BY JORDAN MESEROLE
BRYAN — Mums and excitement filled the stands Friday night at Merrill Green Stadium, but the joy of a homecoming night wouldn’t translate to the field as the visiting Magnolia West Mustangs defeated the Rudder Rangers 56-14.
The Rangers plagued by only 33 total team rushing yards on the night couldn’t solve the Mustang defense in Rudder’s sixth consecutive loss of the season.
The Mustang offense struck early and often in the first half, led by a combo-rushing attack that compiled up 497 total rush yards of offense on the night in the victory for Magnolia West.
Magnolia West was led in the ground attack by sophomore running back Adrian Thomas, who compiled up 228 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on the evening. Quarterback Troy Logan added another 158 rushing yards as well as a score on a 56-yard scramble in the second quarter, exposing the Rudder defense that couldn’t seem to wrap up a tackle on many crucial plays.
The Mustangs (3-3, 2-2) went up by as many as 37 points, all of which came before halftime. The Rudder offense finally came alive in the third quarter, scoring on passing touchdowns of 23 yards and 17 yards by junior quarterback Brady Batten. Batten finished the night as Rudder’s top performer, with 122 passing yards and another 23 rushing yards, along with the two passing scores in Rudder’s (0-6, 0-4) defeat at home.
Magnolia continued to utilize the running attack to wear down and defeat Rudder, rushing the ball 66 times compared to only 17 passing attempts. The Mustangs averaged 7.5 yards per carry on the night, along with 26 first downs in the victory.
Rudder’s offense never was able to find a rhythm on the homecoming night, being forced to punt seven times and turned the ball over on downs twice, as well as giving up two safeties.
Rudder will look to get is football system back on track next Friday, as the Rangers travel to face Waller.