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Mustangs top Bulldogs in Nixon

Mustangs top Bulldogs in Nixon
Junior running back Tom Palacio (44) looks for running room during the Mustangs’ Aug. 30 win over Flatonia.

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September 4, 2013
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Flatonia 14
Nixon-Smiley 28

NIXON -- There are high expectations at Nixon-Smiley this season, and the Mustang football team got off on the right foot last Friday night with a solid 28-14 win over the Flatonia Bulldogs.

The visiting team was the first to score, taking a 6-0 lead after a 1-yard run into the end zone midway through the first quarter. A failed point-after attempt left Nixon-Smiley with some opportunity, though, and the Mustangs didn’t pass on it. Nixon-Smiley came back in the second quarter to tie things up, and then kicked the extra point to take a 1-point lead into the locker room. The Mustangs kept things on the ground throughout most of the night, and ran the ball a total of 44 times. The last run of the first half was for only a yard, but it was worth 6 points. Nick Pena did the honors, and Eduardo Tovar booted the extra point.

In the second half, Flatonia once again struck first, as the Bulldogs scored at the 8:52 mark on a 19-yard passing play. The visiting team went for 2, and found the end zone on a short run.

With the Bulldogs leading 14-7, the Mustang offense went back to work. Nixon-Smiley scored with two minutes to play in the third on a Tom Palacio touchdown run. The Mustang defense came up with a quick turnover, and then Jared Van Auken scored 21 seconds after Palacio’s touchdown with a 32-yard scamper into the end zone. Tovar booted both extra points, and the Mustangs quickly turned the game around to lead 21-14.

Both teams settled down a bit from there, but in the closing minutes of the game, the Mustang defense came up with another big stop, as sophomore cornerback Sam Moore came up with an interception and returned it 15 yards for a Mustang touchdown. Tovar kicked the extra point, and the final score stood at 28-14 in favor of Nixon-Smiley.

The Mustangs will celebrate their first victory of 2013, but won’t have long to do so. Nixon-Smiley will need to begin focusing on its next game, which will be against another group of Bulldogs -- this time from Three Rivers.

Three Rivers is coming off a big win over Skidmore-Tynan last week, and will certainly be a test for the Mustangs. The game is set for this Friday, Sept. 6, and kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. in Nixon.

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