The Minarets Mustangs football team (1-1) traveled to Tranquillity (3-0) to take on the undefeated Tigers, who were coming off an impressive 18-12 win against Caruthers. The Tigers continued their winning ways, thumping Minarets 26-6.
The Tigers loaded the box with nine players throughout the game in an attempt to pull the reigns on running back Mason Ellis. The horse of the Minarets team, Ellis ended the game with 29 yards on seven carries, along with two receptions for 39 yards in limited action. Leg cramps put Ellis on the sideline for most of the game.
The Mustangs held their ground considering the circumstance. With three turnovers, Minarets went to the half down 13-0.
With Ellis on the sideline, the Mustangs turned to Kaleb Fausone, their second offensive threat. That was short lived as the senior was taken from the field by ambulance with possible rib fractures (x-rays negative). He is expected to be lost for one to two weeks with bruised ribs. The Mustangs slot receiver had 20 yards on four receptions.
Things didn’t fare much better in the passing game, where quarterback Luke Pritchett went four of nine for 79 yards, including three interceptions in the first half. Two of Pritchett’s completions were for large gains, a 39-yard pass to Ellis and a 38-yard catch from senior Christian Low.
Down 26-0, the Mustangs put together their lone scoring drive. Pritchett carried the ball himself to put the Mustangs on the board 26-6, the final score, and finished the game with 10 yards on four carries.
Senior Holden Cordle had 29 yards rushing on nine carries. The Mustangs had 174 total yards on offense, 95 yards on the ground on 30 carries, and 79 yards in the air.
“I’m really proud of this team and the growth we have experienced this preseason,” Coach Bob Kelly said. “We have played some great programs and that was the point. The journey is never over so we are going to continue to keep working together and putting in hard work during practice.”
Minarets travels to Farmersville Friday to take on the 0-3 Aztecs.
Minus standout quarterback Sam Metcalf, Farmersville is thought to be in a rebuilding year while they search for his replacement. The Aztecs have been outscored 115 to 54 in losses to Granite Hills, Woodlake, and McLane.
If the Mustangs can keep Ellis on the field while taking care of the ball they have a chance to beat Farmersville for the first time in four attempts. Conditioning may be the deciding factor in this game, as the Aztecs suit 34 players, opposed to the Mustangs’ 19.
The Mustangs JV team won their game against Tranquillity 28-0, and have yet to surrender a point on defense. Quarterback Aron Hall scored on the ground twice and had long completions to Jacob Cullen. Jackson Lakatani’s team is throwing the ball with confidence while establishing a time-controlling ground game. Look for the Mustangs JV squad to pile on the points as the season progresses.