October 29, 2008 Edition

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Mustangs stampede
Earle in 35-14 win

Hoxie's Adam Madden runs with the ball during Friday night's game against Earle. The Mustangs claimed the victory, defeating the Bulldogs 35-14. More photos can be seen at www.lawrencecounty.biz
Submitted Photo ~ Robert Warden

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Hoxie quarterback Clay Hart rushed for four touchdowns, as the Mustangs kept their 3A-3 conference title hopes alive with a 35-14 win over the previously unbeaten Earle Bulldogs Friday night at Crider Field. Hoxie can claim the conference crown with a win at Cave City on Friday and at Harrisburg on Nov. 6.

Earle got off to a fast start after receiving the opening kickoff. Benequez Williams scored on a five-yard run with 11:10 to play in the first quarter.

Hoxie took the ensuing kickoff and went on a methodical 11-play drive, capped by Hart's one-yard quarterback sneak. Brad Cook's PAT gave the Mustangs a 7-6 lead with 5:34 to play in the opening quarter.

Earle struck quickly on its next possession, with Michael Wilson racing 54 yards for a score. A successful two-point conversion put the Bulldogs on top 14-7 early in the second quarter.

The lead would be short-lived, however. Brad Cook scored on a three-yard run to cap a 60-yard drive by the Mustangs. The extra point tied the game at 14-14.

The Mustangs' defense then stepped up, recovering an Earle fumble at the Hoxie 40-yard line. Hoxie took advantage of the Bulldogs' mistake when Hart scored on a 36-yard quarterback keeper. The PAT put the Mustangs back in the lead 21-14.

Cade Crisler picked off a Bulldog pass to end Earle's next possession, as the Mustangs took a seven-point lead into the locker room.

Hoxie received the second-half kickoff and went on another long scoring march, capped by Hart's short quarterback keeper. The extra-point gave the Mustangs a 28-14 lead early in the third period.

The Mustangs' defense shut down Earle in the second half, allowing just 66 yards of offense after halftime. Hoxie's final score came on Hart's fourth touchdown of the evening. The extra point set the final score.

"I thought our players played with great intensity and passion for four quarters. This win keeps us in the hunt for the conference championship," said Hoxie head coach Tom Sears. "I'd also like to thank our crowd and band for creating a great environment and home-field advantage."

In addition to his four touchdowns, Hart ended with 108 yards rushing on 13 carries. He also completed 4-of-9 passes for 63 yards.

Houston Waldrupe rushed for 84 yards on 19 carries. Blaine Middlecoff rushed 14 times for 65 yards, and Cook had 29 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

Cook led the Mustangs in receiving with two receptions for 32 yards. Jeremy Anglin caught one pass for 24 yards, and Jonathan Quesada had one reception for seven yards.

On defense, Josh Cypret led Hoxie with 11 tackles. David Sanders and Blake Snow had nine tackles each. Zach Wilson and Cook each had eight tackles. Adam Madden and Cody Varner recorded seven tackles apiece, and Derek Johnson had six.

Thomas Kingsland caused a fumble and also recovered a fumble. Mike King recovered a fumble, and Crisler had an interception.

Players of the week are David Sanders on special teams, Varner on defense and Hart on offense.

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