Burns produces plenty of fireworks for Mustangs

By Zach Adams

Itawamba County Times

MANTACHIE – Every time Mantachie scored Friday night against rival Mooreville, fireworks were set off behind the south end zone. By the time the game was over, the crew was almost out of things to blow up.

The Mustangs exploded for 28-unanswered points late in the second and early in the third quarters to pull away from the Troopers and hang on for a 48-35 victory. Wide receiver Nick Burns powered the team with over 100 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on defense, while quarterback Dustin Carrell threw for over 200 yards and four scores.

“The offensive line blocked great for Dustin and he threw it up where I could get it,” Burns said. “It was huge for us as seniors to beat (Mooreville) two years in a row. They never stopped fighting, so we had to go until the end.”

Mantachie (3-1) struck quickly when, after the opening kickoff pinned Mooreville back, Cory Smith pounced on a fumble in the end zone.

Rucker leads Troopers

Mooreville junior Chris Rucker provided the bulk of the offense for the Troopers (1-3) and took a quick toss 65 yards for a score just three plays into the ensuing drive. A missed PAT kept the Mustangs in front, but Rucker struck again midway through the second quarter with a 43-yard scamper down to the Mustang 20. Backup quarterback Xavier Jackson later hit pay dirt on a keeper for the go-ahead score.

Carrell went to work before the half engineering two TD drives. He hit Burns for a 73-yard bomb with 5:15 remaining and then, after a defensive stand, capped off a 66-yard drive with just 19 ticks left on the clock when he connected with Chris Bruff to give the Mustangs 21-14 halftime advantage.

Mac Grimes scored from two yards out for the Mustangs on the opening drive of the third quarter followed later by another Carrell to Burns TD connection.

Leading by 20, the Mustangs swapped scores with the Troopers for the remainder of the game. Mooreville QB John Thomas Peugh hit Robert Patton for a TD pass, Rucker busted free for a 86-yard scamper and Peugh took one in himself. Mantachie countered with a Clay Johnson 39-yard TD run and 25-yard Carrell to Burns connection.

“A big win. It was a hard-fought game and that is how a rivalry game is supposed to be,” Mantachie coach Lynn Moore said.

zach.adams@journalinc.com