After a rough start to their season, Mesquite finally got their first victory, utilizing both strong offense and defense in a 38-7 blowout of Dobson on Friday.
“If you look at our schedule, it’s not like we played a bunch of patsies,” Wildcats coach Matt Gracey said. “These kids have played some tough teams and it has showed. Unfortunately we were 0-5, but we have continued to get better each week. Friday, again, we got better. We’re just trying to get better.”
The Mesquite (1-5) defense set the tone for the night, forcing four Mustangs (1-5) turnovers. Juan Giraldo, who also had a rushing touchdown, had two of the three Mesquite interceptions on the night. Paul Perry scored the first touchdown, picking up Dobson’s Gabe Martinez’s fumble and returning it 55 yards to put the Wildcats ahead 7-0.
“The defense helped us out a lot,” Mesquite quarterback Payton Haslam said. “They gave us great field position and we were able to build off what they did for us.”
Mesquite’s offense capitalized on all the takeaways, scoring 24 points off Dobson turnovers. Haslam threw for 114 yards and three touchdowns on 11-of-21 passing.
In the first three weeks of the season, Haslam struggled with interceptions. In the past three weeks he's thrown nine touchdowns with only one interception.
“Payton is a good kid and he is busting his tail,” Gracey said. “He started the year with a bunch of interceptions, but the last three weeks he has gotten a lot better. That whole group on offense rallies around him and it’s fun to see those guys grow together. It’s a lot of fun to watch them play.”
It looked to be a competitive game early on, as Dobson followed Mesquite’s opening touchdown with a scoring drive of their own, going 60 yards and scoring on a 1 yard run by Martin Tew to tie the score at 7. After that, however, it was all Wildcats as they scored the next 31 points.
“Anytime we have to come back from a 14-point deficit, you lose energy and you lose some momentum,” Mustangs coach George De La Torre said. “That’s what football is all about, is how much momentum you have. We just couldn’t get it back on track. I think we played well enough where we can make some changes. We just have to take advantage of the opportunities.”
Score by quarters
Mesquite 14 10 14 0 - 38
Dobson 7 0 0 0 - 7
First Downs- Mesquite-18 Dobson-12
Rushing- Mesquite- 40-164 Dobson- 35-147
Comp-Att-Int Mesquite-11-21-0 Dobson- 7-21-3
Passing yards- Mesquite-114 Dobson-91
Fumbles-Lost Mesquite- 1-0 Dobson- 1-1
Penalties-Yards Mesquite- 8-95 Dobson- 7-65
M- Perry 55 fumble return (James kick)
D- Tew 1 run (Leon kick)
M- Tondreau 9 pass from Haslam (James kick)
M- James 42 FG
M- Exline 30 pass from Haslam (James kick)
M- Stewart 13 pass from Haslam (James kick)
M- Giraldo 6 run (James kick)