Playing the first quarter with less than their

customary ability, the second half saw the mighty Mustangs dominate the game

and defeat the Bullard Panthers by a score of 45-13. The Mustangs will meet the

Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans for the fourth and final round of the playoffs.

By the time of the opening kickoff the field was a

wet mess. The front had moved through and dropped a good bit of rain, but the

field was turf and in good shape. The wet conditions did not prove to be much

of a factor as the game progressed.

The Mustangs took possession at the opening kickoff

and proceeded to earn five yards on the first play. It would also be the first

play for Britton Lindsey. Lindsey would prove to be the burr under the Panthers

blanket later in the game.

Setting up for the next play the Mustangs drew the

first penalty of the game when one of the players got edgy and moved too soon. This

happened two more times turning a second and five to a second and fifteen

situation. Nathaniel Colbert was handed the ball and made seven yards for the

first gain of the game. His gain was not enough and faced with a fourth and

nine for a first down the ‘Stangs decided to punt.

The panther receiver fumbled the ball and the

Mustangs recovered on the 45 yard line. Jimmy Salter tossed the ball to Larry

Sonnier and the catch put the ball on the 14 yard line. Having the ball, but

not being able to do much with it, on the tenth play of the possession Jerquis Beasley

was called in to attempt a field goal from 30 yards out. Beasley booted the

ball through the uprights and the score was 3-0 Mustangs.

Bullard’s Panthers took the ball on the 20 yard line

and quarterback Colton Mebane handed off to running back Tanner Schmidt for a

first down on the first play of the Panther’s possession. Running the plays

without going into the huddle, Mebane put the pressure on the Mustang’s defense

and in 11 more plays, kept the ball shot up the middle past the surprised

defensive line and scored the first touchdown. The Mustangs evidently expected

a pass and were unaware of the scamper by Mebane until it was too late to do

anything about it. A good PAT made the score 7-3, Panthers.

Abear Simien caught the kick off and started a run,

but tripped and fell at about the 40 yard line. On the first play Jimmy Satler’s

pass was intercepted by Jess Wood and the Panthers took the ball back.

It was Panther’s ball on the Mustang’s 34 yard line.

On the third play the Mustangs drew a penalty for pass interference.

Mebane to Schmidt worked well enough to put the

Panthers in field goal range and on a fourth and five situation from 29 yards

out the kicker, Weston Gray made the shot good and put the score at 10-3,


Colbert caught the kick off and made it to the 46

yard line before stepping out of bounds. The quarter ended with the Mustangs

only having moved the ball eight yards in five plays.

On the second play of the second half, there was a

penalty called holding, costing the Mustangs 15 yards, turning a first and 10

into a first and 15. Four plays later

Wood made his second interception when he caught a weak pass from Salter.

The Panthers punted after three plays. Colbert

caught the ball on the 50 yard line and made a good run. However there was a

flag on the play around the 38 yard line.

With a first and 10 on the 38 yard line the Mustangs

began a march that would go until the sixth play when Salter threw sort of a “Hail

Mary” pass. Larry Sonnier and six other players were in the end zone and

Sonnier just popped up out of the crowd and grabbed the ball. Beasley made

another good PAT and tied the score at 10 all.

Bullard took the kick and Hayden Bryant ran the ball

out to the 37 yard line.

On play number two Mebane attempted a pass, but was

intercepted by Trevane Blanchard. With 6:07 left in the half, both teams had

suffered two turnovers.

On the Mustangs third play they caught their fifth

penalty for moving too soon. By this time they had caught eight penalties for a

total of 69 yards lost to the penalties.

By play number six the Mustangs had moved to the one

yard line. A sneak by Salter gave another touchdown. Beasley booted another

good kick and the score went to 17-10 Mustangs.

Mebane threw a pass on his third play and it was

incomplete, bringing up a punt of the fourth play. The ball went loose, was

recovered by Daniel Woodson, but the Mustangs drew a holding penalty.

The Mustangs first and 10 play was intercepted by

J.D. Hendrix, the third Panther’s interception.

With 1:15 left in the half Salter handed the ball to

Lindsey. Lindsey lost the ball and the Panthers recovered for the fourth

turnover captured from the Mustangs.

The Panthers kept the ball, but were held back by

the Chain Gang defense. With 11 seconds on the clock, from 31 yards out Panther’s

kicker Gray completed another field goal and put the score 17-13 Mustangs at

the half.

Beasley’s kickoff to open the second half went into

the end zone. The ball went to the Panthers on the 20 yard line.

Looking at a fourth and nine for a first down, the

Panthers attempted to punt the ball. The snap went high and Jess Wood had to

try to run out of trouble. He was pulled down on the 18 yard line.

Three plays went to Mustang Lindsey. The third play

started on the six yard line and Lindsey took the ball across the goal line.

Beasley again crossed the uprights and the score was 24-13, Mustangs.

The Panthers took possession, but lost the ball on

the fourth play when a handoff to Houston Alexander went bad and Ian Jenkins

grabbed the ball for the Mustangs.

After three plays a pass to JMarcus Rhodes worked

for another touchdown. Beasley’s kick went off target. The score was 30-13,


On the fourth play of the Panther’s possession a

snap went over Mebank’s head into the end zone and gave the Mustangs a two

point safety. Score 32-13 Mustangs. Mustangs took possession.

In four plays, resulting in three first downs,

Mustangs scored again. Salter dropped the ball, picked it up and ran for a

seven yard touchdown. With a good PAT the score jumped to 39-13, Mustangs.

With 10:00 on the clock in the fourth quarter,

Salter tossed the ball to Rhodes, stopped fast causing the defenders to rush

past him. Rhodes caught what could have been a short pass flatfooted, and

nearly walked across the goal line.

Rhodes touchdown and a missed PAT brought the score

to 45-13, Mustangs, which would be the final score.

Coach Cornell Thompson brought some of the second

string players in for the last of the fourth quarter and they played hard, like

they wanted to show the team, the fans, and especially “Coach T” what they

could do.

The Mustangs first quarter play could have been a

lot better, the second quarter perked up, and the second half skinned the

Panthers to the bone. The Mustangs suffered five turnovers in the game, but won

anyway. Coldspring also suffered five turnovers in their last game, and also


“Historically we do not play very well Thanksgiving

weekend. Our staff did a good job calling the plays and the kids did a good job

running the plays, they worked hard. We had too many turnovers and too many turnovers

will catch up with you sooner or later.

We will be talking about Coldspring tomorrow; I saw

them play last night. I would not let anyone talk about them before now, but

now it is time”, said Thompson.