Merritt Island Mustangs blanked by New Smyrna Beach

Merritt Island Mustangs blanked by New Smyrna Beach

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Merritt Island Mustangs blanked by New Smyrna Beach

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH

Merritt Island High’s youth was prevalent in Saturday’s Kickoff Classic against New Smyrna Beach.

The Mustangs were outgained 203-66 in the opening half and were down 21-0 at the half, losing 28-0 in three varsity quarters.

“We’re just young. We’ve got to grow up. People aren’t going to wait for us,” Merritt Island coach Jeff McLean said. “(NSB’s) pretty athletic.”

One of the few highlights for the Mustangs was senior linebacker Jake Armstong intercepting a tipped pass that likely kept the Barracudas out of the end zone a fourth time in the opening half.

“I think we just had a couple of big plays. Merritt Island is a great program and they’re really well-coached,” NSB coach Lance Jenkins said. “I’m happy with the way the kids executed but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The Mustangs will open the 2012 season Friday night at home against Centennial. The Barracudas will be at Astronaut.

Making his first varsity start at quarterback, NSB junior Marcus Johnson used six different receivers, completing 12 of 20 passes for 204 yards while running for a 5-yard score.

Another NSB playmaker who had something of a coming-out party was senior Diamonte Mitchell, who scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and hauled in three passes for 59 yards.

Merritt Island struggled to find any offensive consistency throughout the night, leaving its defense on the field for far too many minutes.

“We’re just young. We’ve got to grow up. People aren’t going to wait for us,” Merritt Island coach Jeff McLean said. “(NSB’s) pretty athletic.”

One of the few highlights for the Mustangs was senior linebacker Jake Armstong intercepting a tipped pass that likely kept NSB out of the end zone a fourth time in the opening half.

NSB outgained the opposition 203-66 in the opening half in running out to a 21-0 halftime margin.

The Barracudas took just two plays to get on the board in the second quarter and the brunt of the work came via the legs of Mitchell, who hauled in a 34-yard catch from Marcus Johnson and ran in a 9-yard TD score with 11:52 left in the second quarter. The played sparked the hosts to a 7-0 lead.

With Merritt Island continuing to struggle to move the ball, the Barracudas put together another scoring drive thanks to a 46-yard catch-and-run by James Clark down to the Mustangs 9. Two plays later, Terrill Jefferson ran in a 9-yard score, staking the hosts to a 14-0 lead with 8:29 left to play in the first half.

NSB’s third score of the evening came with 4:41 left in the first half when Johnson ran in a 5-yard quarterback keeper.

The Barracudas opened the second half with a seven-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Kye Hall’s 2-yard TD dive. The score put the hosts up 28-0. Merritt Island did score one touchdown with the junior varsity in the fourth quarter.

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Merritt Island Mustangs blanked by New Smyrna Beach
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