By Brody Feldmann
Win column… CHECK.
Mustang hosted Westmoore on Friday for the first home game of the season for the Broncos and picked up its first victory of the season 21-14.
“We are just proud of our kids. Obviously, we don’t take wins for granted and it’s a good feeling. How we react now is key,” said head coach Jeremy Dombek. “We got the bad taste out of our mouth and know we can win and know we can beat a talented group.”
Westmoore entered the competition 2-0 with victories over Moore (35-6) and Southmoore (41-20). The two victories over its Moore War rivals put the Jaguars at No. 6 in the OSSAA rankings.
But, the Broncos took it to the Jaguars early and forced its will offensively.
Mustang put together drive after drive against the Jaguars but turnovers killed those possessions.
“I think we are growing and we are getting better. Offensively, we are learning, and I can’t tell you how much we are trying to get these kids to retain the schemes,” said offensive coordinator Aso Pogi said.
The Broncos had three turnovers with two lost fumbles and one interception.
The interception thrown by Hayden Conrad was late in the first half after the Broncos got in good field position up 14-3. Mustang got a little greedy and the risk hurt the Broncos for three points after Westmoore returned the turnover to the Broncos seven-yard line with five seconds to go in the half.
“I wanted to take a shot there and thought we had plenty of space to work it. It really comes down to probably my fault more than anything. I’ll take the blame for that one. We should have run the ball and gone into halftime up 14-3,” Pogi said.
Westmoore wouldn’t put the offense on the field but sent out the field goal unit instead for a quick three points going into the locker room trailing 14-6.
In the third quarter Westmoore put together a drive down to the Broncos 19-yard line before going for it on fourth-and-one and coming up unsuccessful.
“When gut check time came we made enough plays. We made a couple of more plays than they did,” said defensive coordinator Adam Gaylor.
The Broncos offense took over possession and drove the ball 81 yards, which was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run by Chaz Meadows for his second touchdown of the night giving the Broncos a 21-6 lead with 53-seconds left in the third quarter.
Trailing 21-6, Westmoore began to lose its edge.
Westmoore put together one final drive of the game when Dayton Wolfe hit a wide open Dylen Taylor for a 21-yard touchdown pass and catch. The Jaguars two-point conversion was successful and cut into the Broncos lead, which was 21-14 with 6:42 to go in the game.
“It was just a busted coverage. We got a call late and didn’t get it communicated so it was a coaches and players fault,” Gaylor said.
With several thousand Bronco fans behind them the Mustang offense ate up 4:22 from the game clock, but no points were put on the board.
“It is always great here. To be honest with you I thought ‘We haven’t given our fans really anything to cheer about, I hope they show up.’ Kudos to our athletic department, I thought the production was awesome,” said Dombek.
Instead, Mustang would punt into the end zone giving Westmoore possession at its own 20-yard line with 2:20 to drive 80-yards.
Westmoore had to call on its passing game, which never got going on Friday, on the final drive and Jaguars would end up going backwards four yards before turning the ball over on downs.
“Give our guys credit. They held an offense to 14-points and only put together really only one drive,” said Gaylor.
Mustang ran three plays and on fourth down with three-seconds, Conrad took the snap and sprinted backwards to the 28-yard line to take a knee for the Mustang victory.
With the negative rush on the final play and two sacks, Conrad cut into the Mustang rushing yards. Conrad finished with three rushes for negative-35 yards. Without the negative yards from Conrad the Broncos would finish with 168-yards.
Instead Mustang finished with 37 rushes for 133 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
“I thought our kids did up front. Every single week we have a new look up front. For us to come out and run successfully it was huge for us,” Pogi said. “Our run game was consistent enough for us to finish a game and pull away a victory. But, we have to get better at finishing drives still.”
Heading into district play next Friday at Norman North (0-3) the Broncos picked up a crucial win to build confidence for the part of season that matters when it comes to the postseason.
“Number one, we can’t worry about tomorrow until we take care of today. District is coming, 0-0, we know that, but for us we have to build our momentum especially with a very young offensive group,” said Pogi. “Now district starts, and everything counts now.”