MCCOOL JUNCTION – Not even McCool Junction head coach Jarrod Weiss thought the Mustangs would have an easy time Friday night.
McCool Junction, 10-0 and the No. 4 seed, scored early and often as it blasted the No. 5 seed Eustis-Farnam Knights 63-16 in the second round of the Class D-6 state football playoffs.
“I’ll tell you what, we didn’t plan for it to go that way. On film I thought they were big and physical and had a little bit of speed, so I thought we would have our hands full so it absolutely it was a surprise to me,” said Weiss.
The Knights had no answer for junior running back Owen McDonald who shredded their defense for 228 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns, all in the first half.
McDonald scored on a 10-yard run with 8:27 to play in the first quarter and followed that up with a 14-yard run exactly three minutes later as the Mustang lead ballooned to 12-0.
The senior was not done yet as he broke the goal line on a 10-yard run with 3:52 to play in the first quarter.
Weiss said after the game they schemed to get McDonald a few more carries in the game.
“We worked on it this week to try and mix things up a little bit,” said Weiss. “Dana (Hobbs) had been getting a lot of carries. Moving Owen (McDonald) around a little bit and getting him a few more carries helps to keep Dana fresher and it’s late in the season so that is all to our benefit.”
While McDonald had the Mustang run game humming along, Eustis-Farnam could do nothing against the McCool defense, which came in allowing right at 16 points a game.
Hobbs made his presence known in the second quarter as he scored on a 9-yard run with 9:56 to play and then added a 54-yard burst with 5:54 left in the half.
After Chase Wilkinson scored on a 6-yard dive, McDonald went in on a 7-yard run after the Mustangs recovered a muffed kickoff.
The teams went to the break with the Mustangs on top 47-0.
The Knights finally lit their side of the scoreboard when senior quarterback Tanner Fangmeyer threw the first of two second half touchdown passes on a 15-yard strike to Cade Schmidt.
He would later throw a second to Cooper Ray that covered 50 yards. Fangmeyer split the uprights on both PATs.
McCool added scores by McDonald on a 37-yard touchdown pass and a 70-yard run by Hobbs facing fourth and a mile from their own 10-yard line.
The Mustangs ran the ball 42 times for 390 yards and threw 37 yards for total offense of 427. Along with McDonald’s 207 yards, Hobbs added 167 on eight carries.
The Knights unofficially were tracked with 76 yards rushing and added 83 passing for 159. Freshman running back Colton Stubbs who came in with 1,000 on the season was held in check with six carries for 21 yards.
The long awaited matchup between the Mustangs and the Cody-Kilgore Cowboys, both 10-0, will take place next Friday in Cody.
“I have seen a little bit of film on them when they played Crawford and I tell you what I am very impressed with their big kids up front, they have speed and they are physical so we are going to have our hands full with those guys,” said Weiss.
The York News-Times will preview the matchup in Thursday’s sports edition.