The McCracken County Mustangs celebrated Homecoming with a 43-7 win over the Caldwell County Tigers Friday night at Marquette Stadium.
The Mustangs built a 21-7 lead by halftime and extended that lead 35-7 by the end of the third quarter. McCracken’s two-point conversion from Cade Churchwell pushed the Mustangs lead out 43-7 just three minutes into the fourth quarter to invoke a running clock for the game’s final nine minutes.
Andrew Farmer found the end zone first for the Mustangs on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Maddox O’Neal to give the Mustangs the initial 6-0 lead. Brock Wilson kicked his first of five good extra points for the night to make 7-0 at the 6:49 mark.
Caldwell knotted the game up five minutes into the second quarter. Caldwell initially got the touchdown 2:17 into the period with a 17-yard run from Gus Fox, but a flag on the play for holding set the Tigers back at the 32-yard line. Eventually, Caldwell moved the ball back down the field to claim the touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Daelyn Lander to Fox. Timothy Nichols kicked the extra point for Caldwell to tie the game 7-7.
It took the Mustangs just over a minute to take the lead back. Wide receiver Cooper Falconite lived up to the title, rushing in a 35-yard pass from O’Neal to give the McCracken back the lead, 13-7.
McCracken got back-to-back possessions when James Barragan recovered the return kick intended for Caldwell to give McCracken back the ball. Farmer found the end zone once again, with a 17-yard touchdown pass from O’Neal, to give the Mustangs the 21-7 lead going into halftime.
McCracken scored twice in the third quarter. A four-yard run from Chase Dassing at the 3:07 mark added insurance, 27-7, and an 18-yard run by Zeno Cornelius with 3:48 left in the period. made it 34-7. With Wilson’s extra point, the Mustangs had a commanding 35-7 lead going into the final frame.
With 9:48 left in the game, McCracken’s Frankie Nutt recovered a Caldwell County fumble at the Caldwell 38-yard line halting a Tiger comeback to make way for one last Mustang touchdown.
Cornelius slipped through the Tiger defense for a 47-yard touchdown to put the Mustangs within two points of a running clock, 41-7. Churchwell’s two-point conversion gave the Mustangs the final 43-7 score with Caldwell turning it over on downs to give McCracken back the ball for the final minutes of the game.
With the win, the Mustangs are now 3-2, while Caldwell is on a five-game skid, 0-5.
Caldwell will host Christian County on Thursday next week due to a lack of officials, while McCracken will host Murray on Friday.