Isabella shuts out Jemison in spring game

The Isabella Mustangs picked up right where they left off on the gridiron with a 47-0 win over Jemison during a spring game on May 11.

The Mustangs’ defense set the tone early by forcing a three-and-out on Jemison’s opening possession.

It did not take long for Isabella to establish its running game and Jaqarise Stacy took advantage with a designed quarterback run, breaking arm tackles on his way to the end zone for the game’s first score.

“We knew we were going to be young up front, and we’ve got to get back on the grind there,” Jemison head coach Van Clements said. “Defensivly we’ve got to do a better job tackling. That’s something that we’ve preached for the last two years and we’re going to have to keep preaching.”

As the ground game became more effective it opened up the ability for the play action pass, and Stacy sold the fake to perfection and delivered a strike to Jordan Campbell down the middle of the field.

One play later, Austin Brasher punched it in for a touchdown from a yard out to put the Mustangs up 13-0.

The Isabella defense made yards tough to come by for Jemison and put an exclamation point on the first half after an interception return for a score by Stacy.

Isabella led 19-0 heading into halftime.

“We’ve got a lot of skill guys back and we feel pretty good about the depth at that position,” Isabella head coach Tate Leonard said. “Our offensive line is what’s got to come together. We’re still trying to find those five that gel together.”

Despite the score, Jemison head coach Van Clements saw several positives that can be honed in on throughout the offseason and into fall practice.

After a year as the starting quarterback, Eric Evans looks even more comfortable in his role as a playmaker and leader for the Panthers.

“Eric is the leader of this team, and he stayed positive all night long,” Clements said. “The guys never quit, because they look to him for their leadership and guidance. As long as he keeps doing that, we’re going to keep getting better.”

Both teams played their reserves in the second half, as Isabella added four more touchdowns, all on the ground.

“I wanted them to have relentless effort and to play with excitement,” Leonard said. “Every group that went in did that. Both teams got to play a lot of kids, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The Panthers backups continued to fight and strung a pair of drives together deep into Isabella territory. However, the drives stalled at the opponent 23- and 10-yard lines.

According to Leonard, Isabella’s success in the fall will be determined over the next three months with offseason summer program.

“The only thing I’m worried about right now, is hitting the weight room and getting stronger, so that we can come back next year and dominate,” Isabella lineman Willie Washington said.

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