Mustangs seize opening game against Hayden Tigers

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photo by Dwight Siverson | The Mustangs’ defense covers West Grand running back Rene Dominguez against Hayden Tuesday night. The Mustangs brought home a victory 44-26. Dominguez, a returning senior, was listed as top returning running back in a MileHigh Prep Report. Last year Dominguez had 1140 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns and 7.9 yards per carry. This weekend, the Mustangs will host Rangely at 1 pm.
photo by Dwight Siverson | The Mustangs’ defense covers West Grand running back Rene Dominguez against Hayden Tuesday night. The Mustangs brought home a victory 44-26. Dominguez, a returning senior, was listed as top returning running back in a MileHigh Prep Report. Last year Dominguez had 1140 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns and 7.9 yards per carry. This weekend, the Mustangs will host Rangely at 1 pm.

by Chris Brown
WG Football, Head Coach

The West Grand Mustangs season opener finally arrived at Hayden Tuesday night with a 44-26 win. Due to the covid shutdown the Mustangs had a 14 day layoff and returned with 4 practices before the game. So Hayden had a game under their belts and two more weeks of practice than the Mustangs. Also only 18 of the 29 players could suit up. It was apparent the Mustangs were not in shape for a full game and since they don’t have any contact in practice the lack of live tackling was on full display. Still there were some outstanding plays and positive moments.

The opening drive of the season reminded longtime Mustang fans of some “Bob Dell Football”, a 12 play, 77 yard drive all on the ground. It was capped by a Jakob Buller 1 yard run. The Rene Dominguez conversion run made it 8-0 with 6:36 left in the opening quarter.

Hayden responded with their own 8 play scoring drive capped with a blown coverage 47 yard TD pass on 3rd and 12 to make it 8-6. The Mustangs began the second drive but on the second first down a fumble was recovered by the Tigers near midfield. They moved it quickly into a first and goal but were shut down at the 8 yardline.

On first down Buller found Wyatt Howell streaking down the sideline for a well executed 44 yard pass that just had Wyatt stepping out of bounds. Jesus Dominguez finished the drive with a 20 yard TD run. The pass failed and it was 14-6.

The offense then went on a quick, 5 play-74 yard drive highlighted by a 44 yard Buller run and finished with another Jesus 10 yard TD end around run. With Buller adding the conversion run it made it 22-8 with 1:02 left in the half. That lead lasted about 15 seconds as Hayden returned the kickoff 70 yards for a score to cut the halftime lead to 22-12.

The Mustangs regrouped at the break and scored the next two drives to gain command with a Rene 1 yard run and a 46 yard screen pass, Jakob to Rene. That made it 36-12. Hayden would score two more times against the Mustangs while Rene added a 5 yard TD run.

The Mustang offensive lineman that includes Wade Jensen, Alejandro Castanon, Austin Schake, and Parker Graves were very solid in opening holes and leading a crushing ground game. Also, 3 new starters on defense, sophomores Graves, Wyatt Shearer and junior Landon Williams showed up very well for their first varsity outing.

The Mustangs will need to heal the bumps and bruises fast and make the needed adjustments for this quick turnaround due to the covid schedule crunch as they take on 8th ranked Rangely this Saturday in Kremmling at 1pm.