickly developing into the receiver Mustang coaches were hoping he would be. In only his second year of organized football, he is also playing some solid defense.He is averaging four tackles a game.
JV team wins 35-29
The Mustangs JV squad won their first game of the young season 35-20.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Black, for the second time this season, threw five touchdown passes. Four went to wideout Mason Ellis and one to Hayden Alford, all deep fade routes. Black has two games with nearly 300 yards in the air. Sophomore Justin McLeod rushed for 75 yards on 7 carries.
The Mustangs put together their best defensive game of the season holding Farmersville to just 8 points in the first half.
Mustangs travel to Orosi Friday
The Mustangs travel to a Orosi this Friday to take on coach Jay Smoljan's alma mater, the 2--2 Cardinals who are coming off a 24--21 loss to Woodlake last week. Smoljan's brother is on the Orosi coaching staff.
The Cardinals have a well-balanced offense averaging 320 yards rushing, and 175 yards through the air per game.
Contact Minarets High School for rooter bus information. JV game is at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity kicks-off at 7:30 p.m.