The Mustangs ended their season Friday night in a heartbreaking loss. The Mustangs hosted the Pender County Patriots, and this was the first time in school history the Mustangs hosted a third-round playoff game. They finished the season 10-2 completing the best season in over 20 years.
North Moore Mustangs take the field in third-round playoffs on Nov. 19.
The Patriots won the toss and chose to kick. The start of the game was hard to watch for both teams. Five out of the first seven plays of the game were penalties. The penalties never stopped throughout the game. Coach Carrouth didn’t blame the penalties. “They were just more physical than us,” said Carrouth.
Mustangs draws Patriots offsides on Nov. 19.
On their first drive of the game, the Mustangs fumbled giving the Patriots good field position. The Mustang defense, doing what they have done all year, held the Patriots forcing them to go for it on fourth down. The Patriots were able to convert and followed by two dead-ball penalties against the Mustangs which set the Patriots up for a first and goal. The Patriots were able to punch it in and convert the two-point conversion giving them an early lead of 8-0.
The Mustangs were able to drive the ball downfield and answer with just under 10 minutes to go in the half. They didn’t convert their two-point conversion making the score 8-6. The Mustangs were able to recover their own kickoff but that wouldn’t be enough.
Patriots scored on a 40-yard pass late in the second quarter, and after a completed two-point conversion, the teams went into the half at 16-6.
Pender County received the ball to begin the second half and scored on their second play. Pender County would go on to score three more times in the third quarter, including a safety on a punt fumble by the Mustangs.
North Moore had to deal with multiple Injuries during the second half of the game.
Pender went on to score one more time and completed another two-point conversion making the score 50-6. The Mustangs wouldn’t give up as they scored on a long run with three minutes to go in the game. Making that the final score of 50-12.
“The season was fantastic, but, obviously, not the way we wanted to end it,” said Carrouth. “So much credit goes to these kids and what they have done all year. The buy-in and the belief they had in us as coaches was phenomenal. Obviously, you don’t want to end the season the way we did tonight, but we couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”
The North Moore Mustangs thanked all of their supporters, sponsors, and community who supported them and rallied behind them throughout this amazing season.
~Article, photo, and videos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Curtis Self.