The Minarets Mustangs (0-8, 0-3 West Sequoia League), had their best offensive outing of the season against the Fowler Redcats (4-4, 2-0 WSL) Oct. 21, putting 25 points on the board, but it wasn’t enough as Fowler scored 45.
The Redcats were aggressive all game long receiving two roughing the passer, two roughing the kicker, and another unnecessary roughness penalty on Mustang Jacob Cullen as he held an extra point attempt. Backup quarterback Aaron Hall was knocked from the game with a monstrous hit to cheers from the Fowler sideline as Hall laid motionless for minutes on the field. Multiple helmet-to-helmet and late hits went unnoticed by referees.
The Mustangs entered the second half trailing 21-3. Minarets’ lone score came from a 41-yard field goal from Christian Conti with one second remaining in the first half.
The Mustang quarterback duties were split by starter Cullen and sophomore Hall. Cullen again led the team in total offense going 17 of 23 for 220 yards, by far his best game on the season. The senior threw two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Before his injury, Hall was 9 of 19 for 109 yard and one touchdown.
Prior to the big hit, Hall completed a 31-yard strike to Conti for a touchdown, and the Mustangs were just getting started. Cullen took over the reins following the injury and threw two touchdowns, his first a 38-yard completion to E.G. Walden, the second a hail mary to the end zone intended for Walden, which hit a defender in the helmet and was snatched in midair by Tyson Ellis to conclude the Mustangs’ scoring on the night.
Cullen led the Mustangs ground attack with 43 yards on 18 attempts, and Hall added 25 yards with three carries. Minarets had 95 yards on the ground and 329 through the air for the team’s highest total yardage on the season at 424.
The Mustangs defense recorded three sacks on the game, another season high. Noah Fulton, Austin Nibblet and Grant Denny sacked Fowler for negative 15 yards. Denny would go on to add an interception along with Alex Sexton. Conti hit two field goals and an extra point to add to his team-leading 55 points of offense.
“We played much better football, the whole team was ready to go, we simply executed at a much higher level,” Head Coach Becher Marr said. “The guys never stopped battling, we just couldn’t overcome the hole we got ourselves in early in the game.”
There are positive results as the Mustangs continue to battle for that elusive first win on the season. Minarets will have their best opportunity of the year as they face the winless Panthers of Parlier this Friday.
On paper the Mustangs hold the advantage averaging 12 points per game compared to the Panthers’ nine. Parlier lost last week to Yosemite 47-0. Either way one of these teams will end the week with their first win of the season. There will be a home field advantage for the Mustangs.
Varsity kicks off at 7:30 p.m., with JV at 5 p.m..