The Mustang football team defeated Irving Nimitz in a tough game that went into overtime on Sept. 1 at Eagle-Mustang Stadium. The team won due to their determination and teamwork.
After a loss against McKinney, the Mustangs came out looking for a win against Irving Nimitz. A lot of the players and coaches believe that the Mustangs could have beat McKinney, but that the Mustangs did not have the game go their way.
“Expect us to improve this week,” Coach David Collins said. “We had a lot of chances against McKinney, but we did not capitalize on all of them.”
The teams started the Thursday night game neck-and-neck with a 14-14 game at the beginning of the second quarter. Quarterback Gray Rodgers was able to consistently keep the chains moving in the second quarter through the air and the ground. Although the Mustangs could move the ball well on offense in the second quarter, Nimitz ended the half with a 27-20 lead as the Mustang defense could not stop the run.
The Mustangs scored two quick touchdowns at the beginning of the second half to take the lead. The first was a running touchdown from Gray and the second was a throw from Gray to wide receiver Jack Brewer to take a 34-27 lead over Nimitz. Although the Mustang offense was practically unstoppable in the third quarter, the real reason for the lead was due to the Mustangs’ defense, which stopped the Nimitz run game that they could not stop in the first half.
“Both Stone Sawyer and Hunter McCord were pretty big for us because Nimitz ran the ball a lot on us, and those guys did a good job stoping it,” junior varsity cornerback Max Braht said.
Even though the Mustangs took the lead going into the fourth quarter, Nimitz was not backing down. Nimitz scored two touchdowns fairly quickly and then converted an onside kick to get the ball back with a little under three minutes left in the game. The score of the game was 48-40 Pearce when Nimitz got the ball back. Nimitz ran out the clock, scored a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion to tie the game and send it into overtime.
When regulation time ended and overtime began the Mustang crowd was going wild. There was a mix of emotion as much of the crowd was pumped up to see an overtime game while some were angered that the game was forced into overtime.
During the Mustangs’ whole offensive possession in overtime the crowd was on their feet and was cheering their team on with all their might. The Mustangs were playing against an unwavering defense by Nimitz and were fighting hard for every yard. Wide receiver Cody Benton was interfered on a pass play near the end zone, which led to Pearce kicker Daniel Davies converting a field goal giving the Mustangs a three-point lead.
Now the Mustang defense had to either stop Nimitz from scoring at all, which would win the game or only allow a field goal which would result in double overtime. Nimitz was running all over the Mustangs as the Nimitz running back and quarterback, who had been running the ball efficiently all day, were not stopping now. Nimitz was able to take the ball down to the one-yard line, but the Mustang defense did not give up and found a way to stop Nimitz on second and third downs, resulting in a fourth down for Nimitz.
“I watched them as a team stay together as one unit that was not multiple individual efforts but a team effort throughout the whole game,” Principal Mike Evans said.
Nimitz was getting ready for a field goal to send the game into double overtime when the Mustang crowd started chanting “block that kick.” Nimitz snapped the ball and, against all odds, Max was able to get around the Nimitz offensive line and block the kick.
“I was just thinking that they hadn’t done a good job of blocking me earlier in the game, so I knew I had a good shot at getting to the ball,” Max said.
The crowd and team went wild, not believing what they had just witnessed, and the Mustang bench stormed the field in celebration.
“That is one of the best football games I have ever watched,” junior Hayden Giller said.