Forcing no less than five turnovers, the Mustangs thwarted several drives by the Hurricanes, eventually pulling away for a 44-20 win in a bantam division matchup as the JMYFL celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The early signs in this encounter pointed to a highly competitive outing as Landon Witrak broke several tackles in powering his way to a 55-yard first quarter touchdown, pulling the Hurricanes to within four points at 16-12.
Witrak (one-yard run) and Connor Kelly (20-yard run) traded touchdowns in the second quarter before the Mustangs started to pull away. Speedy running back Nicholas Rideout turned the corner and scampered 85 yards for his second major of the game, giving the Mustangs a 30-20 half-time lead and the blue and red never looked back.
"I liked that we forced a lot of fumbles and really hit hard out there," said Kelly after the game.
Indeed. James Lemaitre (2), Alex Hauven and Jeremy Welsh all pounced on loose balls on the ground, with Joshua Wilcox adding an interception to the mix for good measure for the winners.
With the Mustangs defence holding the Hurricanes at bay in the second half, the offence added a little insurance as quarterback Nathan Rivet connected with wide receiver Wil Hausenblas for a pair of TD passes covering 16 and 47 yards respectively.
Kelly, the younger brother of former Lockerby Vikings' fullback Sean Kelly, comes by his love of the sport quite naturally.
"My brother played and I thought I would follow in his footsteps," said Connor. "It was a lot of fun watching him play. He was a lot bigger than me and he would hit a lot harder," admitted the younger of the Kelly clan quite candidly. "I like to run, as hard as I can, and score touchdowns."
Entering just his second season of football, Hurricanes linebacker Mathieu Rivard managed to come up with a fumble recovery of his own in a losing cause. Despite having less experience that many of his teammates, Rivard is quickly picking up the nuances of reading the play.
"You have to look for how many players are in the backfield, if they're going to cut or if you have to run in," explained Rivard. "I'm trying to run faster this year and trying to get my arms around the guys legs to tackle better."
"You can't tackle up at the chest, you have to tackle at the legs," Rivard added. "And then you try and hold him. If you can't get him down, your teammates will come and finish him."
In the remaining games on Monday, the Raiders stopped the Devils 32-18 in the bantam division while the Pirates downed the Demons 38-18 and the Colts blanked the Storm (40-0) in tyke action.
Games resume Saturday (Sept. 7) and each and every Saturday with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend (games on Oct. 14), with consolation and championship finals slated for Oct. 19.