Mustangs blow up on Rockets
ARMSTRONG – At home Wednesday night, the Armstrong-Ringsted Mustangs delivered a message to the rest of the 8-man teams vying for a championship in this year’s playoffs. The message was: We’re back!
Meeting for the first time since the state semi-final game in 2007 that ended in a 45-42 Mustang win in overtime, A-R completely dominated the visiting Arcadia, Westside and Vail Rockets en route to a 66-6 victory in the first game of the playoffs.
At the onset the game appeared to be a defensive struggle. After AR-WE-VA’s opening drive stalled near midfield, the Mustangs could only put together short gains on the first two plays from scrimmage.
But that all changed on third-and-five as Spencer Clausen connected with Travis Hantelman on a 54-yard pass down the near sideline. Hantelman tight-roped the boundary and sprinted across the goal line for the Mustangs first touchdown of the game. Ethan Eisenbacher drilled home the point after attempt as A-R took a 7-0 lead with 10:35 left in the first quarter.
Following a sack by Craig Tigges on third down, the Rockets were forced to punt.
The Mustangs took over on their 36-yard line and once again failed to put anything together on their first few plays from scrimmage. On third-and-10, Clausen broke free down the near sideline to pick up the first down for A-R. Tyler Tonderum took the very next play 23 yards for a touchdown giving the Mustangs a 14-0 lead with 6:22 left in the first quarter.
On their very next possession, the Mustangs put up another score as Tonderum crossed the goal line, this time from 49 yards out, to make the score 21-0 with 4:04 left in the period.
The Mustang defense made its presence felt on the very first play of the ensuing Rockets possession, as Clausen made a diving interception.
Clausen followed a tremendous defensive effort with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Tigges and on the following possession, took a run in from 46 yards out to close out a 35-point first quarter.
The Mustangs put up an additional 21 points in the second quarter and held the Rockets without a score.
In the first half shutout, the A-R defense completely dominated the Rockets, but it was Clausen who stole the show.
The senior quarterback completed 4-of-5 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 162 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Mustangs to a 56-0 lead at the end of the first half.
On the night, Tonderum totaled 93 yards on nine carries.
Hantelman had three catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Tigges had one catch for a 48-yard touchdown. He also had six tackles, one sack and one blocked punt.
Dakota Odermann led the Mustangs with nine tackles. He was followed by Bryson Rezac with eight.
Eisenbacher converted all nine extra point attempts and hit a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs will face West Bend-Mallard, who took a 44-38 victory over Remsen St. Mary’s, on Monday.