• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Recap: Mooreville 43 Mantachie 8

Mooreville had lost three of the previous four games against their rival the Mantachie Mustangs coming into Friday night’s contest. At the conclusion of the first quarter, the Troopers had essentially ensured the cup would return to the green and black with a 29-0 lead.

In the end the John Keith’s group would walk away with a 43-8 win. This one is sure to build the confidence of a young team that is more dangerous than perhaps even they realize.

On Wednesday senior defensive tackle Yoyo Rogers told me, “We won last week and we’re ready to win some more.” Well, Rogers and his teammates did that in a big way and now they find themselves back at .500 at 2-2.

Next week the Troopers will face Independence before cranking up division play the following week. There are challenges that lie ahead, but Mooreville has grown into team that looks ready to face those challenges.

There wasn’t a pass attempted in the entire first quarter of play. That was a positive for Mooreville as Andrew Peugh and Tanner Gray got it rolling on the ground. The rushing performance for the Trooper offense was highlighted by a 45-yard touchdown score from Peugh and the first score of the game, an 11-yard rush from Gray.

Equally as impressive as the ground game was the Trooper defense. It seemed as if they were able to guess the snap count all night, because they stayed in the Mustang offensive backfield. Carson Cryder made multiple stops behind the line of scrimmage, forced and recovered a fumble, and blocked a punt.

Even with multiple players out due to injury, Mooreville was able to continue their steady improvement. In the first two game they allowed 40+ points and scored 15 and 24. Now, in back-to-back weeks since that stretch, they have scored 40+ in back to back games on top of allowing just eight points tonight and shutting out New Site last week. I’m sure coach Keith and his staff are pleased to see such drastic improvement on both sides of the ball.

Player of the Game: Tanner Gray

Not only did Gray score the game’s first touchdown on the ground, he caught a pass and took it home for a long score in the second quarter. It was the first pass attempt of the night for the Troopers.

Stud of the night: Carson Cryder

As I’ve already mentioned, Cryder was very active all night. His motor always seems running on all cylinders and his accelerator is alway touching the floor. The only thing that brought him off the field in this game was a right knee injury.

Closing thoughts:

At the end of the game a pretty awesome scene developed as both teams intermingled after shaking hands. I took an overhead photo(I’m short and I reach over my head as high as I could in crowd of dudes much taller than me) and it was a mix of green, yellow, black and royal blue.

Coach Keith spoke a few words and then the teams prayed together. It showed that even at the core of the rivalry there is respect and love for one another and for the game.

Following that the Troopers were able to take hold of the trophy they coveted so bad. Coach Keith capped the night by saying, “That trophy is staying here. That is our trophy.” It’s been a joy to see the early results that Keith and his staff are getting from his team. After getting his first win a week ago, Keith now has his longest winning streak as a head coach, two games.

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