GARBER, Okla. — It didn’t come easy, but the Pioneer Mustangs survived a roller-coaster of a fourth quarter to secure its fifth-straight win over rival Garber on Friday, 44-36.
The two teams were tied 22-22 heading into the final quarter, which saw both teams combine for five touchdowns. Pioneer’s rushing attack, led by Caden Humphries and Leyton Parker, wore down the Wolverines’ defense with long run after long run to seal the win.
Garber (5-1, 0-1) played its sixth game in a row on Friday, while the Mustangs entered the contest coming off a bye week. It was also the first game that the Wolverines had played all the way to the wire this season.
“I’m proud of the way the boys fought,” Pioneer head coach Gus Overstreet said. “They fought through a lot of adversity, it was an up and down game, a lot of emotions. I thought we kept them in check and did our job.”
Pioneer was the first to break the tie in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Ty Parker. Robert Newberg caught a pass for the two-point conversion, putting the pressure on the Wolverines to answer.
Garber drove down the field on the next drive, setting up a 6-yard run by Tydonte Chester. On the two-point conversion attempt, Garber’s Brett Howry lobbed a pass into the corner of the end zone, which was pulled down by Solomon Bishop with a defender all over him, to tie the game back up.
On the Mustangs’ next play from scrimmage, Leyton Parker took a handoff up the middle for 60 yards without a player putting a hand on him, until Bishop nearly shoved him out at the 1-yard line. But Parker stayed in bounds, and the Mustangs were able to put the pressure right back on Garber.
On the ensuing possession, the Mustangs forced a turnover on downs, giving themselves great field position with three minutes remaining in the game. It took three plays before Parker eventually found the end zone on a 12-yard run to give the Mustangs a two-touchdown lead.
Parker had 16 carries in the game for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Humphries carried the ball 15 times for 192 yards and had a 6-yard touchdown run. Pioneer finished with 447 yards of offense and completed just one pass.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines had a slightly different approach.
Howry threw the ball 56 times for the Wolverines, completing 67% of his passes for 362 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The freshman came out of the gates completing his first 13 passes before an incompletion.
“That’s the thing, if you’re relying on your DB’s to cover for that long … I thought our defensive line did a really good job. Their quarterback just did a really good job of getting the ball out of his hands,” Overstreet said.
The Mustangs improved to 26-14 in the season series. They’ll turn around and face Olive on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the Wolverines will travel to Yale.