04/23 DIGGERS @ MUSTANGS
GREAT NORTH CONFERENCE
Mini Cassia Diggers-5, Idaho Mustangs-7
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Idaho Falls, Idaho- Raveston Stadium
Courtesy of Bronson French, Idaho Mustangs.
Going into Week 4, it’s hard to think of two teams that were in such different places. The Diggers were coming into Idaho Falls undefeated, and at the top of the Idaho Division. The Mustangs, on the other hand, were limping into the fourth week of the RMFL season after 2 straight road losses to the Stampede and the Anarchy. The Mustangs’ high expectations for this season seemed to be in serious jeopardy.
The game started slowly with both teams playing stout defense, trading three and outs for most of the first quarter. The Mustangs’ special teams woes continued with another fumbled punt return in the first, which almost led to the Diggers having a big break and being able to score. But the Mustangs’ defense was able to hold them. Both Defenses were able to hold firm for most of the first half with the score 0-0 at the 2 minute warning. The Diggers’ strong defense forced the Mustangs to punt with the half winding down. The Diggers blocked the Mustangs’ punt and gave themselves another great chance to break the scoreless first half. The following play was a long pass completed inside the 5 yard line. The Mustangs’ defensive front held firm, and pushed the Diggers back to force a long field goal. On the last play of the first half the Diggers finally broke the 0-0 tie with a 27-yard Luis Miramontes field goal.
The Diggers came into the second half with a 3-0 lead. As the third quarter progressed, the low scoring affair continued until the Mustangs forced a turnover, and finally gave themselves a chance to score with a long strike from QB Zach Turnage to WR Shane Bailey to put the ball inside the 5. Finally at third and goal, the first and only touchdown of the game was punched in by Turnage. The rest of the game was more of the same defensive struggle. Both defenses were able to force a few more turnovers as well as three and outs, but it would lead to no more points.
As the fourth quarter was coming to a close, the Mustangs forced one more punt from the Diggers that proved almost fatal. Worrying about the recent struggles on punt returns, the Mustangs let the punt roll away only to be downed near their own goal line. After being stopped on first, second, and third downs the Mustangs decided to take a safety in order to not give the game away on another poor special teams play. With less than a minute to play, the Diggers had 60 yards to go, and had two chances to steal a deep score. The final play was an interception made by Shane Bailey of the Mustangs. The game ended with a 7-5 Mustangs win.
Some stand-outs from the game for the Mustangs were Shane Bailey, who set up the touchdown and received the game-ending interception. Chet Bergeson caused three takeaways for the Mustangs defense. Mike DaRonch led the team in tackles for the second week in a row. Corey Walked and Jarrod Lewis had a pair of sacks each. The Diggers’ offensive and defensive efforts were lead by RB and LB Gerriuh Nay.
The Mustangs will make the long haul to Billings for a meeting with the Xtreme next week, while the Diggers will host the Warriors in Burley. These two teams will meet again to finish the season in Burley.