Mustang kicked off the district portion of its schedule last week by hosting Norman North.
The Timberwolves were coming off a loss to Yukon, so it looked like the Broncos should have been favored.
However, when North got to Broncos Stadium, they were at full strength, something they were not the week before.
They rolled through Mustang 42-14 Saturday.
“Penalties and turnovers hurt us tonight,” Mustang coach Lee Blankenship said. “Lack of execution.”
As with every game the Broncos have played this season, the contest started out close.
They even had a chance to take an early lead on the second possession of the night.
After driving the offense deep into North territory, quarterback Tristen Russell had a touchdown pass to Dominique Donn taken off the board because of a penalty.
On the very next play, Russell hit Donn streaking up the sideline. However, the Timberwolves’ defender stuck his hand in at the last moment to knock the ball loose before Donn could secure the ball.
The Broncos’ Chance Johnson then missed a field goal attempt. Mustang finished the drive empty handed.
“We had our opportunities to put the ball in the end zone a couple times, had a couple of drops, had one called back over here,” Blankenship said. “The end of the day, we just got to play better.”
Norman North made MHS pay by scoring on its next two possessions to take a 14-0 advantage into halftime.
Mustang started the third quarter with another bout of bad luck.
Russell had a second touchdown called back. And once again, North took advantage of the opportunity to put more points on the board and grab a 21-0 lead.
The Broncos finally got onto the board when Russell hit Jacobe Johnson with a short slant across the middle. Johnson shook his defender loose and sprinted into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown catch.
Johnson, who started the season at cornerback, moved to offense for the night.
Along with playing receiver, he also carried the ball in the backfield as the Mustang coaches looked for ways to get the sophomore the ball.
“Jacobe is a phenomenal athlete. He’s getting better and better every week. We felt like this was a good week to move him over,” Blankenship said. “Our game plan was pretty simple in the defensive secondary side of things, and he came over and made some really good plays for us on offense. He’s a good player.”
Russell hooked up with Devyn Martin for another touchdown in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t enough to slow down North, which scored 28 second-half points to turn the game into a blowout.
Mustang was unable to slow North’s running game as they racked up 372 yards on the night behind tailback Gabe Trevillison and an offensive line that missed the game against Yukon due to COVID-19 exposure.
Blankenship said his players were in position many times, but were unable to make the tackle.
“Their guy was really good. We work those things every day,” Blankenship said. “Our kids were in the right spot. … We just didn’t make the play when we got there. We just got to continue to get better and overcome that.”
Mustang (2-2, 0-1) doesn’t have much time to feel sorry for itself. The team travels to Southmoore Thursday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Moore Stadium.
The SaberCats (1-3, 0-1) earned their first win last week after dropping Moore 28-27 in overtime.
“We’re going to continue to battle,” Blankenship said. “We just want to create that mentality in our kids, we’re going to fight the whole game. We’re going to play hard and try to win the whole game. And that’s what we did.”