Avoyelles Mustangs outrun but can't outscore Welsh Greyhounds
By Raymond L. Daye
Although they produced over 500 yards in offense, recovered an opponent fumble and an onside kick, the Avoyelles Mustangs could not overcome the Welsh Greyhounds in the season opener for both teams. Welsh defeated Avoyelles, 50-38, in a game characterized by big plays.
AHS star Phillip "Flash" Augustine carried the ball 17 times for 232 yards to lead the Mustangs' offense. He had two 50-yard-plus first-half touchdown runs and a 67-yard dash for paydirt in the third quarter, before being sidelined with a leg injury. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance to be examined. AHS Coach Andy Boone said Saturday that doctors indicated Augustine sustained a deep bruise but no serious injury. However, he may sit out this Friday's game at Sicily Island.
Ryheim Dupuy added 106 yards on 23 carries. Myron Robertson, who came in after Augustine was sidelined, had 44 yards on 14 carries, including two touchdowns. He also added two 2-pt. conversions to the scoreboard. Avoyelles rolled the old Mustang fighter plane out of the hangar to surprise the 'Hounds with five passes during the night. Freshman Brody Knott, who led the squad at QB as an 8th grader last season, connected with tight end Garrett Boone twice for 35 yards and again for a 2-point conversion following a touchdown. The passing display demonstrated there may yet be the possibility of an aerial attack in the Avoyelles arsenal this season.
Welsh's star running back Keshon Bell carried 12 times for 207 yards, including two 50-yard TDs. Garrick Gray added 86 on seven runs -- including a 42-yard touchdown jaunt. Gray also made his presence known on defense as a linebacker, with 17 individual stops and five assists. Hound quarterback Hayden Freeland connected on 7 of 11 passes for 104 yards, most of that to favorite target Brandius Batiste.
Avoyelles took the opening kickoff, but was stopped. Welsh scored first, but the Mustangs came back to take an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Following a fumble recovery, Avoyelles increased its lead to 14-7. It was unable to capitalize on an onside kick recovery. Welsh combined a tough defense and quick-scoring offense to post two more scores to end the half with a 21-14 lead.
The Greyhounds struck quickly in the third quarter, only to be answered by Augustine's last touchdown of the night. With 9:41 left in the third quarter, the Hounds' lead had been cut to 28-22.
Welch used a long run, a long pass and a 16-yard strike to Batiste to cap its next drive and take a 36-22 advantage. The visitors stopped the Mustangs on the next drive and scored again late in the third quarter to take a commanding 43-22 lead.
With Augustine out of action, the Mustangs reverted to their time-consuming ground game, putting together a 15-play series that ended with Myron Robertson pushing over from the goal line and then adding two points to pull the 'Stangs within 13.
A botched onside kick attempt gave the Greyhounds the ball on the Mustang side of the field. Two plays later, the Greyhounds' Gray was racing into the endzone and Welsh had a 20-point cushion with three minutes left in the game.
Avoyelles refused to give up, mounting a 7-play drive capped by Robertson's second short TD burst of the night with 27 ticks left on the clock. Robertson also added another two points, making the final score 50-38.
For more details on this and other Avoyelles Parish varsity football games, read this week's edition of the Marksville Weekly News and the Bunkie Record.
Box score Welsh Avoyelles
First downs 17 18
Rushing 21/331 78/490
Passing 11/104 4/35
Total yards 435 525
Total plays 32 82
Passing (a/c/i) 11/7/0 4/2/0
Fum-lost 2-2 1-0
Penalties 10/99 6/45