Mustangs edged by Parlier 27-26

Minarets will close-out season with Laton Friday

editorial@sierrastar.comNovember 5, 2013 

The Minarets Mustangs (2-7, 1-2) lost to the Parlier Panthers (4-5, 1-2) last Friday night 27-26.

A failed PAT and a dropped two- point conversion were the difference as the Mustangs came up short in a 27-26 loss. Things were looking good early in the game as Senior Connor Reid returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown, after the missed PAT, the Mustangs were in front 6-0.

The defense came to play and put the Panthers in a punting situation after three plays for little gain. This time it was special teams player, senior Sam Reyes, who returned the Parlier punt 44 yards to the Panther one yard line.

Quarterback Keenan Reardon would score his first of two touchdowns on the night, both quarterback keepers, and the Mustangs were up 12-0. Chance Carter added the PAT for a 13-0 lead three minutes into the game.

That would be all the Mustangs could muster in the first half as they struggled to sustain a drive. Penalties aided Parlier in the first half of play as the Mustangs were flagged on back to back drives. The Panthers answered with two lengthy drives, one just as the first half ended to go up 14-1.

The Mustang defense forced a Parlier turnover in the opening drive after the second half. Reyes had his second pick of the night to thwart a promising Parlier drive. The Mustangs took over following the turnover and took the lead on a 22 yard touchdown run by Zak Clayton. The junior finished the game with 84 yards on 14 carries.

Up 19-14, QB Reardon had trouble with the PAT snap, rolling out to his left, he threw to the a wide open receiver, who had the same problem as the quarterback, he too couldn't handle the ball — the missed opportunities would cost Minarets a win.

Parlier wasted little time in scoring, a blown coverage play resulted in the Panthers next score. From 40 yards out, facing third and nine, Parlier QB Jerry Arredondo hit a wide open receiver at the Minarets 10 yard line where he walked in for the score. Following the PAT, the game was tied 19-19 going into the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs would answer with one of their most impressive drives of the season, driving 80 yards, with a combination of running and passing plays, the last a 22- yard pass to Reyes at the one yard line. Reardon scored on the next play to put the Mustangs up 25-19.

Carter's PAT gave the Mustangs a seven point lead with six minutes to play.

Parlier took to the air and found open receivers and a tiring defense, as they drove 64 yards for a score. Trailing 25-26, the Panthers elected to go for the two point conversion, running it in from three yards out for a 27-26 lead with four minutes to play.

Minarets failed to convert on a fourth and one. Clayton appeared to have forward momentum, but the referees saw different. A tough battle for the Mustangs, but a game which had them rebound well from a disappointing Fowler loss.

Coach Bob Kelly stated, "Once again, we played well enough to be competitive and we fought hard, but couldn't quite get the win. We made a huge comeback after our game against Fowler and our technique is getting better, but Parlier was tough and physical and they made more plays than we did at the right times to get the win. I was very proud of the effort Sam (Reyes) made after being out against Fowler.

Offensively, he made a great catch to set up a score — defensively, he made two interceptions, and on special teams, he ran a punt back to the one yard line. He's a great player and he's finishing his career in great style."

Kelly said the team hopes to close out a bunch of Mustangs careers on a high note on senior night Friday against Laton (5-4, 2-2).

"We lost a close game at their place last year," Kelly said. "We have a huge senior class with many who have been in the program since it started when they were freshmen. They're great kids who will be sorely missed and we're hoping to send them out in style."

The Mustangs JV team team beat Parlier 41-22. Christian Conti played quarterback as Luke Pritchett was moved to running back following the injury to Luke Tovar. Conti responded well controlling the game and completing passes when needed.

Friday game times: JV game, 5 p.m. — varsity game 7:30 p.m.

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