Mustangs clinch region title with 55-0 win

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The Huntingdon Mustangs clinched their third Region 6-1A title in a row Friday with a 55-0 win over the Perry County Vikings in Linden. It was also the 30th win in a row for the Mustangs during the regular season as they improved to 9-0 for the season and 5-0 in region play with one region game against Middleton left in the season this Friday at Paul Ward Stadium. The Mustangs are now 45-3 over their last 48 games and are one win away from a third straight 10-0 regular-season record.

 The Mustangs have now scored 441 points for the season with 125 of those points coming in the last two games. Against Perry County, the Mustangs amassed 511 yards for the game and led at the half 35-0 and played the second half for the second week in a row with ten-minute quarters and a running clock. The Mustang defense also flexed its muscles as they held Perry County to 74 total yards for the game with 40 rushing yards and 34 through the air. The Mustangs were led offensively by Hunter Ensley who rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and completed 5-6 passing for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Lawton rushed five times for 115 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass for 42 and a touchdown. Noah Belew caught four passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

 The Mustangs who entered the game as heavy favorites got off to a slow start as they fumbled on their very first play of the game and Perry County recovered at the Mustang 47. The Mustang defense held and forced the first of nine punts in the game for the Vikings and the Mustangs took over at their own 25 and Brandon Lawton scored the first points of the game to cap a five-play drive on a nine-yard run with 7:18 left in the first. Cole Edwards tacked on the P.A.T. for a 7-0 lead.

 The second scoring drive of the game didn’t take as long for the Mustangs as they scored in two plays after a Viking punt. Starting at their own 39 Lawton scored on a 53-yard run with 4:17 left in the first quarter. Edwards was good with the extra point and the Mustangs led 14-0. With 1:17 left in the first Lawton scored his third touchdown of the game as he hauled in a 42-yard pass from Ensley and the extra point by Edwards gave the Mustangs a 21-0 lead at the end of one quarter.

 The second quarter continued to follow the same script as the first as the Mustangs on two of its next three possessions. The first touchdown came as Ensley hooked up with tight end Noah Belew for a 47-yard strike and the touchdown. Edwards made the score 28-0 with 9:59 left in the half. The Mustangs fumbled for the second time in the game on its next possession but rebounded as the defense forced a Viking punt. Ensley returned the punt for 80 yards and a touchdown but was negated with a penalty but Ensley wouldn’t be denied as he sprinted 72 yards after the penalty for a touchdown with 4:43 left in the half. Edwards gave the Mustangs a 35-0 lead heading into the break with the extra point.

 Despite the second half was played with ten-minute quarters and a running clock the Mustangs still managed three scores. The first score came on a 27-yard pass from Ensley to Belew for 27 yards on the Mustangs’ first possession of the second half. Edwards made the score 42-0 with the P.A.T. The second score of the half came from the second-team offense as Grant Bartholomew scored on a 15-yard run with 8:39 left in the game. The final point of the game came on the legs of freshman running back Landon Gordon on an 18-yard run with 3:24 left in the game. The extra point was missed leaving the final score at 55-0.

 The Mustangs return home this Friday for the final regular-season game against Middleton for homecoming. The Mustangs will then have a bye the following week as the season concludes and are assured of hosting a first-round playoff game on the first Friday of November.

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