Photo Credit: Denver City Athletic Booster Club Facebook Page
Overcoming two critical turnovers early in the game the Mustangs rallied to turn back Idalou 28-25 Friday night at Mustang Stadium.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Mustang quarterback Mario Sanchez rolled out to his right looking for Alejandro Chavarria in the flats but underthrew him when an Idalou player stepped in front of the ball.
Taking over on the Mustangs 27-yard line it took the Wildcats five plays to go the distance and with 9:42 left in the first quarter Idalou was on top 6-0. A bad snap resulted in the PAT being no good.
Things only got worse for the Mustangs on their second possession. Once again it was Sanchez coughing up the ball while trying to get more yardage. This time Idalou started on the Mustangs 19-yard line. Running the option, the Wildcats scored in one play. A try for a 2-point conversion was no good, but the Mustangs found themselves on the short end of a 12-0 score with 7:00 showing on the clock still left in the first quarter.
Those two scores woke the Mustangs offense up and after recovering an Idalou fumble Aaron Mendoza found some open ground behind the blocking of Alex Castro and Kyler Duncan and scooted in from 22 yards out. Juan Herrera split the uprights and with 8:15 left in the first half the Mustangs had cut the lead to 12-7.
Forcing Idalou into a three and out a short punt put the Mustangs in good field position at the Wildcats 44-yard line. This time Sanchez did a majority of the work and scored with 6:16 left in the first half. Herrera was once again true on the PAT and with 6:16 left in the first half of play the Mustangs had claimed a 14-12 lead.
But Idalou was not finished. Taking the ensuing kickoff at their 25 they started their own drive to their end of the field. The Mustangs were finally able to hold them inside their 10-yard line, but the Wildcats were true on a field goal as time expired to give them a 15-14 halftime lead.
Idalou received the second half kickoff and started another drive to the Mustangs end of the field. This drive resembled their drive just before half time and once again the Mustang’s defense finally held them deep inside their end of the field. Once again, the Wildcats put points on the board with their second field goal of the game. With 7:29 left in the third quarter their lead had jumped to 18-14.
Taking the kickoff at their 30-yard line the Mustangs once again started a drive to the Wildcats end of the field. This drive also paid off as Arron Mendoza scored once again that put the Mustangs back on top. Herrera was once again true on the PAT and with 3:37 left in the quarter Denver City was once again back on top 21-18.
The Mustang defense once again forced Idalou into a three and out resulting in another Wildcat punt. This time the Ponies started on their 20-yard line. Behind the running of Alexis Mendoza, Aaron Mendoza, and Sanchez they quickly moved the ball 80 yards. Once again Sanchez made it into the end zone with some good down field blocking. Herrera was good once again and with 9:37 left in the game the hometown Mustangs were now holding onto a 28-18 lead.
Idalou was not finished and went on their own 80-yard drive. They cut the Mustang lead to 28-25 on a halfback pass with 4:28 left in the game.
The Mustangs handled the anticipated onside kick and set up shop on the 50-yard line. Unable to move the ball Alexis Mendoza came on the punted the ball that was downed at their 9-yard line. Once again, the Mustangs held their ground and shut down the Idalou offense.
Taking over on 25 the Mustangs took a knee to close out the last 1:05 and with it a big win.
Sanchez was 2/6 in the passing department for 20 yards with Chavarria being on the receiving end of both passes.
In the rushing department Sanchez had 149 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns, Aaron Mendoza finished with 93 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, Alexis Mendoza had 77 yards on 13 carries, and Chavarria had four yards on one carry.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Mustangs as the make their way down the road to take on Seminole in what is shaping up to be a barn burner. With two common opponents it’s starting to look like an evenly match game. The Indians defeated Idalou 22-21 and Pecos 27-21 both on the road.
They dropped their first game of the year last Friday to a good Greenwood team 38-8. Game time Friday in Seminole is set for 7PM.