EUSTIS – The Sumner-Eddyville-Miller Mustangs traveled to Eustis to knock helmets with the Eustis-Farnam Knights on Thursday. The Knights’ ground-based offensive against the Mustangs led to a big win for Eustis-Farnam as S-E-M fell, 38-60.
The Mustangs were looking at a tough game with the Knights, based on a comparison of the two teams’ seasons. S-E-M entered the contest 3-5, as opposed to Eustis-Farnam’s 5-2. As for scoring, the Knights’ scoring averages overshadowed the Mustangs across the board, an average final score of 48 over 29.
There was still hope for the Mustangs, though, as anything can happen in six-man football.
The bitter cold felt the most seasonably appropriate since the start of high school football season, setting the stage for what looked to be a close game. Both teams went scoreless through the majority of the first quarter with the Knights drawing first blood with just 51 seconds left in the quarter, taking the lead, 0-8. The Mustangs responded with a pass from Creyton Line connecting with Riley Sock for a 45 yard touchdown with just four seconds remaining in the first quarter to tie the game, 8-8.
The Knights took the lead for the second time in the first minute of the second quarter. Just 49 seconds in, Eustis-Farnam’s Tanner Fangmyer completed a pass to Jacob Rupe for a touchdown and the conversion kick was good, giving the Knights the lead, 8-16.
Eustis-Farnam put up another six points to take an 8-22 lead on the Mustangs before the S-E-M boys responded with their second touchdown of the game. Riley Sock, from the four yard line, carried the ball into the end zone and Jayson Guthard’s conversion kick was good. The Mustangs drew closer to the Knights on the scoreboard, 16-22. Eustis-Farnam, however, extended their lead with one more touchdown before the half, running the clock dry as Fangmyer completed a pass to Cade Schmidt for a 27 yard touchdown. The Knights pulled away from the Mustangs, 16-30.
The Momentum was still on the side of the Knights when they came back, after the half. Colton Stubbs returned the first kick-off of the half for a 59 yard return and touchdown, just 13 seconds into the half to extend their lead, 16-38.
S-E-M was only able to return one touchdown in the third quarter when Carson Rohde rushed a 27 yard touchdown, with a successful conversion kick by Guthard. By the end of the third, the Knights had advanced to a 24-60 lead over the Mustangs.
The fourth quarter was the most promising for the Mustangs as they scored two unanswered touchdowns. Six and a half minutes into the final quarter Riley Sock carried the ball 10 yards for a touchdown and another scored with just 37 seconds left in the game,an eight yard run. Guthard’s first kick was good while he missed the second.
The Knights attempted another touchdown before the clock wound down but were unsuccessful and the game ended, the Mustangs fell, 38-60.
“It was hard getting the ball going,” said Sumner-Eddyville-Miller head coach James Beavers after the game. “At times it was pretty obvious we were going to run the ball.”
Despite the loss, Coach Beavers felt the experience was good for the Mustangs and got some extra play time in for some of the less experienced players.
“The guys were fighting, throughout the game,” he added. “Later on, we got some more guys some experience time on the field and we’ll just keep building from there.”
Gaining passing yards for the Mustangs, Creyton Line netted 116 yards, completing four of his 11 attempted passes. Carson Rohde completed four of eight attempts for 60 yards. Riley Sock received four passes for 105 yards, earning one touchdown.
Rohde, on 12 carries, gained 107 total yards for one touchdown. Sock gained 73 yards on 13 carries for three touchdowns.
The loss brings the Mustangs’ season to 3-6, while the Eustis-Farnam Knights improve their season to 6-2.