October 09, 2013 Edition

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Mustangs beat Rivercrest
to remain undefeated



Hoxie's Colton Brown crosses the goal line for a Mustang touchdown during Friday night's 21-14 conference victory over Rivercrest.
Submitted Photo ~ David Dobbs
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

It was a game dominated by the defenses, as the undefeated Hoxie Mustangs battled the Rivercrest Colts in a showdown between teams tied atop the 3A-3 Conference standings Friday night at Wilson.

In the end, it was the Mustangs' defense that stood tallest, keeping the Colts out of the end zone, and coming up with a crucial takeaway in the fourth quarter to help secure Hoxie's 21-14 victory. Rivercrest managed just 22 yards of total offense and three first downs on the evening.

"Our defensive coaches - Brett Shrable, Chris Wagoner and Chris Murray - had a fantastic game plan. Anytime you hold a quality team that is as dangerous as Rivercrest to 22 total yards, you have done something special," said Hoxie head coach Tom Sears.

The game was scoreless until four minutes before halftime, when Cole Sears scored on a four-yard run to put the Mustangs on the board. Casey Middlecoff kicked the extra-point to give Hoxie a 7-0 lead heading to the locker room.

The Mustangs' were on offense to start the second half, but a Rivercrest defender forced a fumble. The Colts' Clifton Boone picked up the loose ball and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. The PAT tied the game at 7-7 less than a minute into the third quarter.

The score remained tied until midway through the fourth period, when Sears passed 12 yards to Chase Spradlin for the go-ahead score. Middlecoff booted the PAT to put Hoxie up 14-7 with 7:52 to play.

The Mustangs' defense rose to the occasion on Rivercrest's ensuing possession when Kyle Wilson picked off a Colt pass and returned it 35 yards to set up Hoxie's next score. Colton Brown capped the Mustangs' drive with a seven-yard run. Middlecoff's extra-point gave Hoxie a 21-7 lead with six minutes to play.

Rivercrest's Tim Talley returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown with 5:52 remaining. The PAT brought the Colts to within 21-14, which would prove to be the final score.

"I was very proud of our team's performance. We were very physical in all phases of the game. I'd like to thank the band and our crowd for their great support," said Coach Sears.

Sears completed three-of-eight passes, for 36 yards and one touchdown. He was also the Mustangs' leading rusher, with 121 yards on 20 carries.

Hoxie churned out 235 yards of offense, 205 of which came on the ground. In addition to Sears, Gunner Cook added 51 yards on 15 carries. Brown finished with 40 yards on six carries, and Wilson carried once for six yards.

Slade Sullens caught one pass for 18 yards. Spradlin caught a 12-yard pass for a touchdown, and Jacob Henson had one reception for six yards.

Defensively, Conner Roberts recorded seven tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.

With the win, the Mustangs improved to 5-0 on the season. Hoxie and Earle are tied for first place in the conference with 2-0 records.

The Mustangs host Earle on Friday at Crider Field. Game time is 7 p.m.

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