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Mustangs Fall To Rams In Playoffs

There was a lot to proud of during the Mineola Mustangs 4-4 regular season, which qualified them for a playoff berth. The feel good story, however, came to an abrupt end with a 34-6 defeat on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the hands of  the West Hempstead Rams and their backfield, which produced four touchdown runs.


“They are a bigger and better team,” said Mustangs head coach Dan Guido. “They beat us twice this year,” he added.


The Mustangs previously fell to the Rams on Sept. 21 by a score of 35-7 and they were looking for retribution. They  came out of the gate executing well on defense, forcing a turnover on downs to begin the game. Their offense was not able to amount much against a very athletic and potent front seven of West Hempstead led by Donovan Steele. 


After the Mustangs punted the ball away, they had the Rams pinned deep in their own territory on third down. An incomplete pass was negated by defensive pass interference which moved the ball to the 27-yard-line. The Rams took advantage of that by running the ball with Enrique MacFarlane (182 rushing yards) and Bruce Gibbs (85 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns). The drive was capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Beaubrun to McFarlane. 


The Mustangs next drive featured one first down on a strong run from Kyle Dunleavy but a sack for a six-yard loss set them back and forced a punt which landed at midfield. After McFarlane rushed for an eight-yard gain, Gibbs scored from 41 yards out, and Anthony Messina kicked the extra point to make it 14-0. 


The Mustangs put together a nice drive on the ensuing possession, which featured an 8-yard reception by Jacob Escobar from quarterback Vinny Bieniek, an 11-yard reception by Brian Smith and a 12-yard carry from Ryan Eccher, but the

Mustangs were forced to punt it away from a short run and two incomplete passes.


The game was broken up on the next drive when Beaubrun connected with Akil Philip for a 39-yard reception and a 51-yard touchdown run by MacFarlane. That brought the score to 21-0 and into halftime. 


After the break, the Rams responded with touchdown drives on their first two possessions, the first was a 66-yard run by MacFarlane, who scored his third touchdown of the day. Not to be outdone, Gibbs scored by two yards out for his second touchdown of the day.


The Mustangs did get on the board late in the fourth quarter on a six-yard touchdown run by James Gerstner who replaced Bieniek after he suffered a minor injury. Not to be overlooked was the decimating injuries for the Mustangs this year.


“We lost five or six lineman to injuries,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a concern.”