Robert Mustar found a milestone within a milestone Friday night.
Following his football program’s first-ever region win, Powdersville’s coach saw extra meaning in a 33-26 victory against Liberty in an Appalachian AA Region game.
The Patriots made it interesting. The Red Devils rallied from an 18-point, second-quarter deficit and had a chance to tie the score; they had the ball inside the Powdersville 15-yard line with less than two minutes to play. But after the Patriots made one final defensive stand to salt away the win, Mustar was happy with how it unfolded.
“The one thing I do like – and trust me, I didn’t plan it this way – our two wins previous to this, against Palmetto and Berea, they were kind of lopsided,” he said. “We played Southside last week and lost, and it was closer than the scoreboard showed. We found out how to win a close one. That’s one thing we can be proud of in the long run.”
Mustar knows Powdersville (3-1, 1-0) isn’t perfect, but he likes his team’s moxie.
“I think you’re going to have great teams, they go in game in and game out, and they’re going to slaughter opponents,” he said. “But I think the mark of a good team, every once in a while, is that you don’t play lights-out all the time but you’re still able to find that victory.
“We truly believe — this isn’t being cocky, this is just having confidence in your kids — that when we’re on, we can play with whoever. But we can’t get used to this. That’s not the way our mentality needs to be.”
Meanwhile, Liberty coach Kyle Stewart is trying to keep his young team’s spirits up following another tough defeat. The Red Devils are 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the region, and three of their four losses have come by a touchdown or less.
“I told them in postgame, if you played the you from two weeks ago, you’d kill them,” he said. “It’s hard for them, without getting a ‘W,’ to comprehend how much they’ve improved.
* Kelly Bryant passed for 435 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 99 yards and two more scores to lead Wren (3-1, 1-0) to a 49-28 victory over visiting Emerald in the Hurricanes’ Western AAA Region opener Friday night.
* Jae’lon Oglesby rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns — in the first quarter — as top-ranked Daniel eased to a 49-0 win at West-Oak in its Western AAA Region opener. The Lions led 35-0 after one quarter and 49-0 at halftime.