Mustangs come up short in State Championship Game
The West Grand Mustangs fell to the Sedgwick County Cougars in the CHSAA 8-Man State Football Championship on Saturday, 42-6. In a disappointing end to an otherwise outstanding season, the Mustangs finally ran into a better team, as the Cougars secured their third straight state title.
“We played as hard as we could against a really good team,” said Chris Brown, head coach of the Mustangs. “They were more physical than us. They were just excellent today.”
The Cougars were in control from start to finish, effectively containing the West Grand offense, and leaning on an impressive run game to control the ball and the clock.
The Mustangs won the coin toss and elected to receive, though disaster struck on the first play from scrimmage after a fumble by Junior Running Back Hugh Wheatley gave the Cougars the ball inside Mustang territory. Sedgwick County Sophomore Beau Parker punched in the first score of the game to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
An interception on the ensuing drive allowed Cougar Running Back Lane Green to score from five-yards out to bring the lead to 14. From there things went from bad to worse, as a series of three-and-outs, along with an inability to stop the run, lead to a long game for the Mustangs.
The second quarter started with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Senior Quarterback Brennan Ehmke to Senior Wide Receiver Cade Mckinley, followed by a rumbling 70-yard touchdown run from Green leaving West Grand with a 28 point deficit at half.
Green scored his third touchdown of the game from five-yards out to kick off the third quarter, and a 69-yard touchdown scramble from Ehmke tied a bow on a supurb performance from the Cougar offense.
While the game was ultimately decided early on, the Mustangs continued to push for something positive to take home. Hugh Wheatley eventually gave the West Grand fans something to cheer about, running off the right tackle and into the end zone as time expired.
After the game both teams shook hands and received their trophies, a bitter sweet moment for a Mustang team that hadn’t tasted defeat since last season.
“You just want to keep trying that’s all,” said Brown. “Our kids were great. They played hard. They just got down, and in these kinds of games when that happens you can get the stuffing kicked out of you. It happens unfortunately. They’re a well coached team, and some of these kids have played in three of these things in a row. So that’s what happens.”
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.