By BOB CRAMER
During preseason scrimmages, a little adversity is not a bad thing.
Mustang High School’s football team competed in its first scrimmage last Friday, traveling to Bixby where it was opposed by the Spartans and Enid Plainsmen.
During the scrimmage, Mustang allowed four touchdowns and scored three. The score was a bit misleading though, Bronco head coach Lee Blankenship said.
“A couple of the big plays that we gave up were to the Bixby quarterback scrambling after our kids were there to make the play,” Blankenship said. “We were supposed to have a quick whistle on the quarterback, so that stat is a little deceptive.
“Bixby is a really talented and well-coached football team. We didn’t go into the scrimmage trying to beat either team. Our goal was to get better.”
Bronco junior running back Devyn Martin scored on 3- and 2-yard touchdown runs against Enid. He had a third TD run negated by a holding penalty. Mustang’s second TD came as senior quarterback Hayden Conrad threw a 15-yard strike to junior receiver Dylan Bohuslavicky,
Mustang kept its offense and defense vanilla so it didn’t allow opponents next month to learn too much of its game plans.
“We stayed very basic in our scheme all night and didn’t show anything that we didn’t want our early-season opponents to see,” Blankenship said. “We have some things in our arsenal on both sides of the ball that we could have pulled out, but that wouldn’t have helped us accomplish our season goals.”
Blankenship liked the way his “Play PHAST” offense performed, praising a handful of players, including senior quarterback Hayden Conrad and his receivers, plus two running backs.
“Hayden Conrad made some great throws,” Blankenship said, and “we had several big plays by our senior wide receivers – Will Haddox, Jordan McFadden, Chris Doran and Tristan Plumlee.”
Blankenship liked the efforts of Bohuslavicky, a junior receiver, and Dominique Dunn, a junior Bronco back, the team’s name for the multi-faceted tight end position.
“I thought Dominique Dunn played really well,” Blankenship said. “Dylan Bohuslavicky played well in the slot as well.”
Progress was seen in the ground game from a senior and junior, respectively.
“Our running backs are still fighting to get better,” Blankenship said. “We really saw a lot of consistency from Harvey Phillips. Devyn Martin was bright as well. We will have a stable of running backs that will take carries this year. The offense is growing and getting better each day.”
Mustang defensive coordinator Sam Dollar liked the way the Broncos played against Enid, but found positive things to stress in the Bixby scrimmage.
“We got after Enid but Bixby is not a new staff teaching players new systems,” said Dollar, who still is installing his defense. “They got after us but it was good for us to have some success and then also have some tribulations that allow us to teach and get better.”
Mustang’s defense didn’t allow any touchdowns to Enid but yielded four scores to Bixby.
“Liam Krivanek looked really good and Colt Humphrey played well at outside linebacker,” Blankenship said. “We have a group of tough, hard-nosed kids that are not afraid to hit you.”
Perhaps best of all, the Broncos went injury-free.
“No injuries,” Blankenship said. “Our coaching staff did a good job of limiting reps and making sure we got exactly what we needed to coach our kids up on film. There were bright spots and areas that we can improve on.”
Mustang is scheduled to scrimmage Thursday at Midwest City Carl Albert.
TICKETS ON SALE
General admission tickets ($7) to the Mustang-Yukon football game will be sold from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at My Tee Designs (265-3838), 721 S Mustang Road. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Bronco Stadium. Alternate routes to the stadium may be needed with construction ongoing for Mustang Road. Mustang sees positives in scrimmage vs. Bixby, Enid