A future star Iola Mustang footabll team played its first game of the season Tuesday.
The Iola youth 5th and 6th-grade tackle football team opened with a 13-0 home shutout over Uniontown.
The team plays four regular season games in a league that includes Uniontown, two Fort Scott teams, Garnett, Osawatomie, Mound City, and Louisburg. The teams are split into two divisions (north and south) and at the end of the year, the top two teams will play for a championship.
The first step toward that started Tuesday night.
Both teams came out of the gate looking a little unsure. Neither could get anything going and the game went into halftime with a 0-0 score.
We had a lot of first-year players who have never done this before, head coach Robie Fountain said. We knew it would be a challenge for them but as the game went on we started to move a little better and got a little tougher and we started to move the ball a little bit and tackle.
The Mustang defense continued to hold strong forcing an interception and multiple turnovers on downs throughout the evening.
We have practiced a lot and weve only had one day without full pads, Fountain said. This is the result of that. We hit a lot and so far it shows.
With 29 seconds left in the third quarter, the Mustangs notched the first points of the game as running back Cole Mathis scampered around the right side of the field for an 11-yard touchdown run. Drake Weir ran in the two-point conversion and the Mustangs led 8-0.
Minutes later, it would be Jayden Grenier who broke free on the left side of the field for an 11-yard touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, the touchdowns from Mathis and Grenier put Iola up 13-0 and all but put away the game with just 3:29 left on the clock.
Theyre our two workhorses, Fountain said. Theyll carry us where we need to go.
After the clock had run down, the team made its way to the locker room where family and fans were waiting to celebrate their first win with them.
I like their smiles, Fountain said. They get to see high school guys or guys on (television) and this is their chance to be them. They have fun. Its all about the smiles and the fans over there telling them good job. Thats what makes me happy.
Next Tuesday, the Mustangs will take on Mound City in Mound City for their first taste of road action.
We only have four games but we do play for a championship, Fountain said. We need to win those and then try to win the championship. Thats our goal.
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