LIBERTY CITY – Playing with two senior two-way starters sidelined with injuries, Overton was unable to hold back a tenacious Sabine rushing onslaught, giving up more than 300 yards of total offense for the first time this season in a 28-12 defeat at the hands of the Cardinals.
Overton falls to 1-4 on season going into their bye week, while Sabine improves to 2-3.
Mustangs head coach Bo Talkington conceded that injuries played a part but refused to make excuses for the loss.
“Sabine came out and played well, they made some plays, we just failed to stop them consistently in the first half,” he said. “We made some adjustments coming out of the break and I was proud with how our players fought back and worked to stay in the game.”
K.J. Luster, sophomore signal-caller and the team’s leading passer, is also out with an injury. Luster currently has a 92.1 passing rating.
“We’re making progress from week-to-week,” Talkington added. “We just need to stay at it and play the way we know we can play.”
Down 28-0 late in the third quarter, Overton was set up with excellent field possession by a dazzling kickoff return from junior halfback Tyler Rhodes.
Behind the passing of junior quarterback A.J. McCasland and the running of junior halfback Forrest Lee the Mustangs drove 55 yards in 8 plays. It was McCasland punching it in from two yards out to make the score 28-6 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lee stripped the Sabine returner with sophomore Tre Thompson scooping up the fumble to give the Mustangs possession at midfield.
Behind solid gains by Lee, junior halfback Tim Hawkins, and sophomore fullback Jesse Roach Overton scored to close the gap to 28-12.
Sabine took over and was able to run out the clock and secure the win.
Mustang seniors Alex Meadows and Dylan Lantz turned in solid performances, with Roach, Rhodes, and senior Spencer Wright supporting the line well. Roach led with 18 tackles and 2 sacks, saying that the defense really felt the pressure without seniors Shelton Rogers and Levi West on both sides of the ball.
“It’s tough but you have to adjust and rise above, we came out in the second half and played well,” Roach said. “It’s a tough loss but we’re getting better.”
Lee agreed, adding that the progress the team is making is hard to measure in wins and losses.
“We’ve just got to keep working, keep getting better,” he said. “We’re off this coming week so we’ve got to come back and keep working […] there’s still a lot of games to be played.”
Lee led all Mustang ballcarriers with 18 carries for 98 yards on the ground. McCasland passed 4-for-5 with 49 yards and 57 yards on 10 carries. Hawkins carried the ball 9 times for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams are off this week, with Overton traveling to James Bowie on Oct. 8.