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Minco hands Crescent first loss

November 02, 2022 - 00:00
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Tigers must win War on 74 to claim district title; otherwise finish 4th

For the first eight weeks of the season, it was the opposing teams making mistakes and Crescent taking advantage.

The roles were reversed last Friday.

Minco built an early 20-0 lead and Crescent never fully recovered in a 42-32 defeat at home.

It was the Tigers’ first defeat of the season as they dropped to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in District A-3 games.

The contest was the first of two opportunities to wrap up the district championship.

The Tigers get another crack this Friday when they travel to Cashion for the annual “War on 74.”

While a win would give Crescent a district championship and the potential of two home playoff games that comes with it, a loss will drop the Tigers all the way to fourth place.

With that comes a trip to No. 1 Ringling in the first round of the playoffs.

Minco looked like the state’s best team in the early part of Friday’s showdown.

The Bulldogs got an 89yard touchdown pass from Reed McMurtrey to Carson Littlejohn just over a minute into the first quarter.

McMurtrey added a 19yard touchdown run later in the first quarter and then Littlejohn caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Mulanax just 45 seconds into the second quarter.

That put the hometown Tigers down by three scores.

“We broke two coverages early and just never fully recovered,” said Crescent coach J.L. Fisher. “We just made too many mistakes.”

The Tigers tried to claw their way back into it with 14 straight points.

Boston Cox caught an 18-yard pass from Kade Varner and Tanner Rice scored on a 5-yard run to make it 20-14 with less than 90 seconds left in the first half.

However, Minco stole the momentum right back as Klayton Hughes scored just before half for a 28-14 lead.

The Bulldogs scored again midway through the third quarter and Crescent never got within single digits again.

“Our offense played well, but our defense just had too many mistakes,” said Fisher.

Minco had 428 total yards.

McMurtrey and Mulanax combined for 236 passing yards.

McMurtrey was 5 of 6 for 160 yards and a score.

He added another 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

Littlejohn’s three catches accounted for 165 yards.

For Crescent, Varner was 16 of 22 for 162 yards.

Rice and Cox had six catches apiece. Rice totaled 74 receiving yards and Cox 63.

Luke Descher led the team with 41 rushing yards on nine attempts.

Defensively, Tylan Neugent had 14 tackles for the Tigers while Descher added 10.