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Mustangs’ defense dominant

Offense does just enough as MCHS shuts out Logan-Rogersville by Staff Reports | September 14, 2023 at 7:00 a.m.
Aidrian Short/Special to McDonald County Press McDonald County quarterback Destyn Dowd looks for running room against Logan-Rogersville on Friday, Sept. 8. The Mustangs defeated the Wildcats 16-0.

ANDERSON -- The McDonald County defense turned in a dominant performance, and the Mustangs had just enough offense to shut out Logan-Rogersville 16-0 on Friday, Sept. 8, in a Big 8 Crossover game at Mustang Stadium.

The Mustangs (2-1) held the Wildcats to 69 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers, several of which led to points on the scoreboard.

"The defense really came to play," said MCHS coach Kellen Hoover. "The guys did a great job and caused five turnovers. It was really a great night for them."

Hoover said the stout performance started in practice the week before.

"I did feel like we had a great week of preparation," he said. "Our coaches had a really good game plan. The kids did a good job of paying attention to any tendency of a formation, and they did a good job of understanding that and communicating that, and obviously, they executed as well."

The Mustangs got on the scoreboard in the first quarter, aided by an interception that set up a short field for the offense.

Sophomore Maddox Feagin intercepted a pass -- the first of four interceptions on the night -- and ran it back to the Wildcats' 5-yard line.

"Maddox intercepted that pass in the first half and did a great job of understanding where the ball was going to go," Hoover said.

That eventually set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Destyn Dowd and PAT by Richard Gasca for a 7-0 lead.

The Mustangs went ahead 10-0 at halftime on a 22-yard field goal by Gasca in the second quarter.

The score remained 10-0 until the fourth quarter when Josh Pacheco intercepted a pass and ran it back 76 yards for a touchdown.

Tucker Walters and Breck Rubeck also had interceptions on defense for the Mustangs.

McDonald County held the Wildcats (1-2) to 23 yards rushing on 25 carries.

Kolbey Ballowe had 14 carries for 35 yards, but quarterback Sam Frieze was held to minus 11 yards. Frieze completed 5 of 15 passes for 40 yards, while Linkin Ratliff completed one pass for 6 yards.

While the defense was locking down on the Wildcats, the offense had its issues, Hoover said.

"The good thing is defense often travels, but the offense can kind of come and go at times," Hoover said. "We didn't execute Friday to be very good offensively. We definitely have to get better there."

The Mustangs finished with 254 yards of offense, including 146 rushing yards after piling up 377 yards on the ground -- and 444 total -- the week before at Marshfield.

Hoover credited Logan-Rogersville for doing a good job defensively as well.

"A lot of things that they do can just cause you some issues," Hoover said. "If you even for a split second delay -- they have a lot of movement from a lot of places, their linemen are slanting -- if you take one play where you're not 100 percent certain or a wrong step, they're already gone. They utilize and take advantage of their athleticism."

Sam Barton had 29 carries for 104 yards and caught three passes for 43 yards. Destyn Dowd had 11 carries for 37 yards, while completing 10 of 17 passes for 108 yards and 4 interceptions.

Pacheco caught four passes for 21 yards, while Malosi Sosef (1-12), Walters (1-9), Slyte Osbourne (1-11) and Huston Porter (1-12) each caught one pass.

Hoover said the offense has already started taking steps this week in practice to correct mistakes from last week.

"We've started off this week with good practices," he said. "Our kids know they need to get better. A lot of the same kids are playing on both sides of the ball. Great game defensively. They know we as a group can get better offensively, and I think they will."

The Mustangs hit the road this Friday to open Big 8 West Conference play at Nevada. McDonald County defeated Nevada 27-26 in Anderson last year.

The Tigers are 3-0 after dismantling Springfield Catholic 56-0 in their season opener, winning at Reeds Spring 46-19 in their season game and 47-19 at East Newton last week.

"They're a really good football team that wants to run the football," Hoover said. "Pretty much you can say the team who's the most physical football team and establish the run is going to win on Friday night."

Nevada offensive lineman Talan Chandler (6-3, 295) is committed to play at Colorado, and the Tigers have good running backs and skill players to go with him, Hoover said.

"They have good athletes and good football players," he said. "They've kind of reloaded after having a group of senior backs a year ago, and they have another good group this year. They do a good job defensively up front. We'll have to keep our eyes disciplined or misdirection will cause some issues, and they can hit you on play-action passes if you're not doing what you're supposed to do."

  photo  Aidrian Short/Special to McDonald County Press McDonald County cheerleaders perform a stunt during Friday's game against Logan-Rogersville.
  photo  Aidrian Short/Special to McDonald County Press McDonald County sophomore Maddox Feagin returns an interception to set up a Mustang score in the first half against Logan-Rogersville on Friday, Sept. 8, at Mustang Stadium.

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