If anything could go wrong, it did go wrong for the Overton Mustangs (1-6), who dropped their second District 9-1A contest to the Big Sandy Wildcats (5-2) Friday night at Sabine’s James Bramberg Stadium.
While the game was Overton’s homecoming, it had to be moved to Sabine due to the ongoing renovations to Coach Chester Roy Stadium.
Overton was hindered by injuries to leading rusher Forrest Lee (69 carries-398 yards-three touchdowns) and Jessie Roach, who is second on the team in tackles (64 tackles, three sacks), as well as sophomore kicker Ryan Gonzalez.
While upstart freshman halfback Jamal Kelly helped pace the Mustang offense early on by rushing for 50 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown in the first half, a leg injury would sideline him for the rest of the game.
The rest of the Overton backfield picked up the slack, with a rushing attack led by committee.
Shelton Rogers, Tim Hawkins, Tyler Rhodes, and K.J. Luster helped the Mustangs roll up 188 yards on the ground en route to a night of 291 yards of total team offense.
Senior center Dae Dae Slaughter and Weston Gillis were impressive also, sealing off running lanes and clearing holes for their ballcarriers.
Defensively, seniors Alex Meadows, Levi West, and Dylan Lantz led the charge, but the no-huddle Wildcat offense was too much for Overton to handle.
Big Sandy rolled up 352 yards of total offense, with 121 yards through the air.
Spencer Wright played solid on both sides of the ball, but also ended up leaving the game late after being shaken up.
“Injuries are always difficult, especially in 1A ball, because every player is so important,” said head coach Bo Talkington. “It’s something you’ve got to anticipate and work to overcome.”
Despite the injury bug hitting the Mustangs, there were some bright spots for Overton, which falls to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in district.
While several big plays sealed their fate early on, the Mustangs were able to turn back the Wildcat charge on several occasions later in the game.
At the 2-minute mark in the first half, Tyler Rhodes picked up a fumble and outran the entire Big Sandy offense for the score.
Later, with time running out in the game and the Wildcats driving, speedy senior Logan Rhoades made an acrobatic interception in the end zone to effectively kill the Big Sandy drive.
Overton visits Maud Friday while Big Sandy goes to Carlisle.