Mustangs defeat Arp, run record to 2-0

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HUGHES SPRINGS -- Coming into Friday’s match up with the Arp Tigers, Hughes Springs was riding high from their season opening win against rival Daingerfield the previous week. Following the win against Arp, with the Mustangs 2-0 to start the season, the town is a buzz with a hope of things to come with this young and hungry squad. Hughes Springs Mustang football treated all those in attendance to a hard fought, gritty win, 22-21 against a ranked and tough Arp Tiger team.

Yards were at a premium all night, and sophomore quarterback Andrew Gaul took to the air, completing five passes for a total of 146 yards and had two touchdowns in the win. The signal caller was on point all night directing an offense that churned out over 340 yards on the night.

For much of the first half, the game looked like it was going to be a low scoring affair, with the Mustangs starting the scoring off with less than a minute left in the half. QB Gaul connected with Sophomore Isaiah Bolden with 16 seconds left and junior Bryce Johnston converted the two point conversion for an 8-0 lead at the break.

After halftime, Arp didn’t let the lead last too long. Less than a minute into the second half, University of Texas commit Demarvion Overshown picked up a fumble and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.

Arp was not able to move the ball with much effectiveness all night, as senior Harrison Reagan leading the way with an eye popping 15 tackles on the night. Senior Tradarian Craver was not to be outdone either, contributing 12 tackles on the night. The Hughes Springs defenders were quick to the ball and made good solid tackles, making the Arp offense really work for any yardage they did get. Gaul and freshman Trayvon Kennedy joined in on the tackle party with Gaul contributing seven tackles and Kennedy having five.

Johnston also had a stand out game on both sides of the ball, much like most of the Mustangs who play both ways all night. But Johnston had 27 yards rushing on the night, 24 yards receiving while adding five tackles, with 2 unassisted tackles and 1 assist on defense.

Hughes Springs was down 21-14 in the fourth quarter when Gaul, Bolden, Johnston, and Craver got down to business.

Gaul directed a drive that chewed up the clock, and on a key fourth down play, handed off to Bolden who scored the touchdown and go-ahead two point conversion to put Hughes Springs up 22-21 with four minutes to play.

With the game still in doubt though, the Mustangs defense stiffened their necks and with the clock slowly clicking down and the Hughes Springs faithful on their feet, Reagan and senior Hunter Brabham pressured the Arp quarterback into scrambling out of the pocket and throwing the ball deep down the field. The hero of the game was Ty Menefee. The senior saved the game with his second interception of the night, snatching a pass from the Arp quarterback to save the slim 22-21 lead. Menefee’s interception allowed Hughes Springs to run out the remaining 30 seconds in the game.

On the night, Bolden had 51 yards running, Menefee had 68 yards and Craver had 39 yards. The rushing attack for Hughes Springs managed 200 yards on an average of 4.4 a carry. Johnston also had 24 yards receiving and Bolden had 30 yards. Big man on campus literally and figuratively on the field Friday was Chandler King, who had 92 yards receiving on the night with only 2 catches. One catch was a 55 yard touchdown that put the Mustangs back on top in the second half after Arp had scored their first touchdown of the night.

All in all, it was a great team effort from the Mustangs and this team although it is a young team; they are playing with great enthusiasm and passion.

With the win, Hughes Springs is 2-0 on the young season, and now travel to Omaha for a week 3 match up with the Paul Pewitt Brahmas. The Brahmas are 1-1 on the season, with a win against Gladewater Sabine in week 1 and a loss to Jefferson in week 2. Games against Pewitt are always tough, so records can be thrown out the window. Just get ready for a great contest between towns connected by family members and close friends, because it’s football in East Texas. Come Friday and pack the stands in Omaha to cheer on the Mustangs. Bring your outside voice and be loud. Go Mustangs!!

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