The Mustang Football Program set a goal to be playoff-bound for the second straight season.
To do that, Minarets needed to reverse a two-game losing streak to keep their Division VI playoff hopes alive. The Mustangs lost two straight to Caruthers — No. 1 ranked in Division V — and No. 3 Orosi in a tough two-game stretch.
The Mustangs (5-4, 2-3) got back in the win column with a 40-21 non-conference win over Sierra (0-9) earlier this month in O’Neals. Minarets stays in the top 10 rankings of Division VI at No. 9.
“Sierra was a great opportunity for us to get guys healthy and back into action,” said Mustang head coach Becher Marr. “We have been missing a few players the last few weeks. It has hurt us. We were able to get a few guys back and also get some solid playing time for our younger players. There is nothing like game experience. Our younger players were able to get more confidence and this has helped us improve.”
Minarets senior quarterback Marty Urroz had another stellar performance, going 15 of 25 passing for 302 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a quarterback rating of 142. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Urroz, who owns every passing record at Minarets, will be counted on to take the Mustangs into the playoffs.
Mustang sophomore running back Noah Segura had his best statistical performance of the season, rushing 15 times for 143 yards to lead all rushers. Segura also scored a touchdown. Senior Joseph Gonzalez rushed nine times for 61 yards.
The Mustang receiving corps had perhaps their best night of the season. Junior wideout Syler Pilsbury had 4 receptions for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pilsbury averaged a season-high and near school record of 32 yards per catch. Senior Colby Moss also had his best statistical performance this season with 6 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. Moss averaged 20.7 yards per catch. Senior Rhett Samper had 3 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Trevor Trimble led Minarets with a season-high 12 tackles. Ryan Herrod had 5 tackles and an interception.
Sierra had a good offensive performance, especially on the ground. The Chieftains rushed for 201 yards on 34 carries averaging 6 yards per carry.
It was also the largest scoring output of the year for the Sierra. Running back Dryden Ray rushed for 63 yards and scored two touchdowns. Quarterback Malcolm Denomme rushed for 62 yards and a TD. Denomme was 5 of 18 passing for 67 yards. Logan Whittingham rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries.
The Mustangs face a crucial West Sequoia League contest with an away game at Riverdale on Friday, November 1st. Game times: JV 5:30/Varsity 7:30. The Cowboys are second in the WSL and are ranked 5th in D-VI. The Cowboys put together a 6-game winning streak after a 31-6 opening loss to Yosemite. Riverdale has lost two straight 42-6 at Caruthers and 26-7 at Fowler.
The Cowboys defeated Minarets 53-23 last year in O’Neals. The Mustangs will be looking for payback. A win would likely assure a D-VI playoff berth.
“We are expecting a really tough opponent in Riverdale,” Marr said. “We plan on a being ready and focusing on players getting healthy to compete in the playoffs.”