September 10, 2008 Edition

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Hoxie's Blaine Middlecoff takes a handoff during the Mustangs' 35-14 victory over Heber Springs Thursday night in the Hooten's Classic in Searcy. Additional photos can be seen at www.searcysports.com.
Submitted Photo ~ Scott Ward

Mustangs claim win in Classic

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Blaine Middlecoff ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hoxie Mustangs to a 35-14 win over Heber Springs Thursday night at Searcy.

Middlecoff got the Mustangs on the board first, with a five-yard scoring run with 4:26 to play in the first quarter. Brad Cook added the extra point.

After Heber Springs tied the score 7-7, Cook put Hoxie ahead to stay on a two-yard touchdown run with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter. Cook added the extra point to give the Mustangs 14-7 lead.

Middlecoff gave the Mustangs some breathing room when he scored on a 58-yard run early in the third period. Cook's extra point put Hoxie up 21-7. Hoxie added to their lead a short time later, when quarterback Clay Hart carried it in from two yards out. The extra point gave Hoxie a commanding 28-7 lead with 5:57 to play in the third quarter.

Heber Springs cut the Mustangs' lead to 28-14 on a four-yard run with 3:42 remaining in the third period.

Hart scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard run with 1:13 to play in the game. Cook's fifth extra point gave the Mustangs their final point of the evening.

"I was very proud of the effort and execution of our football team. It was a great win for our team versus a very well-coached and prepared Heber Springs football team," said Hoxie head coach Tom Sears. "The success we had against a quality AAAA school gives our team a lot of confidence."

The game was played at Harding University's First Security Stadium in Searcy as part of the Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week. Hoxie was one of 12 teams selected to take part in the 2008 Classic.

"The Hootens Classic was a great experience for our town and our football program," said Sears. "On behalf of the coaches, players and myself, I would like to thank everyone for their tremendous support at the game."

Middlecoff's 143 yards came on 13 carries. Houston Waldrupe added 104 yards on 18 carries. Cook had 31 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts and Hart carried four times for 19 yards and two scores.

Hart completed 5-of-11 pass attempts for 81 yards.

Jonathan Quesada had two receptions for 54 yards. Adam Madden had one catch for 20 yards. Cody West caught one pass for six yards and Jeremy Anglin caught one for one yard.

Cade Crisler led the Mustangs' defensive effort with 14 tackles. Josh Cypret and Derek Johnson each had 10 tackles. Waldrupe recorded seven tackles and Corey Fountain had six.

Hoxie takes to the road again this week when they travel to Mountain View. The start time of the game has been moved up to 7 p.m.

"We look forward to everyone coming out to Mountain View this Friday," said Sears.

Sports Max players of the week are Middlecoff on offense, Crisler on defense and David Sanders on special teams.

Fans can go to www.hoxiemustangfootball.com to view game stats and Players of the Week from the Hooten's Classic.

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