Mustangs clinch first winning regular season since ’07

Football stockBy Zach Adams

Itawamba County Times

MANTACHIE – When Mantachie defeated Hatley 37-7 on Friday night, the Mustangs did more than pick up their second-straight Division 1-2A victory. They guaranteed their first winning regular season since 2007 and just their second since 1998.

Senior quarterback Dustin Carrell rushed and threw for a TD completing 13 of his 26 passes for 168 yards as the Mustangs jumped on the Tigers in the first quarter and never looked back.

“(A winning season) is big, but that is not all we are looking to do,” Mantachie coach Lynn Moore said. “We have got bigger aspirations than that and hopefully our guys can keep playing and get us there.”

Mantachie (6-3, 2-1) took advantage a Tiger mistake on the opening drive when Brady Parker jumped on a fumble in Mustang territory. Senior running back Mac Grimes, who has been recovering from ankle surgery, looked in prime form as ate up chunks of yardage in the power run game. After seven consecutive run plays, Grimes found pay dirt from three yards out.

Hatley (2-6, 0-3) punted after a three-and-out and the Mustangs quickly struck again as Nick Burns came down with a juggling 31-yard catch at the Hatley two. Burns then finished what he started on the following play with another reception for the score.

Carrell found Burns again in the second quarter as he hit the uncovered receiver for 22 yards down to the Tiger 39. Two plays later, Andrew Malone bowled his way in for a 7-yard TD.

The Tigers got on the board with less than five minutes remaining in the half when Jordan Metcalf scored from the one after Jonathan Waycaster hit Houston Woodman on a big 27-yard pass. The Mustangs took advantage of a bad punt before the half and went 35-yard in three plays punctuated by a 7-yard Carrell scamper.

The Mustangs shut out the Tigers in the second half as a Cory Smith 32-yard run and Carrell 36-yard field goal capped all scoring.

“We came out like we are supposed to, then we fizzled a little bit and then we came back again,” Moore said. “We have just got to play consistently.”

zach.adams@journalinc.com