The Minarets Mustangs (2-6, 1-3 WSL) took a step backwards last week as they fell to the Fowler Red Cats (3-5, 2-2) 61-7. The two teams traded possessions to start the game but Fowler soon found the Achilles heel of the Mustangs its pass defense. Fowler quarterback James Silva found open receivers throughout the game.
A combination of missed tackles and failed assignments had the Mustangs behind 40-6 at the half. The lone score for the Mustangs came on a eight-yard run by Kyle Reed and PAT by Chance Carter.
The Mustangs running game was less than average with just 108 yards on the evening. Junior Zak Clayton, returning from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for two weeks, gained 75 yards on eight carries. Mitch Pritchett and Angel Saenz combined for 25 yards on 13 carries. The Mustangs were unable to sustain much of an offense drive due to the heavy rush by the Red Cats.
Mustang quarterback Keenan Reardon, was under heavy pressure throughout the game, completing nine of 16 passes for 89 yards and finding himself on his back following nearly every attempt. Even when rolling out of the pocket, the Red Cats had two or more defenders in his face as he attempted to throw. He was sacked four times in the game for a loss of 23 yards.
Coming out of the break the Mustangs started a drive on their own 35 and drove to the Fowler 20. What appeared to be a 25-yard completion from Reardon to Pritchett to the Fowler 20 was called an interception after the ball was wrestled from Pritchett as he was on the ground.
Although the Mustang defense played better in the second half, Fowler out played Minarets in almost every facet of the game.
"We had a rough night Friday," said coach Bob Kelly. "We're still learning and getting better, but most people couldn't see it against Fowler. We played badly in all phases of the game and Fowler is the kind of team that will make your pay for any mistakes. We had at least six turnovers in special teams and offense and Fowler turned those into touchdowns."
Kelly said Clayton was a bright spot on offense and Matt (Niblett) played well on defense.
"As head coach, I bear full responsibility for the performance of our team on Friday," Kelly continued. "I thought we were ready and we weren't as prepared as I thought we were. Whenever describing the state of or team, I try to always include myself by using the word 'We' instead of 'I' or 'they.' We are together until the end in my mind. However as a coach, I have already started working to make sure we finish the year in a stronger manner and I hope we play better in the two games we have left."
The Mustangs travel to Parlier (3-5, 0-2) Friday.
The team has scored 163 points through eight games this season while giving up 305.The Panthers lost to Parlier by one point last week, on a blocked extra point as time expired in the game.
J.V.'s play at 5:00, Varsity kicks off at 7:30.
The Mustangs JV squad, loosing running back Luke Tovar in the first quarter to a dislocated knee, lost to Fowler 44-6.
West Sequoia League
Caruthers 3 0
Fowler 2 0
Minarets 1 2
Parlier 0 2
Riverdale 0 2