EDMOND – Mustang quarterback Tristen Russell usually doesn’t mince words with the team’s trio of running backs.
The senior signal caller has Antone Prince, Pryce Burgess, and Jay Bedford’s best interests at heart, but cares most about keeping the drive alive and securing the football.
“I’m always on their backs when they get in the huddle,” he said. “Get the first down and hang on to the ball. I told them that multiple times tonight, then it’s 20 yards and here we go. They were the difference makers.”
Mustang’s rushing attack totaled 434 yards in a 61-35 route of Edmond Memorial (3-4, 4-6) on Thursday night at Bulldog Stadium.
Prince, Burgess, and Bedford cruised to 337 of those yards while combining for three touchdowns. Russell, who was also quick to credit the team’s offensive line and their performance, added 85 yards of his own, including a 17-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Offensive tackle Shamus Leeper (Sr.) and quarterback Tristen Russell (Sr.) look to the sideline for a play call during Mustang’s 61-35 win over Edmond Memorial on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Bulldog Stadium in Edmond. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
“The O-line was handling business up front,” Russell said. “When they’re playing really well, the whole offense is playing really well.”
The Broncos didn’t need the win, but still reeled off their eighth of the season, becoming just the 11th team in Mustang High School history to do so. They knew going into the game that a quarterfinals matchup against Jenks in two weeks will likely be on the schedule.
“I’m just proud of our kids,” Mustang coach Lee Blankenship said after the win. “We finish the regular season with eight wins and that speaks volumes to our kids and our senior class.
“We’ve known all along that this is a great group, but they have continued to prove themselves to be one of the best teams to ever play at Mustang.”
The Broncos jumped out to a 23-7 lead in the first quarter, fueled by a pair of touchdown passes by Russell and a scoring run from Burgess.
Burgess, who rushed for 133 yards on 16 carries, punched in a one-yard score to give Mustang a 7-0 lead on its first possession.
After a 38-yard field goal by kicker Aiden Jordan (So.), Russell capped the two ensuing drives with 42-yard touchdown passes to Keegan Bass (Sr.) and LeBryan Hayes (Sr.).
Russell, who went 11-for-22 for 221 yards, found Jacobe Johnson (Sr.) later in the half for a 31-yard touchdown strike to give the Broncos a 30-14 lead heading into halftime.
“Every time they came within 16 points, we went out and scored,” Blankenship said. “We were maybe not in control but were comfortable the entire time.”
The Broncos added 14 points in the third quarter, including a 17-yard touchdown pass from Russell to Bass and a one-yard run at the goal line by Trajan Williamson (So.).
Bass led the team with five receptions for 122 yards and two scores.
Prince, who rushed for a season-high 147 yards on 10 carries, scored twice in the fourth quarter. He broke off scoring runs of 48 and 37 yards that along with a 40-yard field goal by Jordan, helped ice the victory.
“The mindset was to go out and win,” Russell said, although the game had no effect on the standings or playoff scenario. “No changes.”
Senior running back Antone Prince (15) and Pryce Burgess (22) pose for a photo following Mustang’s 61-35 win over Edmond Memorial on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Bulldog Stadium in Edmond. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Although Mustang’s defense struggled at times, the team only allowed 382 total yards.
Markell Johnson put up a valiant effort for the Bulldogs, subbing in at quarterback due to injury. He went 18-for-30 for 221 yards and rushed for 99. Johnson accounted for 28 of the team’s 35 points.
The Broncos now must prepare for a potential quarterfinals matchup against perennial power Jenks. The Trojans take on Edmond North in the opening round after missing out on a bye.
Mustang will play host whether they take on the Trojans or Huskies. The matchup is set for Friday, Nov. 18 at Bronco Stadium.