Throughout its history, Strayhorn hasn’t exactly had a lot of last second victories on the gridiron. That changed last Friday evening in the Mustangs’ 20-14 victory against Ashland.
Tied at 14-14 with less than six seconds remaining, Strayhorn quarterback Kyler Houston had no intentions of settling the score in overtime and instead hurled a 30-yard pass to Payton Stanford, who took it in for the game-winner as time expired.
“I’m just really proud of how well we kept battling until the final seconds,” Strayhorn coach Tim Melton said after the win. “We didn’t play as well as I would have liked in some areas and we still have a lot to work on. But our defense is keeping us in games and our offensive line continues to give us lanes to run through, and we’re thankful to be 1-0 through another week.”
As Melton mentioned, things weren’t entirely perfect on the evening. The Mustangs coughed up the ball six times, losing four fumbles to the Ashland defense, and at times the offense sputtered against the Blue Devils.
One of the biggest bright spots for Strayhorn on both sides of the ball was Hayden Alsup. The senior finished with 92 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while also totaling five tackles, a pass breakup, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a recovered fumble.
“I was really impressed by him tonight,” Melton said, on Alsup. “He quietly, but effectively, helped us tonight on both sides of the ball. He just does what’s asked of him and it definitely showed tonight.”
Besides the game-winning pass, Strayhorn’s defense was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. In addition to Alsup’s efforts, Robert Frazier totaled a team-high six tackles, tying with Brandon Shirley, who also made a pass breakup. Senior T.J. Dickerson added in a fumble recovery as well.
As a unit, the Mustangs’ defense had six pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a host of crucial fourth down stops.
Offensively, Houston finished 3-for-6 through the air with two touchdowns, one to Kohen Houston for 22 yards. In all, the Mustangs ran the ball 35 times for 215 yards and totaled 61 passing yards. Joseph Rubio also finished 2-for-2 on PAT kicks.
Despite some of the struggles, the Mustangs quietly advanced to 2-0 on the young season and continue to inch toward their looming region schedule. Meanwhile, Melton continues to remain positive and is optimistic his team will iron out its remaining issues ahead of a tough schedule.
“I have to do a better job on my end in improving our skill areas,” he said. “We just were not fundamentally sound and we aim to fix those things next week as we face Potts Camp.”
Kickoff for the Mustangs’ road trip at Potts Camp (3-0) is set for 7 P.M.
In other action:
Potts Camp 40, Coldwater 8
A touchdown from _____ was the one of the few highlights for Coldwater last Friday evening, as the Cougars fell 40-8 to Potts Camp in a non-region contest.
Potts Camp led 28-8 going into halftime and added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, before running the clock throughout the final 12 minutes.
With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 0-2 on the season. Coldwater will aim to chalk one up in the win column this Friday night, when H.W. Byers comes to town. The Lions sit at 2-0 after wins against Bluff City Prep and Rossville Christian Academy.
Kickoff from Coldwater is set for 7 P.M.