The McDonald County Mustangs picked up their first win of the season as they defeated the East Newton Patriots on homecoming, 50-27, Friday night.

GRANBY — The McDonald County Mustangs picked up their first win of the season as they defeated the East Newton Patriots on homecoming, 50-27, Friday night.

Mustangs coach Chris Gwartney said, "We scored 50 points and we needed every one of them. Both these teams are fighters, they're hooked, both teams fought it hard. Their #8 (Rocky Liveoak) and #32 (Ian Plemmons) were tough and their #56 (Clayton Harrell) is a man-child."

When asked how they won, Gwartney said, "We could run a little bit, that allowed us to play. Jantsen Lynn had 318 yards on 32 carries."

Patriots Head Coach Seth Johnson said, "We couldn't always get to the edges, that left us the middle and Ian (Plemmons) ran real well. He's done a good job for us all year but tonight he had a good game.

“We've got to get better at making decisions or we're going to continue to make one too many mistakes to win games."

The Patriots (0-6) received the kickoff and started with the ball from their own 20-yard line. On the first play, Liveoak broke free and scampered 80 yards for a touchdown — only 16 seconds had come off the clock.

The Mustangs (1-5) took the Patriots quick score in stride and answered by putting 14 of their own points on the board before the quarter ended, with both touchdowns scored by Lynn. Most of McDonald County's yardage was picked up by the legs of Lynn and Josh Serr, but quarterback Jake Wood connected with Zack Peck for a 27-yard pass.

Johnson said, "Lynn may have been the best running back we have competed against this year, he never quits and just keeps grinding up yards."

East Newton scored 41 seconds into the second quarter on a four-yard Plemmons run. The game was tied, 14-14, after Liveoak connected with Plemmons for a two-point conversion.

McDonald County turned right around and scored with 9:25 on the clock on a short run by Travis Meador. They picked up two points on the conversion when a bad snap from the center to the holder was picked up by Mustangs kicker Zach Duty and thrown to Lynn in the end zone.

With about six minutes left in the half, the Mustangs fumbled deep in their own end of the field. East Newton's Travis Allen scooped up the ball and pounded his way across the goal line.

With less than a minute left in the half, McDonald County found the goal line again as Lynn picked up his third touchdown. The teams went to the locker rooms for halftime with McDonald County leading, 29-20.

During the third quarter, East Newton scored on a five-yard run by Ross Nagle.

Johnson stated after the game, "Ross has been fighting a quad injury for the last 5-6 weeks. He puts everything he has on the field, but he's just not up to what he was at the beginning of the season." 

Nagle’s touchdown was made possible after the Patriots executed a fake punt on fourth down and long. The Patriots center snapped the ball directly to the fullback Plemmons, who powered forward for 36 yards before the Mustangs pulled him down.

Lynn picked up his fourth touchdown on a 35-yard run, and Wood pushed though the pile on a quarterback sneak for one yard and touchdown.

Lynn picked up his fifth touchdown with 11:45 on the clock in the fourth quarter, leaving the score 50-27 in favor of the Mustangs.

During the game, both defensive units had shown signs of sold play. The Mustangs’ Zach Peck not only caught passes on the offensive side of the ball, but also had three interceptions during the night.

Next week McDonald County will be at home taking on the Marshfield Bluejays. East Newton will make the trip to Cassville to take on the Wildcats.