PREP FOOTBALL: Mustangs roll past Wildcats, 48-14BREWSTER — Moving the ball consistently in a variety of ways, the well-diversified Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Mustangs overpowered Southwestern United in high school football action Friday night, earning a 48-14 season-opening victory.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
BREWSTER — Moving the ball consistently in a variety of ways, the well-diversified Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Mustangs overpowered Southwestern United in high school football action Friday night, earning a 48-14 season-opening victory.
The Mustangs scored two quick first-quarter touchdowns and then immediately countered a well-executed — pass-oriented — touchdown drive by the Wildcats to claim a 20-7 lead after the game’s first 12 minutes.
Both teams scored a touchdown in the second quarter and the high-scoring first half ended with BL-H-S holding a 28-14 advantage.
The second half, however, belonged to the visitors as the Mustangs scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter and crossed the goal line again early in the fourth period, while keeping SWU out of the end zone.
“We had some highlights, especially with our passing game,” summed up SWU co-head coach Jason Fisher following the game. “Justin Jass made several great throws and both Erik Jass and Luke Henkels came up with some spectacular catches, as we sustained two nice drives in the first half.”
But, the Mustangs ability to control the line of scrimmage was the deciding factor in the game’s outcome — along with the running and passing ability of senior quarterback Austin Ludowese, who rushed for a pair of touchdowns and passed for three more.
“Ludowese is a very good all-around quarterback and he played a great game tonight, getting sprung open many times by the blocking of No. 11 (6-1, 235-pound senior tight end Mason Clark),” Fisher said about the Mustangs’ versatile signal caller. “He broke some long runs and also threw a bunch of nice passes.”
After forcing a three-and-out from the Wildcats on the game’s first possession, the Mustangs scored on a one-yard touchdown burst by fullback Josh Mellies — which was set up by a 19-yard run by Riley Burgstahler.
Just over four minutes later, BL-H-S crossed the goal line again on a 25-yard keeper by Ludowese. Mellies bulled in for the two-point conversion and with 3:24 to play in the first quarter, the Mustangs had a 14-0 lead.
Wildcats complete two long passes on their third drive, closing gap to 14-7
SWU came back with a fan-pleasing drive on its third possession, as junior quarterback Justin Jass (seven-of-14, 133 yards) connected with senior wide receiver Luke Henkels for a 25-yard pass near the left sideline.
A few plays later, Jass hooked up with his twin brother Erik — who made a spectacular catch — over the middle, giving the Wildcats a first-and-10 at the BL-H-S 13-yard line.
Senior tailback Jake Walker (11 carries, 38 yards) scored on the next play, making a nice cutback and spinning his way through the Mustang defenders for a 13-yard touchdown run.
Henkels (two catches, 33 yards) kicked the point after and with 44 seconds to play in the opening quarter, the BL-H-S lead was trimmed to 14-7.
“Jake made a great run to cap a fine drive, which was made possible by those two great catches by Luke and Erik,” praised Fisher. “When Justin had time, he was able to throw the ball very well. That was a fun drive for us.”
The Mustangs, however, quickly countered as Ludowese broke free on BL-H-S’s first play from scrimmage, streaking 64 yards down the right sideline for another touchdown and a 20-7 lead with 17 seconds showing on the first-quarter clock.
In the second quarter, the Mustangs capped a 92-yard drive with an 18-yard scoring strike from Ludowese to Ben Maires and the two-point conversion run by Ludowese gave BL-H-S a 28-7 advantage with 5:05 left in the first half.
Later, SWU’s defense forced the Mustangs’ first punt of the game and then capitalized with another sustained drive — fueled by the passing of Justin Jass.
Jass hit senior tight end Jameson Collin with a 17-yard completion and after firing an eight-yard strike to Henkels, he found his brother again — this time for a 28-yard touchdown strike.
Erik Jass (three catches, 79 yards, one touchdown) outleaped a defender deep in the end zone, giving the Wildcats six points.
Henkels was perfect on the PAT and with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the score was 28-14 in favor of the Mustangs.
BL-H-S took control in the third quarter, capping a 63-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Ludowese to Kyle Mellies.
Ludowese’s third TD pass of the game came just three minutes later, as hooked up with Maires for a six-yard score with 3:37 to play in the third period.
Cody Kurth’s two-point conversion run made the score 42-14.
A 25-yard touchdown run by BL-H-S’s Isaac Bublotz — with 11:30 remaining in fourth quarter — concluding the game’s scoring.
SWU junior linebacker Kurt Schmitz had a stellar night on defense for the Wildcats, coming up with a team-high 14 tackles. Schmitz also carried the ball eight times for 38 yards, including a 15-yard run, in the second half.
Senior tackle Austin Liepold had seven tackles for the Wildcats, who play at Mountain Lake Friday night.
BL-H-S 20 8 14 6 — 48
SWU 7 7 0 0 — 14