Mustangs' Mason Brummett rushes for 221 yards, 4 TDs in opening triumph

ROCHELLE — The Brookesmith Mustangs created four turnovers and scored 34 consecutive points after falling behind for the only time in Thursday’s 46-20 season-opening victory over the Santa Anna Mountaineers in the Heart of Texas Kickoff Classic.

“I’m super excited to get that first win,” said Brookesmith head coach Scott Edmondson, whose program is coming off consecutive postseason berths. “That’s what we needed to do to set the tone for the whole season. We still have a lot to fix, we still saw some glaring holes we need to take care of, but a win’s a win and we’re glad to get it and start 1-0.”

Brookesmith generated 335 yards of total offense, including 301 on the ground as Mason Brummett rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns.

“He’s the heart and soul of our team and he ran like I expected him to tonight,” Edmondson said of Brummett. “We’re proud of him.”

Defensively, the Mustangs surrendered 360 yards to Santa Anna (0-1), with 254 coming on the ground — including a 74-yard touchdown on fourth-and-14 by Alex Crowder, who compiled 142 rushing yards and three scores. But Holden Bolt recovered a pair of fumbles and intercepted a pass, while Avery Williford picked off another Crowder pass and returned it to the house for six points.

“I thought defensively we played really well,” Edmondson said. “There were only two plays the whole game that I was unhappy with, that’s when we had them pinned deep and they ran the length of the field for touchdowns both times. Those are fixable problems, but other than that we did real well. “

Santa Anna, coming off a winless season in 2017, was playing its first game under new head coach Austin Simpson, formerly of Lohn.

“Turnovers always hurt you, you don’t want any in a game,” Simpson said. “Those are things we have to work on in practice, holding on to the ball and not throwing off our back foot under pressure. Those (interceptions) didn’t have anything on them.”

After Santa Anna fumbled the ball away on its first drive, Brookesmith opened the scoring with a 51-yard sprint by Brummett, then Crowder answered a 12-yard carry to even the score at 6. The Mustangs regained a 12-6 edge with 1:44 left in the first period on a 38-yard run by Brummett.

Brookesmith failed to scored on its next drive, which stalled at the Santa Anna 5 after starting at the Mountaineer 38. Twice missing out on safeties, the Mustangs then allowed Crowder loose on fourth-and-14 from the 6 for a 74-yard touchdown. Crowder then connected on the extra point pass to Jaxon Diggs, and Santa Anna suddenly owned a 13-12 lead with 3:49 left in the first half.

Just three plays later, however, the Mustangs responded as Johnathan Willoughby, who rushed for 74 yards, scored on a 20-yard carry as Brookesmith regained the lead for good, 20-13, at the 2:30 mark of the second period.

Trying to knot the score before halftime, the Mountaineers lost their second fumble of the game at the Mustang 26 with 13 seconds left.

Leading by just seven points at halftime, Brookesmith dominated the final two quarters.

Brummett took the opening snap of the second half 45 yards for a touchdown then, after a penalty negated a Santa Anna score on its first possession, Williford picked off Crowder for a 55-yard touchdown and a 34-13 Mustang lead just 2:23 after halftime.

“We just got a little more focused,” Edmondson said of the string of 34 straight points Brookesmith amassed after falling behind. “We pointed out our mistakes from the first half and adjusted and we were able to capitalize on some of their mistakes. The turnovers were big.”

The Mustangs added two more scores on a 34-yard toss from Bolt to Willoughby – Brookesmith’s lone completion of the night – and a 4-yard plunge by Brummett. Bolt’s interception set up the last Mustang score.

“Defensively we just broke down,” Simpson said. “We weren’t attacking like we wanted to and we were leaving some wide gaps on the outside and they were just exploiting them.”

Santa Anna tacked on one final touchdown with 1:02 left on a 4-yard carry by Crowder.

“We never gave up and finally started putting something together again at the end of the game even though it was out of reach,” Simpson said. “I never want to see them give up no matter what the score is, whether we’re ahead by 40 or behind by 40, play every down as hard as you can. That’s what I saw at the end of the game.”

Next week, Brookesmith hosts Panther Creek while Santa Anna welcomes Rochelle.