Photo by Shawn Murphy
Both the Burges Mustangs and Horizon Scorpions came into their Class 5A Division II Bi-district matchup looking to show they had the better rushing attack. Burges would not only prove they a more versatile attack, but they were able to best the Scorpions from the defensive side as well.
Burges would take the opening kickoff and drive the ball to inside the ten-yard line after a 25-yard run by Robert Hall. The drive would stall and the Mustangs would settle for the 20-yard field goal to make it 3-0. After forcing a three-and-out, Burges would return the punt to the Horizon 29-yard line. On the first play, Audwin Johnson would toss the ball back to Tavorus Jones who would find a wide open Alec Marenco for the first touchdown of the game and the 10-0 lead.
The Scorpions would finally answer with a drive led by workhorse running back Isaiah Quijas, who would punch it in from four yards out to bring the Scorpions within 10-7. The Mustangs would close out the first quarter with another 29-yard pass to Marenco, this time from Johnson to make it 17-7. The score would be set up by a big 22-yard run by Hall. Another 25-yard run by Hall would get Burges to the one-yard line in the second quarter, allowing Johnson to dive in from the one to make the game 24-7 at halftime.
Midway through the third quarter, the Mustangs would attempt a fake punt but the Scorpions would read it and strip the ball at their own 45-yard line. Eric Cheeseman would take the fumble recovery 55 yards for the score to get within 24-14. Hall would then set himself up in the fourth quarter with a 30-yard run, before punching it in from five yards out and the final margin of 31-14. Horizon would attempt a final drive but stall out inside the ten-yard line and miss a 25-yard field goal attempt. Burges would then run the ball a few times to get Horizon to use their final two timeouts, allowing them to end their Bi-district victory.
Hall would be named the Casa Nissan Player of the Game after amassing 145 yards rushing on 20 carries, 49 yards receiving, one touchdown, and several key runs that would set up four of the Mustangs’ five scores. Horizon will end their season 5-6 overall, 3-2 in district play. After earning their seventh win (7-3-1, 4-2), the Mustangs will face the Justin Northwest Texans (9-2, 6-0) at Midland’s Grande Communications Stadium on November 23 at 6 pm Central Time.
Sergio Robali Reporting