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Mustangs High Step To The Victory

Give the Carson Senators credit, prior to the game, and for the first few minutes, they were fired up! The Senators won the kick and deferred, choosing to kick off and play defense. Things went well for the Senators on that first Damonte possession, forcing the Mustangs to punt. If the game had been a “choose your own adventure” book (weren’t those the best), here would be the options for the Senators to choose from at that point in the game:

1) block the punt

2) fake punt, first down Damonte

3) set up for a return

The Senators chose to set up for a return, choosing to play offense following the Cade Rodahoffer punt. But, the Senators were unable to crack the code on the Mustangs formidable defense and were forced to punt it back to the Mustangs. After the punt it only took Ashton Hayes two plays to find the end zone. The Mustangs had the ball on their 48-yard line, and it was second down. After receiving the handoff from Kulpin, Hayes glided to his left, the short side of the field, looking for a gap. It appeared the defense was ready for the play and that Hayes would be bottled up. The first defender to try and bring Hayes down was Gilbert Palonco-Vasquez, he was stiff-armed and left behind. Next, Hayes side stepped Giovanni Arce-Garcia, leaving him grasping the thin cool October night air. After that Hayes ran through an arm tackle attempt by Jackson Kalikci before stiff arming Jonathan Laplante. After that it was nothing but open field and high stepping into the endzone. Sitting in the press box, I looked to my right and left, three of us in the box, all three of us convinced Hayes should have been brought down in the backfield, or at worst at the line of scrimmage. It was one of those runs that people talk about, and years from now thousands of people will say they saw that run live.

After the Hayes touchdown the Senators enthusiasm seemed to wane as Damonte’s defense forced another punt and the Mustangs found the end zone again. The second touchdown was through the air, Kulpin found Hayes deep downfield for the score. After one quarter the Mustangs had a 13-0 lead. In the second the quarter, the Mustangs really got the offense going. Kulpin found Ian Williams for a 29-yard touchdown pass making the score 20-0. Another touchdown for Hayes, a two yard run, and then Kulpin would hit Ryan Mandichak streaking across the middle of the field. Mandichak would be brought down at the 12-yard line. On the next play Hayes would find the end zone again, a 12 yard run, making the score 33-0, which is what the halftime score would be.

The Senators started the second half with the ball; however, the Mustangs defense rose to the occasion on a crucial fourth down, giving the ball back to their offense. On that next possession, Mandichak would score making the score 40-0, which would be the final.

With a formidable defense, and an offense that has improved every week, the Mustangs will look to notch another league victory next Thursday night at home, hosting the Douglas Tigers. The Tigers lost to the Bishop Manogue Miners Friday night in Minden, 55-13. The Tigers are 3-5, 1-2 in Sierra League play. The Tigers defeated the Wooster Colts 42-22 on October 4th, but since then have lost two-straight league games: a 24-25 decision at Galena and Friday night’s loss to the Miners. Elsewhere in the Sierra League, the Galena Grizzlies were defeated by the Wooster Colts, Friday night, 31-7. Current Sierra League standings:

 Damonte is 3-0 in league play, 7-1 overall

 Bishop Manogue is 2-1 in league play, 4-3 overall

 Galena is 2-1 in league play, 3-4 overall

 Douglas is 1-2 in league play, 3-5 overall

 Wooster is 1-2 in league play, 2-6 overall

 Carson is 0-3 in league play, 2-6 overall

Next week the Mustangs host the Tigers, the Miners host the Grizzlies, and the Senators host the Colts. The final Sierra League playoff spot (four playoff spots available for the Sierra League, four for the High Desert League) may come down to the last weekend of the year and the Silver State’s oldest rivalry, Carson vs Douglas. That final week will find the Mustangs at Galena, defending the largest trophy in high school athletics, the coveted “Cross Saw”. The weather has turned, dress in layers and DON’T FORGET THAT NEXT WEEK’S GAMES ARE MOVED UP ONE DAY BECAUSE OF NEVADA DAY!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Lynn Ault announces varsity football, basketball, and wrestling for Damonte Ranch. He is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative to DRHS. His daughter graduated from Damonte in 2017, his son is a senior this year and has been a part of DRFP all four years.

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