The Minarets Mustangs football team (0-7, 0-2 West Sequoia League), hosted the Riverdale Cowboys (5-2, 1-0 WSL) last Friday in front of a homecoming crowd. Riverdale wasted little time as they scored 14 unanswered points in the first quarter on their way to a 49-7 blowout over the Mustangs.
Riverdale put up another 21 points in the second quarter following that first quarter score.
The Mustangs would score their lone touchdown on the night, a Jacob Cullen to Christian Conti connection, good for 20 yards and a score. It was Conti’s fourth TD reception of the season. The senior receiver has 383 yards on the season, averaging 21 yards per catch. The Mustangs went to the half trailing 35-7.
With the game well in hand, Riverdale Coach Bryan Close did what no other coaches have done all season - he pulled the majority of his starters and had his second string players play the entire second half.
Mustangs QB Cullen was 7 of 24 for 96 yards - the Mustangs’ lowest passing total of the season - with one touchdown pass. Cullen led the Mustangs ground attack as well with 41 yards on 10 carries. Cullen has 313 yards on the ground, along with 909 yards through the air, for 1,233 yards of offense on the season with five TDs.
The defense was led by Aaron Hall and Luke Pritchett. Each contributed with 14 tackles, with Hall collecting five solo tackles to Pritchett’s four.
Hall, a sophomore, leads the team with 34 solo tackles on the year with 57 assists. Junior E.G. Walden is second with 16 solo tackles and 20 assists.
The Mustangs will need everyone to play to full potential as they prepare for a league game against Fowler on the road this Friday. With a 3-4, 1-0 WSL record, the Redcats pose a tall task for Coach Becher Marr and his Mustangs. Fowler has a couple quality wins on the season and dropped 47 points on Orange Cove last week in a 47-25 win.
Following a tough 6 point loss at the hands of a talented Firebaugh team Sept. 2, 41-35, The Redcats will give Minarets all they can handle. Flawless play will be needed while protecting the ball for the Mustangs to hang with Fowler. Long drives and eating up minutes is what Minarets must do to stay close in this game.
Averaging 25 points a game, the Redcats saw their most productive output on offense last week against Orange Cove.