Gregg Dodderidge

Minarets surges past Mariposa late

Minarets senior captains from left Preston Conti, Alex Sexton, Tyson Ellis and Zack Redman head out for the opening coin toss against Riverdale in the regular-season finale. The Mustangs finished their high school football careers, bowing out of the Central Section playoffs Nov. 2.
Minarets senior captains from left Preston Conti, Alex Sexton, Tyson Ellis and Zack Redman head out for the opening coin toss against Riverdale in the regular-season finale. The Mustangs finished their high school football careers, bowing out of the Central Section playoffs Nov. 2. Special to the Sierra Star

There were a lot of questions for the 2019 Mustangs.

Minarets’ is coming off their most successful season in school history going to the playoffs for the first time. The Mustangs lost many of the key players from a potent offense that put up huge numbers last season.

Playing at Mariposa is never easy. The Grizzlies/Mustang game has become a bit of a rivalry. The Grizzlies are always well coached and are physical. Playing at the Mariposa Fairgrounds is always challenging.

The Grizzlies defeated Minarets 15-13 in an ugly game last year at O’Neals. The 2019 Mustangs responded with a hard-fought 41-25 win last Friday.

Minarets did this by outscoring the Grizzlies 20-0 in the pivotal fourth quarter.

Mustang Head Coach Becher Marr knew it was going to be a battle.

“We knew it was going to be a physical game against Mariposa,” Marr said. “They play good football and always hit hard. Since they had already played a game and we knew we would have to clean up mistakes and play really well to win. We won this with our offensive line. They put the game on their back. We have a lot of talent up front. The O-line wanted to move the rock and they did. This was a great test and a good start for us next week heading to Yosemite.”

The game was close for three quarters. It was 7-7 after the first quarter. Minarets went into halftime up 14-13. Minarets held a slim 28-25 lead going into the fourth quarter. It was the fourth quarter where the Mustangs made their stand.

After a Grizzly punt, the Mustangs went to the ground. Behind the O-line, Minarets put together a seven-minute drive capped off with a Johnny Alsup touchdown. Minarets finally had a bit of a cushion and led 34-25. From there the defense made another stop. With just over two minutes left, Minarets QB Martin Urroz connected with TJ Garner for a 65-yard touchdown to seal the win.

On offense, senior Mustang quarterback Martin Urroz picked up where he left off in 2018. Urroz shattered all passing records at Minarets in 2018. In the 2019 opener Urroz had a stellar night. Urroz threw for 398 yards connecting on 20 of 32 attempts along with three touchdowns.

On the receiving end, Colby Moss caught 6 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. TJ Garner had 4 catches for 111 yards and a TD. Syler Pilsbury caught 5 passes for 88 yards and Noah Segura had three catches for 53 yards.

Segura led Minarets with 102 yards on 18 carries and a TD. Joseph Gonzalez had 46 yards on 7 carries. Alsup ran 5 times for 30 yards and a touchdown. Garner led all sides with 170 kick return yards including an 80-yard touchdown return.

On defense Alsup led Minarets with 12 tackles. Garner was dominant on both sides of the ball leading Minarets with 2 interceptions, 3 pass break ups, along with 6 tackles. The defensive line made life miserable for Grizzly QB Wyatt Green. The Mustangs had 7 sacks and 7 QB hurries. Trevor Trimble had 2.5 sacks and John Rodriguez 2.

The Grizzlies were led by senior Logan Donati. The senior star rushed for 98 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown. Donati also caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Overall Donati had 208 all-purpose yards. Grizzly QB Wyatt Green was 13-26 for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. Green also threw three interceptions while under pressure most of the night. Bodie Rodriguez led Mariposa with 13 tackles.

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