On an emotional night for the Eldon community, the Mustangs football team provided plenty of cheers en route to an 82-48 victory over Warsaw on Homecoming night.

Earlier in the week, a junior football player was seriously injured during practice and remains hospitalized. Eldon players paid tribute by wearing #13 decals on their helmets while the hundreds of fans in attendance graciously donated funds to a collection for the family.

Senior running back Isaiah Merida, who was also named Homecoming King, and junior quarterback Dawson Brandt created chaos in the form of the triple and run-pass option attack, combining for nine touchdowns in the first three quarters of play against the Wildcats. By the end of the night, Eldon recorded 651 yards of total offense.

Brandt finished with 79 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding 138 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Merida caught one of those touchdown passes — on Brandt’s first pass attempt — and rushed for three more totaling 127 rushing yards and 49 receiving yards. Junior fullback Isaiah Parsons got in the mix with 79 rushing yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Jordan Metz added a score on the ground to go with 60 rushing yards and fellow senior wideout Austin Pipes hauled in a touchdown catch from a perfectly executed reverse-pass trick play. Pipes finished with two catches for 54 yards.

The closest the 3-3 Wildcats ever came to matching the 5-1 Mustangs was early in the first quarter when Warsaw responded to Eldon’s opening touchdown with a score of their own, but missed the two-point conversion attempt. Coach Shannon Jolley’s team responded with 24 unanswered points, opening the lead up to 38-12 with 3:33 remaining in the second quarter before a fury of offense and lack of defense.

Both teams would exchange six touchdowns in the remaining minutes with the last one coming with 10 seconds left in the first half and cementing Eldon’s victory with a commanding lead of 61-34 heading into the locker room.

The Mustangs clamped down on defense in the second half as they held the visiting team to 12 points in the second half while adding 21 more of their own. Brandt led the charge as the defensive back paced the Mustangs with seven total tackles on the night.

Next week Eldon (5-1) travels to Versailles (2-4) for a rivalry matchup scheduled for 7pm at VHS.