Last Home Football Game

By Haliegh Lewis and Adasyn Leach

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Friday October 19, is the last home game for the McDonald County Mustangs. Sad I know, but we have gotten very positive feedback that we hope will fuel up the Mustangs. Whoop! 

“I feel that we are gonna win. The year has been good, and if the team keeps it up then we are gonna have a really good outcome! I don’t think that we’ll be disappointed.” – Mr. Wilkie

Since we have seen the Mustangs play personally, we hope for the best, and (without putting pressure on them) we expect them to put their all into this game. 

“The Mustangs have done great this year, I mean they’ve had a lot of wins, so I think they are going to win. When they play, they play hard, so I’m feeling good about it.” – Melanie Gilming

Lets go Mustangs!!!

 

Rebecca Green, Tackling Gender Roles

By Natalie Staib

At the start of the school year, MCHS students were challenged by @mustangculture to #raisethebar this year. Senior Rebecca Green raises the bar every single day that she laces up her cleats and straps on her helmet. She is currently the only female on the football team and is just one of around 2000 female athletes who play high school football across the country. If 2000 seems like a big number to you, then you should know that there are over 1 million male athletes.

Imagine playing a sport for the first time your senior year. Now imagine that you are also the only person of your gender on a team of 60 plus members. The decision to play football could not have been easy for Rebecca, yet she still chose football, a sport that many people still consider too dangerous for female athletes.

“I like a challenge, and I like to lift weights,” Rebecca said when asked why she didn’t want to play a more “feminine” sport.

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Rebecca and the rest of the junior varsity squad warming up before their contest with Cassville.

Rebecca receives no special treatment or extra protection, and she would never accept any extra help even if it was available.  She receives the same coaching, equipment, and weight training as everyone else, just the way she wants it, and according to defensive coordinator Sean McCullough, she is able play just as aggressive as the boys.

“When she takes a hit, she stands up strong and tackles just as fast as the boys,” McCullough said. “She knows the physical demand of the sport and still chooses to play.”

Rebecca’s position varies from wide receiver, corner, and to outside linebacker. During the game at Marshfield while playing outside linebacker she successfully tackled an opponent who was carrying the ball. Followed closely behind by Bradley Sayer, she took him down, and Bradley attacked second. The opposing player fell on Rebecca then Bradley fell on him. Despite Rebecca’s “frail female body” being smashed by two other people, she still managed to stop her opponent.

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Rebecca not only looks tough, but she also backs it up on the field.

Not to say, Rebecca’s current success on the field didn’t come without challenges. Her first couple of practices were awkward because the boys on the team had adjust to having a girl around when playing such a physically tough sport.

“The more I get to know my teammates the more comfortable I get,” Rebecca said. “It took a bit for the boys to get used to me, which is understandable. They just weren’t used to having a girl around and didn’t know what to expect.”

Now that everyone is used to her, Rebecca really enjoys the team atmoshpere.

“I really like the way everyone behaves like a family on this team,” Rebecca said. “I love the group dinners.”

I asked Rebecca if she hoped to inspire other young girls like her who want to play football. She said she thinks that would be great, and she is not the only one.

“I would not at all mind if her example inspired other girls with the same competitive attitude to join the team in the future,” McCullough said.

 

Arkansas Vs. Colorado State

By Brandon Howell

Week 2 was a rough game for Arkansas, with an upset loss to Colorado State in the 4th quarter. Going into week 2, many fans saw Arkansas as a clear favorite over Colorado State, but this wouldn’t be college football without a few upsets here and there.

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With a rare away game versus Colorado State, Arkansas was expected to win with an high scoreline to show for it. Despite the high expectations, you could tell right from the beginning of the game that Colorado State was already looking to put up a fight. With a defeat secured late in the 4th quarter, many Arkansas fans were disappointed with the result of the game.

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With last week’s game mainly consisting of passing, this week was a complete flip to the opposite side with rushing being the main damage for the day. Arkansas finished with 299 yards rushing that day, while passing was at 138 yards. Although with the passing being good, Arkansas lost the game to Colorado State late in the 4th.

I asked  one Student, Sophia Jaquez, what they thought about the game. “I expected them to win, but was more surprised when they lost”.

 

 

Arkansas Vs. Eastern Illinois

By Brandon Howell

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With the new razorback season kicking off, it hopefully looks to be a good and successful start to the brand new season under the new head coach, Chad Morris.

The 2018 Razorback Football season came around fast this year, and it was a great start to the season. With a 55-20 win over Eastern Illinois, it was a good start for the brand new head coach, Chad Morris.

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Since Arkansas kicked off the new season with a 55-20 win, you can see that the new head coach, Chad Morris, has set up a new and relentless defense. The defense, which forced 5 turnovers, in which all were fumbles. However, you can’t go without mentioning their offense, which had a great passing game all day long. With the total of passing yards equaling 353, out of their 433 total yards combined, and with a passing completion rate of 21-29 (72.4%), it’s not hard to see why. Arkansas’ rushing game was alright, but nowhere near the power of their passing game. With 80 yards rushing, and 37 attempts, it was a dismal day in rushing. But, minus the low rushing numbers, Arkansas will hopefully be able to keep the momentum going into next week, versus Colorado State.

 

McDonald County Football: Season Review

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By Caleb Curtis

This season really showed how much can change in just one season. The McDonald County football team couldn’t produce a single win in their 2016 season. Then this season, the Mustangs won 5 games for the first time since 2003. Seven players were recognized as first or second-team All-Big 8. The Mustangs shut out an opponent for the first time since 2004. Losing streaks of 18 years, 15 years, and 4 years all came to an end this season. It’s pretty safe to say that it was quite a season for the McDonald County Mustangs.

The season began a with an away game in Salem, Missouri. The Salem Tigers had bested the Mustangs in 2016 by a score of 26-6. Salem was projected by OzarksSportsZone.com to win this game and claim the home-and-home series 2-0. The Mustangs had other plans. McDonald County was looking for their first season-opening win since 2007. The Mustangs did just that. The defense came to play in this one and held the Salem offense to just 6 points. The Mustang defense recovered 5 Tiger fumbles. Oakley Roessler led with 15 tackles, as well as having a fumble recovery. Roessler also added on the first score of the season with an 8-yard run. Isrrael DeSantiago and Peyton Barton both added on touchdown runs in the 19-6 win. The win ended a 16-game losing streak dating back to September 11, 2015.

The lock-down defense continued in game two. The defense shut down the Marshfield defense for just 7 points. David Roark recorded the first interception of the season for the Mustangs late in the second quarter. Isrrael DeSantiago ran for Mac County’s only 2 touchdowns, one from 4 yards out, and the other from 8 yards out. With the 14-7 win over Marshfield, the Mustangs were 2-0 for the first time since 1970.

McDonald County faced the Seneca Indians for their first conference game of the 2017 season in week three. The Mustangs suffered a hard loss in this one by a score of 41-13. The Indians heavily relied upon Trey Wilson, who had 3 touchdowns, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Isrrael DeSantiago added his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, and Peyton Barton threw for his first touchdown of the season to Oakley Roessler from 29 yards out. The loss knocked the Mustangs down to 2-1 on the season.

The McDonald County football team came into week four hungry for a win against Cassville. The last time Mustangs had beaten the Wildcats was in 2002. The Mustangs trailed 14-7 heading into halftime, Isrrael DeSantiago put up the only Mac County score in the first half on a 27-yard touchdown run, his fifth of the season. The second half entirely belonged to the Mustangs. Peyton Barton threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Kennedy Hodson after the defense forced a turnover on downs at the Cassville 5-yard line. The final touchdown of the game came on a Timber Teague 2-yard score. The Mustang defense then shut down the Wildcats for the remainder of the game to pick up the 21-14 win.

The Mustangs suffered its second loss of the season at the hands of the Mount Vernon Mountaineers by a score of 43-21 in week five. Peyton Barton got the Mustang offense on the board with a 10-yard scramble for a touchdown near the end of the first half to make it 14-7 at the break. Barton then scampered for another 10-yard touchdown on a successful read-option play that made it 21-14 early in the 3rd quarter with Mount Vernon on top. Barton finished off the McDonald County scoring with another successful read-option play, this time from 8 yards out. Barton’s third rushing touchdown of the night made the score 27-21 in favor of Mount Vernon. The Mountaineers put up the final 16 points of the game on two Andrew Montemayor touchdowns and a Jayden Buttram 37-yard field goal. The loss knocked the Mustangs down to 3-2 on the season, and 1-2 in Big 8 Conference play.

Week six pitted the Mustangs playing against the Lamar Tigers. Lamar hadn’t lost a game since October 17, 2014, when they fell to the Carl Junction Bulldogs 29-28. The Tigers ended up extending their winning streak to 40 games with a 50-8 win over the Mustangs. The Mustang defense forced the first safety on Lamar in almost 3 years when sophomore defensive back, Michael Williams, tackled Lamar’s Cooper Lucas in their own endzone with just under 8 minutes left in the first half. Peyton Barton then scored on the Mustangs following possession on a 16-yard run with 6:25 left in the first half. The Mustangs went into halftime trailing by a score of 35-8. The McDonald County offense nearly managed to punch in their second touchdown of the game with just seconds remaining, but couldn’t quite get into the endzone. The 8 points that the Mustangs put on Tigers is the most they’ve scored against them since 2012 when they managed to score 21 points.

McDonald County needed to get back on track in a week seven matchup against the Monett Cubs. And for the first time all season, OzarksSportsZone.com favored a McDonald County win. Isrrael DeSantiago put up the first score of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Peyton Barton then connected with Kennedy Hodson on a 74-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to make it a 14-0 ballgame. The Cubs managed their first score with just under a minute left in the first half on 9-yard screen pass for a touchdown. The Stangs got things going again on their very next offensive play when Barton connected with Hodson again, this time for 39 yards. Barton then hit Cole DelosSantos on the next play from 11 yards out for the touchdown. That made the game 21-6 going into halftime. The second half went more in favor of the Cubs. The defense shutout the Mustang offense that troubled them in the first half. Monett managed to score about midway through the third quarter, and the failed two-point conversion made it a 21-12 game. Monett then scored just 9 plays into the fourth quarter, and missed on the point after making it a 21-18 game. Both teams relied on their defenses to decide the rest of the game’s outcome. Timber Teague’s sack on fourth down with just under three minutes left in the contest sealed it up the Mustangs’ fourth win of the season. The win snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Cubs dating back to 2002. The win lifted McDonald County to 4-3 overall, and 2-3 in Big 8 Conference play.

McDonald County’s senior night ceremony took place before their week eight matchup against the winless East Newton Patriots. The Mustangs set the tone early, as Isrrael DeSantiago had the first of his five touchdown runs just 100 seconds into the game on a 9-yard score. Izzy walked into the endzone from 7 yards out for his second score with 3:39 left in the first quarter. He then scored his third touchdown with 2:06 left in the first quarter from 5 yard out. Isrrael continued his great game with his fourth touchdown of the first quarter with just under 30 seconds left in the first. Peyton Barton kept the scoring going in the second quarter, as he scored just five plays into the second on a 20-yard touchdown run. DeSantiago finished off his great day on the ground with a 20-yard touchdown, making the score 40-0. Timber Teague added another touchdown when he scored on a 3-yard run right up the gut. The halftime score favored the Mustangs 47-0 over the Patriots. Oakley Roessler put up the only score of the second half on a 5-yard touchdown that capped off the Mustangs first offensive possession after the break. The running clock made the remainder of the game go by in a heart beat, and just like that, the Mustangs had their first shutout win in more than 13 years with a 54-0 victory. The win moved the Mustangs to 5-3 overall, and 3-3 in Big 8 play.

The final regular season matchup for the Mustangs had them playing against the Aurora Houn Dawgs. The game featured a lot of scoring from both teams, but the Houn Dawgs came out on top of this one by a score of 42-32. Timber Teague scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and a 9-yard touchdown reception. Peyton Barton scored on touchdown runs of 2 yards and 9 yards. Barton also threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Reece Cooper. Oakley Roessler recorded the Mustangs second interception of the season. The loss knocked the Mustangs down to 5-4 overall, and 3-4 in Big 8 play.

The Mustangs were seeded seventh in the District 4, Class 5 playoffs, which set up another edition of the McDonald County Mustangs versus the Carl Junction Bulldogs. The Mustangs hadn’t defeated the Bulldogs since 2010. The Bulldogs scored 49 first-half points and managed to shut the Mustangs out before the break. Marshall Foreman caught the Mustangs’ first touchdown of the game on a 6-yard score from Peyton Barton in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Isrrael DeSantiago scored the final touchdown of his Mustang career on a 17-yard run with five minutes remaining in the game. Those 17 yards also put DeSantiago over 1,000 rushing yards on the season. The final game of McDonald County’s season ended with a 49-13 loss.

Peyton Barton accounted for 13 of the Mustangs’ 30 touchdowns on the season, with 7 passing scores and 6 rushing. DeSantiago accounted for 12 rushing touchdowns on the season, Timber Teague added 3 more rushing scores, and Oakley Roessler had 2 rushing touchdowns of his own. The seven passing touchdowns on the season were hauled in by six different receivers. Kennedy Hodson had scoring grabs, and Cole DelosSantos, Oakley Roessler, Timber Teague, Reece Cooper, and Marshall Foreman all had one each. DeSantiago also eclipsed 2,000 career rushing yards after his incredible season, he finished with 2,141 rushing yards in his four years.

Ten Mustangs earned All-Conference honors following the season. Isrrael DeSantiago(Runningback), Peyton Barton(Punter), and Elliott Wolfe(Offensive Guard) were all named first team All-Big 8. Kennedy Hodson(Wide Receiver), Cole DelosSantos(Linebacker), Isrrael DeSantiago(Linebacker), and Oakley Roessler(Defensive Back) earned second team. Then Dylan Allison(Kicker), Trey Black(Defensive Line), and David Roark(Linebacker) all got honorable mention.

There were a lot of things that we learned this season. Just about every school in southwest Missouri knows that the Mustang student section is not one to be messed with. They also learned that you can bet on those boys from the County to not go out without a fight. It was a season of many emotions: some happy, some sad, some occasionally mad. But in the end, it’s always sad when it’s over, but let’s be glad that it all happened. Thank you to all the students, players, coaches, and everyone in the community who supported us throughout the season. The countless unforgettable memories made throughout the season would have never happened without all of you.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: McDonald County @ Aurora

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By Caleb Curtis

In their final meetings of this regular season, the Aurora Houn’ Dawgs (4-4, 3-3 in the Big 8) will host the McDonald County Mustangs (5-3, 3-3 in the Big 8) for senior night. The Mustangs will head to Aurora on a two-game winning streak after edging past Monett (21-18) and blowing out East Newton (54-0). The Houn’ Dawgs are licking their wounds after a 34-13 beating at the hands of Cassville last week. Both teams will be fighting for every inch in this gridiron battle.

Aurora bested the Mustangs in last season’s contest by a score of 28-14 for just their second win of the season. The Dawgs have also claimed all three meetings against the Mustangs since they began meeting annually in 2014. This year, the Houn’ Dawgs have already doubled their win total from last season, and they have shown that they are much improved on both sides of the ball. The Aurora offense has already put up 211 points this season, 93 more than the 118 points they had put up to this point last season. Their defense has also improved this season, as they have only given up 195 points on the year. That’s quite an improvement compared to the 284 points they gave up through 8 games last season.

McDonald County comes into this seeking revenge after Aurora spoiled senior night for the Mustangs. The Mustangs have yet to top the Dawgs in their three meetings so far, but it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see yet another long-lasting losing streak come to an end. The Mustangs ended a losing streak lasting 15 years against Cassville earlier this season; they also ended a 18-year losing streak with a 21-18 win over Monett on September 30th. McDonald County has shown that, like Aurora, they have turned it around on both sides of the ball this season. The Mustangs have produced 171 points this season, which is 69 more points than the 102 they produced through eight games last season. The defense has given up 179 points this season, a number that is only a mere dent in the 320 points they had given up last year through eight games. The defense has also produced its first shutout for McDonald County since September 15, 2004, a game that resulted in a 7-0 victory for the Mustangs over the Nevada Tigers.

Statistical Advantages

Points Per Game: McDonald County: 21.4   vs   Aurora: 26.4

Points Allowed Per Game: McDonald County: 22.38   vs   Aurora: 24.38

State Rank*: McDonald County: 103   vs   Aurora: 82

*According to MaxPreps.com

Common Opponents

The Mustangs and Houn’ Dawgs have shared six common opponents: Seneca, Cassville, Mount Vernon, Lamar, Monett, and East Newton

Mac County: vs Seneca(L 13-41)   vs Cassville(W 21-14)   vs Mt. Vernon(L 21-43)   vs Lamar(L 8-50)   vs Monett(W 21-18)   vs East Newton(W 54-0)

Aurora: vs Seneca(L 14-15)   vs Cassville(L 13-34)   vs Mt. Vernon(W 33-14)   vs Lamar(L 6-30)   vs Monett(W 46-10)   vs East Newton(W 52-25)

Aurora has the pretty clear edge in their common meeting against Seneca. Then the Mustangs have the clear edge from what we’ve see in their game against Cassville. The momentum then flips again as Aurora pounded a Mount Vernon squad that spoiled the McDonald County homecoming. Both teams got drubbed pretty well by the Lamar Tigers, but Aurora appears to have the slight edge in the matchup. Aurora then also dismantled a Monett team that took McDonald County to the edge a few weeks ago. However, Aurora gave up 25 points to East Newton, a team that McDonald County shutout last week. Those 25 points that Aurora gave up to the Patriots are 65% of the points they’ve scored all season (38 points this year). From what is seen in the common opponents, the Aurora defense looks great at times, but rather lackluster at other times. The McDonald County offense is very consistent at scoring about 21 points each week.

The Bottom Line

The up and down play of the Aurora defense matched up against the consistent play by the McDonald County offense is a very intriguing matchup, and I think this game is really a tossup. The McDonald County defense going against the Aurora offense should also be a pretty even matchup, as the Dawgs offense averages 26.4 points a game and the Mustangs defense is holding opponents to 22.38 a game. If the Mustangs offense can get over their consistent 21 point games, then they should come out on top and spoil Aurora’s senior night. Depending on which Aurora defense shows up, this game is either going to be a night a celebration, or a night of much disappointment.

Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM in Aurora.