The Minarets Mustangs (0-5) traveled to Orosi (2-3) last Friday and were handed a 55-30 loss by the Cardinals.
The Mustangs had their best offensive game of the season but took a step back on the defensive side of the ball. With the score tied 14-14, the Cardinals converted on the 4th and 14 from their own 40 yard line with a 35 yard completion from quarterback, Daniel Torres, to his favorite target, 6-foot-2 Martin Gonzales. From there, the Cardinals pushed the ball in after being stopped three consecutive times inside the Mustangs five yard line, to go up 22-14 after a successful two-point conversion.
The Mustangs defense surrendered 15 points in the final 40 seconds of play as the second quarter came to a close.
The third quarter started with a fumble by Minarets quarterback Keenan Reardon on the Cardinals 35 yard line, the result of the defensive player hitting his arm from behind as he went to pitch the ball to running back Zach Armus. The turnover led to a one play score by Orosi as again Torres hit receiver Gonzales . The PAT was good and Orosi went to the half leading 30-14.
The Cardinals made adjustments at the half and put the game away early in the third, running the trap and controlling the clock.
After a quick touchdown by a Orosi to go up 8-0, the Mustangs answered back with a touchdown by running back Angel Saenz following an impressive drive which started from the Orosi 35 yard line.
A combination of runs featuring three of the Mustangs running backs, Saenz, Armus and Andru Alvarez and a couple QB keepers from Reardon brought Minarets to within one, after a successful PAT by Jake Corchine.
Orosi took the following kickoff to midfield, where they started to drive that ended in with a fourth and 5 from the Mustang 6 yard line. That's when the Cardinals lined up a field goal but pitched the ball to a pulling tight end and ran the ball in for a touchdown. The PAT was wide and Cardinals were up 14-7.
After the kick-off, the Mustang mounted possibly their best drive of the season, a combination of passes by Reardon (5 of 5 for 49 yards in the fist half) and some key runs by the backfield. Reardon scored after extending the ball across the goal line as he was driven out of bounds by two Cardinal defenders at the goal line.
Senior Corchine scored on a 82 yard trap, while Armus scored on a 6 yard carry, followed by a standing backflip in the end zone.
In the end it was the Mustang's inability to capitalize on opportunities, including several dropped passes or missed blocks, often ending scoring opportunities. The Mustangs ended the game with 284 yards on the ground while Reardon and was 5 of 9 for 61 yards.
On the defense of side of the ball, senior Cooper Manley and Corchine each recovered fumbles for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs travel to Caruthers (1-4) Friday to take on the Blue Raiders. On paper the teams look similar with the Mustangs scoring 30 more points on the season but surrendering 65 more points on defense then the Blue Raiders.
The two teams have one common opponent on the season, the Sierra Chieftains. Minarets lost 45-9 in their first game of the season to Sierra, while Caruthers lost 34-0. Last year Caruthers blew out the Mustangs in the last game of the season.
JVs win 28-14
The Mustangs JV team beat Orosi with their second consecutive win of the season, 28-14. .
Quarterback Justin Black to wide-out Mason Ellis combined for two scores, while freshman Hayden Alford pulled down a 35 yard fade pass for a score.
Minarets would score one more time on the evening to put the game away with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Outstanding defense was the story in this game, as Coach Cordle prepared heavily in preparation of stopping Orosi's running game.