The Minarets Mustangs (0-3) football team traveled to Avenal (3-0), in search of their first win of the season, but from the opening kick-off, Avenal controlled the game for a 38-7 victory.
An opening 12-play drive put the Buccaneers up 6-0 after a failed PAT.
On the ensuing kickoff Avenal recovered their own on-side kick and took over at mid-field. They went on to score after a promising goal line stand by the Mustangs. another failed PAT put the score at 12-0 before Minarets had touched the ball. The Buccaneers scored 20 unanswered points in the opening quarter.
Another on-side kick gave Avenal the ball at midfield to start the second quarter, and the Buccaneers would go on to score behind great blocking by their line which outsized the Mustangs. Avenal took a 26-0 lead into the locker room at half.
The Mustangs moved the ball at times but were unable to sustain drives due to a few costly penalties and the Buccaneers stacking the inside with as many as nine players in an attempt to stop the Mustangs running game.
The Buccaneers held Minarets to 70 yards on the ground. Kyle Reed led the team in yardage with 23. The passing game didn't fair much better as quarterback Keenan Reardon was 3 of 8 for 23 yards. .
The kick-off return game, which had been a strength for the Mustangs this season, was non existent. Avenal used the on-side kick to perfection as they eliminated the Mustangs return game.
Zack Clayton was held to one return for 10 yards. The Mustangs did score in the fourth quarter on a Reardon to Mason Ellis connection from 20 yards out. The talented sophomore made a circus catch in the end zone after tipping the ball twice. Avenal would go on to add 12 more points for the 38-7 victory.
Head coach Bob Kelly said his team took a step backwards against Avenal.
"We had a good week of practice, but we weren't ready to play when we got to Avenal," Kelly said. "It was the opposite of what happened at Immanuel. We'd had a roller coaster week of practice and hit the ground running and had a good chance to win that game especially in the first half. The responsibility falls on all of us coaches and players and we'll work starting on Monday to make sure we have a good week of practice and that we translate that into the game on Friday. We're're still learning football. As we've been saying all along, we have the players, it's just a matter of learning to have faith in our techniques and in our teammates. Once we learn that, we'll have a good chance against anybody on our schedule."
The Mustangs JV squad lost to Avenal 42-12. The young Buccaneers did their homework, containing freshman running back Luke Tovar throughout most of the game.
The Mustangs travel to Farmersville (3-1) Friday to face quarterback Sam Metcalf, who has shown pin point accuracy throughout this season, and is arguably one of the premier quarterbacks in the valley. Metcalf spreads the ball around well, throwing to his backs and wideouts, and Aztecs are a favorite to win the West Sequoia league this season. Varsity kicks off at 7:30 p.m JV 5 p.m.