Wardsville, Mo. – The Eldon Mustangs’ battle against the top contender for the Tri-County crown began with the Mustangs taking an early lead in the second quarter, but Blair Oaks’ adjustments returned the team to form as they went on to defeat Eldon 48-12.
The Mustangs looked to be on the right track to defeating the Falcons early on in the game, a feat that only one team had accomplished this season, with the California Pintos coming close.
Eldon’s first drive lasted for over 10 minutes, as the team drove 95 yards downfield to score on a 2-yard touchdown run by Levi Shinn to cap off a 19 play drive and take the lead with a 6-0 score.
Blair Oaks answered with a drive of their own, taking roughly a minute to drive 62 yards and score on a 5-yard by Caleb Bischoff. With the extra point good, the Falcons led at the end of the first quarter with a score of 7-6.
Eldon’s next drive would answer, as they again ate up some clock with a four minute-long drive, ending with a 1-yard run by QB Wyatt Greenwalt for a 12-7 lead with about 8 minutes left in the half.
And then it began.
The Mustangs’ offense would not convert another score in the game from that point on, while the Falcons scored three touchdowns in the remaining eight minutes in the second quarter to retake the lead with a 58-yard touchdown pass from QB Jordan Hair to Hadyn Lock and two rushing scores, one a 26-yard run and the a 1-yard run, both by Dominic Jamerson.
Leading 28-12 at the half, Jamerson led the Falcons to the end-zone two more times with runs of 15 and 28 yards to improve their lead to 42-12, and a 3-yard run by Bischoff sealed the deal with a final score of 48-12.
The score could have been much higher, had not the Mustangs’ defense picked off two red-zone passes, one by Cole Hedrick and the other by Wren Rodriguez. In fact, in the battle of turnovers, the Mustangs won, having just two fumbles on the night, while Blair Oaks finished with two interceptions and two fumbles. Eldon converted 18 first downs, while the Falcons converted seven, and Eldon’s clean game, with just two penalties, was far better than Blair Oaks’ six penalties for a loss of 55 yards.
Blair Oaks finished the game with 328 offensive yards, while Eldon followed closely behind with 301. Blair Oaks’ Jamerson led the team with 12 rushes for 137 yards and four touchdowns. Shinn led the Mustangs with 90 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
With that win, Blair Oaks claimed the Tri-County Conference crown, with a 7-0 record in conference play. The Falcons also locked up the number one seed in their district, as they play Father Tolton at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Eldon moves on to district play this week, finishing the regular season 6-3, a record good enough to secure the number one seed in the district tournament. They face the winless Versailles Tigers first in the tourney, and will host the game on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.