BROOKESMITH — The Brookesmith Mustangs did their part in an effort to secure their third consecutive postseason berth, and now must play the waiting game.
The Mustangs wrapped up the regular season with a 53-6 home victory over the Rising Star Wildcats Thursday night, ensuring a winning record for the season — something Brookesmith fell short of each of the last two years. The Mustangs improved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in District 15-A Division II with their third win in a row.
Brookesmith will secure the district’s second playoff seed if Blanket (9-0, 3-0) knocks off Sidney (7-2, 2-1) Friday night. If Blanket were to fall, it would result in a three-way tie for the district championship, but Sidney would need a 10-point victory to oust the Mustangs from the playoff picture.
“At this point I’m rooting for Blanket, I want to secure that spot,” Brookesmith head coach Scott Edmondson said following the completion of the Mustangs’ victory.
As for a potential third straight playoff berth for a program that missed the postseason in each season from 2007-16, Edmondson said, “It’d be fantastic. We’re trying to build something here and this is the perfect platform to start with. We’re looking forward to the future and hopefully this won’t stop this year. We’re getting better each year and the kids are still young so we’re excited about the next couple of years.”
In the victory over Rising Star, Brookesmith led just 13-6 after one quarter, but put 3 points on the board in the second period and ended the contest via the 45-point mercy rule three snaps into the third period at the 9:03 mark.
“We did what we needed to do, we came out and finished it up,” Edmondson said. “We had some guys that were pretty gimpy so we decided to rest them a little bit, but we still accomplished what we came out here to do.”
Brookesmith rushed for 368 of its 375 yards of total offense as four Mustangs eclipsed 80 yards on the ground. Randall Williams chalked up 96 yards and two touchdowns while Mason Brummett chipped in 96 yards as well with a trip to the end zone. Jonathan Willoughby finished with 86 yards and three scores and Avery Williford tacked on 82 yards and crossed the goal line twice.
Defensively, the Mustangs forced a pair of turnovers as Cody Mazurek intercepted a pass and Rusty Roberts pounced on a fumble.
Rising Star (1-9, 0-4), which suited up the bare minimum six players, tallied just 55 yards of total offense — 46 through the air and 9 on the ground. Korbin Bass completed 3 of 10 passes for 41 yards with an interception, while rushing for a team-best 22 yards and the Wildcats’ only touchdown. Sadarius Phillips caught all four of Rising Star’s completions for 46 yards.
After forcing a four-and-out to start the game, Brookesmith moved 55 yards in two snaps with Williams scoring on a 15-yard carry to push the Mustangs in front, 6-0, at 7:32 of the first quarter.
The Mustangs returned to the end zone on their third possession, as a 12-yard carry by Willoughby staked Brookesmith to a 13-0 advantage at 2:21 of the first.
Rising Star responded with its only touchdown as a 34-yard toss from Bass to Phillips set up an 11-yard touchdown carry by Bass, as the Wildcats crept within 13-6 with 1:37 left in the opening stanza.
Brookesmith pulled away in the second period with touchdown runs of 6 yards by Williams, 6 yards by Willoughby, 17 yards by Williford, 21 yards by Brummett and 6 yards again by Willoughby.
On the final play of the first half, Brummett was pushed out of bounds at the Rising Star 5, but three snaps into the second half the Mustangs put the finishing touches on the game with a 47-yard scoring sprint by Williford.
“We had to move a lot of people around this week because we were trying to get some guys healthy for next week as much as we could,” Edmondson said. “We had to play them a little bit, which was probably good.”