The Macksville Mustangs moved to 10-0 with their bi-district win 42-40 win over the Ness City Eagles (8-2) in Tuesday’s first round of post season play.
The mid-week game started out with Ness City drawing first blood scoring on a 28-yard pass from Koltyn Ratliff to Trevor Hawkins. The point after attempt was no good, and that two points would later prove to be the Eagles undoing.
Ness scored again on a short pas from Colin Foos to Drew Clarke with another missed point after attempt, before Macksville found their footing and started moving the ball forward.
The Mustangs scored on a 13-yard run by QB Seth Filbert and added two with a point after pas to Taylor Tranbarger.
Macksville scored three more times on a 29-yard pass from Filbert to Tanner Tranbarger, a 40-yard run by Adam Oak and a 50-yard pass from Filbert to Oak.
“Our kids are resilient,” said Mustang coach Jeff Kuckelman. “Even when they got down 12-0, they stayed on course and responded.”
The Mustangs scored two more times in the second half with a 62-yard pass from Filbert to Tanner Tranbarger, and a 63-yard kick off return by Adam Oak, but Ness City was not ready to cash in yet.
Down 42-26 late in the fourth, the Eagles got within two points scoring on three yard run by Dalton Gantz. Recovering an on side kick, the Eagles scored again on a one yard run by Foos, but were held out of the end zone on the point after.
Recovering another on side kick Ness worked downfield, but the Mustang defense dug and took the ball over on downs leaving the score at 42-40 as time ran out.
“We needed to execute better on offense in the second half and that would not have let them back in the game, but we got the key stop we needed in the end,” Kuckelman said. “It was a great battle. I thought we were on the verge of taking control and they just continued to fight back.”
With the win, Macksville will host the next round of post season Saturday, Nov. 5 when the 9-1 Osborne Bulldogs come to town.
"Osborne has an excellent running back, and are a very good team," Kuckelman said. "They have had a tremendous season and are just glad that the game is here. We hope that gives us an advantage."
The Bulldogs defeated Little River 70-44 Tuesday.