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Nixon-Smiley tops Flatonia
FLATONIA -- It may not have been the firestorm Head Coach Carlton McKinney was hoping for, but his Nixon-Smiley Mustangs fought hard from beginning to end last Friday night in Flatonia, and returned home with a 36-33 win over the Bulldogs.
Flatonia scored first in the competition, as Bulldog quarterback Colby Mica connected with Zane Fonder for a 16-yard touchdown reception. The extra point was good, and Flatonia held a 7-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter.
The Mustang offense tied things up just seconds into the second quarter, as Nixon-Smiley quarterback Jaime Moreno found Garrett Earlywine open for 30 yards and a touchdown. Alex Hernandez came on for the point-after attempt, and the game was tied at 7-all.
From there, a scoring frenzy broke out, as Flatonia scored three times and Nixon-Smiley once more before halftime. The Bulldogs ran in three touchdowns in the second quarter, and converted on two of three extra-point attempts. The Mustangs’ touchdown came through the air once again, as Moreno connected with Miguel Hernandez from 20 yards out. The point-after attempt failed for Nixon-Smiley, and the score stood at 27-13 in favor of the Bulldogs at halftime.
Following the break, Nixon-Smiley went back to work, and quickly added to the scoreboard. The Mustangs scored their first touchdown of the second half on a 1-yard run from Alex Hernandez. Joe Medina ran in for the 2-point conversion, and the score was 27-21 in favor of Flatonia. One minute later, the Mustangs scored their second touchdown of the half on a 38-yard scamper by Alex Hernandez. He then kicked his own extra point, and the Mustangs enjoyed their first lead of the game at 28-27.
Flatonia regained the lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by Mitchell Mica. The Bulldogs failed to convert on the extra point, though, and led 33-28, a score that would carry the teams into the fourth quarter.
As the two teams continued to battle in the fourth, lightning struck in the form of Nixon-Smiley senior Damian Perez. Perez took a Flatonia punt and returned it 60 yards for a Mustang touchdown. Jaime Moreno ran in the 2-point conversion, and Nixon-Smiley held on for a 36-33 victory.
While no one will argue there isn’t still work to be done, the Mustangs looked good in their opener. Moreno completed all three of his passing attempts for 65 yards and two touchdowns. A total of five players ran the ball for Nixon-Smiley, and Medina led the way with 186 yards on 29 carries. Medina did put the ball on the carpet four times, however, a trend he must overcome in a hurry. Alex Hernandez carried the ball 21 times for 141 yards, and Moreno, Jared VanAuken, and Miguel Hernandez combined efforts for 18 yards on 7 total carries. Earlywine had 45 yards and a touchdown on two receptions, and Miguel Hernandez had one grab for 20 yards and a touchdown.
The Mustangs will play their home opener this Friday, Sept. 2, as they host the Bloomington Bobcats. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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