“Our defense played really well and was very disciplined,” McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman said. “We executed offensively and spread the ball around. Overall, I’m pleased with a lot of things.”
After moving deep into the Mustangs’ territory on their first two possessions, the Indians lost the ball with turnovers — the first one on an interception in the end zone and another on a fumble at the 2-yard line. But McEachern sill managed to put the first points on the board when the defense swarmed Kennesaw Mountain quarterback Nigel Hayes for a safety, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead with 4:45 to go in the first quarter.
Following a free kick, the Indians (3-2, 3-0) took possession at midfield and concluded the scoring drive on a 7-yard touchdown run by Mike Sherman. Dennis Dominguez’s first of five successful extra points made the score 9-0 with 38 seconds left in the opening period.
Three more scores by McEachern in just over 2 minutes put the Indians up 25-0 with 8:37 remaining in the first half. Another safety, this one when a high snap from center on a punt attempt by the Mustangs (1-3, 0-3) went through the end zone, and a pair of touchdowns, one on a 4-yard run by Ty Clemons and another on a 5-yard scamper by Ty Griffin, gave McEachern a commanding lead.
On the ensuing possession, Kennesaw Mountain lined up for a 43-yard field goal attempt but faked it. Dennis Bell completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brian Piejak, Adrien White added the point-after and the Mustangs trimmed their deficit to 25-7 at the 3:09 mark of the second quarter.
With 2:05 to go in the third period, the Indians’ Kell Parham intercepted a pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown, making it a 32-7 contest.
On the next play from scrimmage, McEachern again came up with an interception. Three snaps later, the Indians’ Taj Griffin scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run, making it a 39-7 game with 57.7 seconds remaining.
Kennesaw Mountain had opportunities to score down the stretch, but a lost fumble on McEachern’s 3-yard line and an interception in the end zone as time expired denied the Mustangs.
“McEachern is ultimately a playoff team and we shot ourselves in the foot offensively a number of times,” Kennesaw Mountain head coach Andy Scott said. “But I’m very proud of our kids and how hard they played.”