In front of a packed crowd at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park Aug. 30, the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers and the George McDougall Mustangs opened their 2018 high school football campaigns with a thrilling game that ended 30-16 for the Mustangs.
Mustangs head coach Chris Glass said he was proud of the way his team kicked off the 2018 Rocky View Sports Association season.
“It’s a heck of a win,” he said. “[I’m] really proud of the composure we showed and how we attacked the ball. Our playmakers made plays all day long.”
Receivers Rhett Mitschke and Reid Jensen were crucial for the George McDougall offence, picking up two touchdown catches each.
On the Mustangs D-line, Cooper van Iderstine came up with four sacks, including two on consecutive plays in the second half.
“He made a bet with me before the game that [four sacks]would cost me a dozen donuts, so I’m on the hook for that at the next practice,” Glass said.
Cavs head coach John Remus-Everitt said despite the team conceding four TDs, he was impressed with the performance of his defence. The Croxford D-line picked up four sacks and forced the Mustangs to take a safety in the first quarter.
“We definitely held the line, when we needed to,” Remus-Everitt said. “I’m very proud of the boys and how far they’ve come in just two weeks.”
The Cavaliers’ touchdowns came from Keegan Proudlock, who scored on a 50-plus yard run, and Kai Olsen, who caught a hail mary pass in the game’s final minute.
George McDougall got things started on its opening drive, when quarterback Josh Spencer threw a 30-yard bomb that was caught by a diving Jensen in the end zone.
The Cavaliers’ only points in the first quarter came after the Mustangs took a safety, which brought the score to 6-2.
A blow was dealt to the Cavs shortly before halftime, when receiver Jamal Bacchus had to be carried off following a crunching tackle. The receiver’s strong catching and agility were key assets for the Cavs’ offence in the first half.
According to Remus-Everitt, the injury will keep Bacchus sidelined for the next few weeks, at least.
“That was a tough loss, especially for a starter and Grade 12 who is such a dynamic player – who plays both sides of the lines and plays special teams,” he said.
The team was dealt another casualty in the second half, when receiver Branden Tuck was taken down by a tackle that resulted in a serious leg injury.
“I don’t know the full outcome of that, but from what [our team doctor]told me and what I witnessed on the sidelines, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty serious break,” Remus-Everitt said.
After only scoring just one TD in the first half, the Mustangs came to life in the third quarter, when Mitschke scored his first TD on a 90-yard catch-and-run that got the crowd cheering. Mitschke also caught the two-point conversion on the following play, bringing the score to 16-2.
“[Mitschke’s] been doing this ever since he’s been a Mustang,” Glass said. “He’s one of the best receivers I’ve worked with, and it shows. He’s a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.”
The Cavs refused to give up, though. A few minutes later, Proudlock ran for 50-plus yards to bring one back for W.H. Croxford, bringing the score to 16-8 after the third quarter.
But George MacDougall saved its best for the fourth. Mitschke scored his second touchdown catch from Spencer on a 30-yard play, before Jensen evaded four Croxford defencemen en route to a 30-yard carry that increased the Mustangs’ lead to 30-8.
Though it was only a consolation, quarterback Keegan Henderson found Olsen for the Cavs’ second touchdown with a 35-yard throw near the end of the game.
“Croxford knew how important it was for them and we knew how important it was for us,” Glass said. “They came to play and didn’t stop fighting the whole game.”
The Cavs will be back in action Sept. 6, against the Bert Church Chargers. The game will begin at 5 p.m. at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.
The Mustangs’ next game, meanwhile, will be on the road. That game is set for Sept. 7, against the Bow Valley Bobcats.