Isabella stampedes Billingsley in season opener
By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor
The Isabella Mustangs got off to a hot start as they opened up the 2019 football season against the Billingsley Bears Aug. 30.
Cole Atchison connected with Kendall Reeves for a 70-yard touchdown pass on the Mustangs’ first offensive play of the season en route to a 49-7 victory for Isabella.
IHS would make it 8-0 after Lance Price ran in the conversion, and Nick Simmons would increase the Mustangs’ lead to 15-0 four minutes later when he found the end zone from 10 yards out.
Much like Atchison, Braxden Giles also had a big night for Isabella, starting with an interception and 55-yard return with 4:13 left in the first.
That turnover helped set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Lance Price to make it 21-0.
Giles appeared to make an interception deep in Mustang territory to kill a Billingsley drive, but the pick was negated by a pass interference penalty that was strongly disagreed with by the Isabella coaching staff.
No matter. Giles would simply make another interception, one that now counted, in the end zone to kill the Bears’ drive and give the Mustangs the ball at their own 20-yard line after the touchback early in the second quarter.
Later in the second period Atchison connected with Giles on touchdowns of 31 and 52 yards that would give Isabella a 35-0 lead going into the halftime break, but not before Austin Jones made an interception for Isabella late in the second quarter.
The action slowed down in the second half, as Isabella tacked on another score in the third period.
Billingsley muffed a punt deep in its own territory, and Jones recovered on the Bears’ 13.
The next play saw Simmons gallop into the end zone to make it 42-0 Mustangs late in the third.
Jake Logan would put the final points of the night on the board for Isabella on a 25-yard run with 9:06 left to go in the game.
Billingsley was able to find some life and had a few big plays in the contest, but they were hampered by turnovers and penalties.
Levi Arington finally got the Bears on the board with a goal-line plunge after a long sustained drive with 3:03 left to play.
Isabella finished the contest with 213 yards passing and 207 yards rushing.
The Mustangs (1-0) will begin Class 1A, Region 3 play next week when it hosts Francis Marion on Sept. 6.
Billingsley (0-2) will also begin its Class 1A-4 region play Sept. 6 when it hosts Loachapoka.