YUKON – Mustang entered Bedlam with numerous unknowns.
How would the team’s new offensive backfield perform? What kind of impact will the defense have under new coordinator Adam Gaylor? Are the Broncos rebuilding or reloading?
Answers were provided as Mustang (1-0) cruised to a 42-20 win over rival Yukon (0-1) in front of a packed Miller Stadium Friday.
The Broncos seized control from the start. Outside linebacker Gage McBride (Sr.) intercepted Trevor Smith (Sr.), setting Mustang’s offense up at Yukon’s four yard-line. Two plays later, quarterback Brayden Garrett (Jr.) punched in a two-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
“I think it really set the tone,” McBride said. “I wasn’t really thinking. I just fit in and knew it was game time.”
On the ensuing drive, Nebraska-commit Deontre Thomas (Sr.) was ejected after a scuffle with Yukon’s offensive line. Thomas and cornerback Darion Richards (Sr.), who was ejected in the fourth quarter, could face a suspension next week, however, Mustang’s defense never let up. In large part due to Michael Bachus (Sr.), who stepped in for Thomas at defensive tackle. He and the team’s front-seven held Yukon to 93 rushing yards on 36 attempts the rest of the way.
“Very disappointing for two senior leaders to let that occur,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said. “It did give us some opportunities to see different people like Michael Bachus. He came in and played outstanding. We knew he was good because we have a hard time blocking him in practice.”
“It was a rush,” Bachus said. “It was something new because I’ve never started before. I was playing with more intensity than normal because I wanted to earn the position. It was a good feeling.”
Mustang’s new offensive backfield stepped up, especially early in the game.
Garrett and running back Carlos Thomas (Jr.) totaled 265 yards in their starting debuts. Garrett went 10-for-13 passing for 184 yards and three touchdowns and rushed seven times for 32 yards and a score. Thomas rushed 11 times, all in the first half, for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
“They were awesome,” Dombek said. “To come into this environment and perform the way they did was a big credit to them and our guys up front. I did like to see some of the playmakers get the ball in their hands in space and see that they can’t get caught. We’ve got some tools to work with that’s for sure and any time you can come in on the road and win with a lot of unknowns, it’s exciting.”
Garrett connected with Mason Lowe (Jr.) for an 11-yard score in the first quarter. He found Damian Close (Jr.), who caught a pass over the middle and dashed 57 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. And he hit Phil Baker (Jr.) for a four-yard score just before halftime for a 42-0 lead.
“The beginning of the game was pretty nerve-racking,” Garrett said. “Then after the second touchdown it all kind of dropped into place and we started playing really well. Wish we could’ve came out stronger in the second half, but overall it was a good night.”
Yukon outscored Mustang, 13-0 in the second half on route to the loss. Gaylor’s defense allowed just 213 total yards and forced four turnovers, including McBride’s pick, another by Carter Rees (Sr.) in the first half and a third interception by Dominik Venegas (So.) in the third quarter. Arin Copas (Sr.) led the team with two sacks.
PASSING STATS: MUS: Garrett (10-13; 184 yards; 3 TDs) – YUK: Smith (11-26; 119 yards; 2 TDs; 3 INTs)
RUSHING STATS: MUS: Thomas (11; 49 yards; 2 TDs), Harris (6; 50 yards), Garrett (7; 32 yards; 1 TD), Jones (7; 19 yards), Meadows (5; 13 yards), Close (1; -2 yards), White (1; -8 yards) – YUK: Antwine (11; 35 yards), Cooper (9; 25 yards; 1 TD), Rich (1; 10 yards), Burnett (3; 9 yards), G. Smith (5; 7 yards), T. Smith (6; 5 yards), Barnes (2; 3 yards)
RECEIVING STATS: MUS: Close (2; 92 yards; 1 TD), Lowe (3; 36 yards; 1 TD), Harris (1; 28 yards), Jones (2; 22 yards), Baker (1; 5 yards; 1 TD), Arthur (1; 1 yard) – YUK: Barnes (4; 75 yards), McGee (2; 24 yards; 2 TDs), French (1; 7 yards), Cooper (1; 6 yards), Hernandez (1; 4 yards), G. Smith (1; 2 yards), Antwine (1; 1 yard)
NEXT UP: at Norman (0-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Tigers fell to Norman North, 58-0 Thursday.
Trey Hunter is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He has covered Mustang High School sports for three years in an editorial role and has covered Oklahoma high school sports for the last five years. He can be reached by phone at (405) 659-9898 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.