The Minarets High Mustangs (0-1) hosted the Sierra Chieftains (1-0) last Friday in what is quickly becoming a spirited rivalry. The game was the inaugural "Dam Bowl," the prize, a cinder block that Sierra took home after its 31-7 win.
The Chieftains scored a touchdown in each of the four quarters and added a field goal in the final quarter to go up 31-0.
The Mustangs put together their best drive of the evening late in the fourth quarter, ending with a 20 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Keenan Reardon to receiver Cosmo Tracy in the corner of the end zone with one second showing on the clock. Kicker Chance Carter added the extra point for the final score. Reardon finished the game three for nine for 34 yards.
The Mustangs unveiled their new offense, running the fly 26 times for 112 yards, with the longest a 25-yard scamper up the middle by Zack Clayton. The junior lead the Mustangs with 52 yards. Senior Angel Saenz added 23 yards, with "Fly" runners, senior Sam Reyes contributing 12 and senior Kyle Reed adding another 18.
Reyes also led all kick returners with 39 yards, his best, a 30 yard return which gave the Mustangs the ball near mid field to begin the Mustangs scoring drive.
The Mustangs were able to move the ball but had trouble sustaining drive, while the Chieftains controlled the clock and the game with long drives in each quarter, going to the counter-run play time and time again. The Mustangs defense did a good job at shutting down the pass, surrendering just 41 yards through the air.
"Even though the score wasn't the way we wanted, Sierra deserved the win," said coach Bob Kelly. "Sierra's tough. Across the board offense, defense, special teams they were better than we were. We have a good group. We have the right kids to be successful. We just need to learn to have faith in our techniques and our teammates. Once we learn that, we'll see a huge jump in our overall play."
Kelly said the Immanuel Eagles will be a tough game as well.
"It'll be interesting to see how we handle going on the road," Kelly said "It'll be fun to see how much better we can get this week."
The team will be hard at work this week in preparing its defense for the Immanuel Eagles. The Eagles are 0-2 under coach Matt Armstrong but are not playing at full strength. The school added 150 new students after a media blitz this past summer.
Coach Bob Tovar's JV squad beat Sierra 7-3. The game ended with the Chieftains turning the ball over on downs at the Mustangs four-yard line.
"To close for comfort," said Tovar, adding how proud he was of his teams effort.
Luke Tovar scored the Mustangs only touchdown of the game on pitch pass from five yards out. He ended the game with 125 yards on the ground. Coach Tovar was pleased with freshman quarterback Luke Pritchett's play. The Mustangs missed two scoring opportunities, dropping one would be touchdown in the end zone and coming down with another ball just out of bounds.
The Mustangs travel to Reedley to take on the Eagles, (Immanuel home field is Reedley High) Friday. JV teams kick-off at 5 p.m. varsity game 7:30 p.m.