Mustangs get big rivalry win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Gardner Newman Mustangs ended Long Cane’s quest for a perfect season with a 28-12 victory on Thursday evening in West Point.
Trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, Gardner Newman ran off 28 consecutive points before Long Cane found the end one again late in the game.
It was an impressive performance against a Long Cane team that was looking to finish the regular season with a 7-0 record.
Long Cane still finished as the number one team in its four-team division, and it will play for the league championship on Oct. 25.
Gardner Newman finished fourth, and it will face Smiths Station next week in its final game.
“It was great to see all of the guys’ excitement, and the coaches were hugging, and the kids were jumping up and down,” Gardner Newman head coach Scooter Weathers said. “We’re hoping this is something we can build on, and carry it over into Smiths Station next Thursday, and carry it over into the spring, and carry it over into next season.”
Long Cane struck first, with O.J. Strozier throwing a touchdown pass to x’vaious Bulger in the first quarter.
Gardner Newman scored the next four touchdowns to put it away.
Quarterback Eric Tumlin had a touchdown run, and he also threw a scoring pass to Qua Hurston
Valshawn Patterson added a pair of scoring runs for the Mustangs.
Long Cane’s second touchdown came on a Jaylen Young run in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Gardner Newman got interceptions from Magic Johnson, Ni Gunsby and Patterson.
Patterson returned his interception for a touchdown, but the score was negated because of a penalty.
“Defense was lights out,” Weathers said. “Like I always tell them, offense puts butts in the seats, but defense wins championships.”
Leading at the half, Weathers encouraged the players to make sure to not let up when they returned to the field in the third quarter.
“I told them at halftime, men, they ain’t been hit like this all year,” Weathers said. “They haven’t had to overcome adversity. So I told them we can’t slack off. And we got the ball first and went down and scored that put us up 20-6.”
Gardner Newman won the seventh-grade game 14-8.
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