Isabella airs it out, beats Thorsby

Published 11:39 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Isabella Mustangs finished off the regular season in grand fashion with a 34-6 road victory in a county clash against Thorsby.

It was a big game for senior Jamie Patterson and the Isabella passing game.

Starting quarterback Jaqarise Stacy threw for 106 yards on the night, with Patterson on the receiving end for 69 of those yards on two deep catches that included a touchdown.

According to Patterson, the team watched film and thought that there was an opportunity for yards to be had through the air.

As a result, the Mustangs threw the ball 19 times, which was more than its season average.

“Everybody from the offensive line to the receivers is ready when their number is called,” Patterson said.

Isabella built a 21-0 halftime lead after touchdown runs from Stacy, Austin Brasher and Jordan Campbell of 19, 6 and 7 yards respectively.

Stacy accounted for three touchdowns on the night, which included a pair of scoring strikes in the second half as Isabella put an exclamation point on the contest.

The first passing touchdown was a rollout to the left where Stacy found a wide-open Blake Henderson from nine yards out, while the second was a 34-yard pass play to Patterson in the back of the end zone.

It was a marvelous catch by Patterson, who tracked the ball in the air and remained aware of his positioning on the field to stay in bounds as he hauled in the catch.

Thorsby ruined the Isabella defense’s bid for a shutout with a late score on a touchdown run by Chase Birchfield.

Until then it was a highly effective for the Mustang defense, which limited Thorsby’s potent offense led by Christian Fortner to less than 100 total yards.

Despite the outcome, both teams will now look to turn the page and put the regular season in the rearview mirror with each hosting a playoff game next week.

“Our mindset is that next week is the state championship, because if you lose that game nothing else matters,” Isabella head coach Tate Leonard said.

In many ways the playoffs are a second season and a clean slate for all teams involved.

Thorsby will host Geneva County in the first round Nov. 10, while Isabella will face either Marengo, Millry or Linden depending on the tiebreaker scenarios.