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Mullen Downs Mountain Range

by: Aaron Montgomery, Athletic Intern
The Mullen Mustangs hit the road again for a Thursday night matchup against the Mountain Range Mustangs at Five Star North Stadium in Thornton.  After facing top-dogs in the polls in weeks one and two, the team was looking for its first win of the season and in so doing would get things rolling in the right direction.  They did not disappoint themselves or their fans because they showed up and showed out!
The defense set the tone for the game with a quick three and out on Mountain Range's opening drive.  The Mullen offense followed suit and answered the bell in its first possession of the game by driving down the field 65-yards in eleven plays where freshman QB, Koa Dietrich connected from 7-yards out with junior wideout Sonny Donati for the first score of the game.  An assist on the drive went to sophomore running back Dante Dupuch who had a 16-yard scamper to get the ball down to Mountain Range’s 7-yard line. The point-after was good, and Mullen took a 7-0 lead that would hold through the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Mullen’s defense continued to play well. Linebacker Liam Finney made his presence felt with several key stops, and as always senior linebacker A J Guida did not allow the Mountain Range offense much room to operate.  Much of the early 2nd-Quarter was marred with penalties and miscues by both teams.  Regardless, Mullen continued to move the ball, but it was not until its third possession that paydirt was struck.  After a Mountain Range punt, Mullen took over at their own 10-yard line.  From there Mullen methodically began to pick the Mustangs secondary apart.  Dietrich went 6 of 9 passing for 87-yards and capped the drive off with a 4-yard TD pass to a slanting Jordan Leslie.  The extra point was good, and Mullen took a 14 - 0 lead.  When Mountain Range took possession of the ball after the Mullen kickoff, it found itself up against the clock and the intermission break.  At their own 46-yard line and forced to go to the air, the Mountain Range quarterback threw into coverage and sophomore Nick Accardi from his safety spot stepped in front of the ball, pulled it in for the pick, and raced 62 yards for the Mullen score.  The point after was blocked, and Mullen went into halftime leading 20 - 0.

Mullen took the 2nd-Half kickoff and brought it out to their own 40-yard line where they would start the 2nd-Half off the way they finished the first.  Dietrich would find his top target, Jordan Leslie, for another big play. A few plays  later, Dietrich would do it with his legs and scramble for the 1st-down to keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, Weaver caught a pass from Dietrich to set up 1st-and-Goal at the 5-yard line.  A couple plays later, Dietrich found Mr. Reliable, Jordan Leslie, who made a grab in traffic to give Mullen a commanding 27-0 lead.  On the next Mountain Range possession, Mullen senior defensive back, Aaron Seaman, picked off a Mountain Range pass giving the Mullen Mustangs the ball back at the Mountain Range 36 yard line but were unable to do anything with it.  Late in the 3rd-Quarter, Jordan Leslie fielded a punt at the Mountain Range 48-yard line. After making a couple defenders miss,  Leslie would take the punt to the house for the 48-yard return. The extra-point was no good and Mullen extended its lead to 33- 0. 

Mullen began the 4th-Quarter with another forced turnover when sophomore Nicco DePizzol recovered a Mountain Range fumble.  It was at this point when Coach Bennett began to empty the bench in order to give the backups some much needed reps for future service.  Mountain Range would find the endzone to break up the shutout, but the Mullen offense continued to execute, and registered 0one more score when sophomore QB, Blitz McCarty, threw deep to veteran Mason Bonner for a 20-yard touchdown.  That score extended Mullen’s lead to 39-7, and that would be your final score. Everyone who wore a Mullen jersey and gold helmet saw the field for the Mustangs. That’s the goal, to be so dominant that everyone plays. The Mullen Football team will enjoy this one, but there is more work ahead to get to 2-2.  They take on the Lakewood Tigers next Friday, September 15th with a 4:00 PM kickoff at Jeffco Stadium.