Sweetwater downs Big Spring

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Sweetwater downs Big Spring

Post  Kevin on Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:44 pm

By Evan Ren (Contact)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Reporter-News Photo by

SWEETWATER -- The Big Spring Steers got their fill of the wishbone, the option, and their own mistakes in the Big Country Game of the Week on Friday.

Unable to slow Sweetwater's old-fashioned ground-based offense, Big Spring was roughed up for 273 yards rushing in a 28-7 loss.

Daniel Jackson rushed for 81 yards and two scores to lead Sweetwater (4-1), which tallied 339 total yards en route to winning its fourth straight game.

Big Spring, which accumulated 275 yards in total offense, largely between the 20-yard lines, dropped to 3-2 with the loss.

"I'm proud of our kids," Sweetwater coach Kent Jackson said. "I thought we executed well, especially in the first half and we were pretty opportunistic. We got off to a fast start and we were just fortunate that things went our way after that."

Scoring on three of five first half possessions, Sweetwater took control of the game in the first 21 minutes and was never seriously threatened after that.

The Mustangs opened the scoring at the 7:47 mark of the first half when Zach Birdwell found the end zone on a 24-yard option keeper.

Two possessions later, Sweetwater expanded its lead to 14-0 after Jackson scored on a 2-yard sweep to finish off a 56-yard nine-play drive.

The Mustangs drove 73 yards on 12 plays on their next possession, finishing it off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rufus McCann for a 21-0 lead.

"We just didn't execute tonight," Big Spring coach Phillip Ritchey said. "But you've got to give Sweetwater the credit for that."

The Mustangs were particularly dominant in the first half, running a total of 34 plays to grind out 11 first downs and nearly 17 minutes of possession time.

"We knew we had to keep the ball away from them," Birdwell said. "We just kept hitting them with options, misdirection, and with all the different reads, it was money."

Big Spring, which managed 136 first-half yards, had one solid opportunity to score before the break when Monte Anderson raced 54 yards to the Mustang 19. Four plays and two penalties later, however, the Steers turned the ball over on downs at the Sweetwater 27.

Anderson led the Steers with 130 yards on 16 carries.

"It think it said a lot about our team to keep them out of (the end zone)," Jackson said. "We knew how talented they were and we knew they'd make plays, so we were very fortunate tonight to be able to contain that."

Sweetwater's only touchdown of the second half came on the tail end of a four-play 64-yard drive when Jackson found the end zone from 2 yards out with 10:43 left in the third. A 30-yard run by Steven Fields to the Big Spring 10 set up the score, which gave the Mustangs a 28-0 lead.

Big Spring finally got on the board with 6:45 left in the third when Matt Ritchey found Thaddeus Straughter in the back of the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-3.

A bruised and banged-up Ritchey, switched off at quarterback with Zamir Linton for much of the evening, finished 4-of-6 for 55 yards.

"We're just beat up right now," coach Ritchey said. "We're just going to rest next week and get our bodies ready for the Frenship game in a couple of weeks.

"It doesn't matter what you do in (pre-district), it's the district games that count. And that's what we'll tell the kids."

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Picture of Rufus McCann in link

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