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by Lindy Steeves
The Crane Mustangs rolled to their second victory of the season, 58-20, over the McKenzie Eagles Friday, Sept. 13.
Soon after the 6 p.m. kickoff, Crane’s Jack Bentz connected with Matt Witzel to put the first score on the board. After a failed extra point attempt, Tyler Opie intercepted the Eagles’ first pass play and ran the ball back for 15 yards before being brought down.
In the same possession, the Mustangs raised the score to 14, when Justin Baldwin ran in a touchdown, and Bentz kept the ball to run in the extra point.
McKenzie’s following possession ended when they were forced to punt on the fourth down. But the ball was immediately returned to the Eagles after a Mustang penalty. The ensuing possession was short-lived when a tackle from Austin Roath caused an Eagle turnover on downs.
After moving the ball down the field, Travis Landon connected with Opie for a 6-yard touchdown, and an extra point pass to Witzel brought the score to 22-0 to end the first quarter.
Travis kicked off the second quarter with a 15-yard run. In the following play, he handed the ball to Opie who ran for a 10-yard touchdown. Travis kept the ball for the extra point.
On their possession, McKenzie went three-and-out, and was forced to punt the ball back to the Mustangs. With handoffs from Bentz, Opie and Baldwin marched the ball back into Mustang territory. After another handoff from Bentz, David Steeves ran in a touchdown.
The Eagles’ next possession ended in another turnover, and just before the half sounded, Bentz’s pass connected with Witzel for a 25-yard touchdown. Bentz ran in the extra point, and wrapped up the first half with a score of 44-0.
Crane’s John O’Toole recovered a McKenzie fumble to start the third quarter, returning the ball to Mustang possession. Joe Valentine and Steeves moved the ball down the field into scoring position, where Valentine ran the ball in for his first touchdown of the night. After a failed extra point attempt, the ball was returned to McKenzie’s hands.
The possession was again short-lived, as O’Toole recovered another fumble, and Bentz connected with Dustin Ramge for a 15-yard touchdown and again for the extra point. At the end of the third quarter, the scoreboard read 58-0 in Mustang favor.
The final quarter lit a fire in the McKenzie offense, and the Eagles’ Eric Huffman and Alex Nastasiuk both racked up touchdowns from quarterback Bailey Adams. At the final whistle, the score read 58-20.
The Mustangs’ next (and first league) game will take place in Mitchell Sept. 20, at 1 p.m.
1 2 3 4 Final
Cra 22 22 14 0 58
McK 0 0 0 20 20
RUSHING—McKenzie, McCarick 7-19, Hamlow 2-8, Adams 5-37. Crane, Opie 12-86, Landon, 2-7, Bentz 3-13, Steeves 7-46, Ramge 8-26, Roath 1-11, Baldwin 5-60.
PASSING—McKenzie, Hamlow 4-2, Adams 14-130, Welch 1-19. Crane, Landon 2-27, Bentz 4-51.
RECEIVING—McKenzie, McCarick 1-8, Huffman 3-56, Nastasiuk 2-68. Crane, Opie 1-27, Witzel 2-51.