Facing the likes of Aurora, Branson and Kickapoo means Friday was no easy task for the McDonald County Mustangs in their football jamboree at Branson High School.

Facing the likes of Aurora, Branson and Kickapoo means Friday was no easy task for the McDonald County Mustangs in their football jamboree at Branson High School.

Most importantly, the Mustangs escaped the scrimmage relatively unscathed. They found some things they need to clean up, according to coach Chris Gwartney, and they'll be ready to go when they open the regular season at Lamar at 7 p.m. Friday.

"It went sort of like we expected it would," Gwartney said of the jamboree. "The kids played hard and things, but we made a lot of mistakes because we have a lot of young kids out there. Those things will happen when you've got some of the youth we have."

There were still plenty of positives for the Mustangs. Starting quarterback Jake Wood threw the ball well and tailback Matt Forbes turned in a solid performance at tailback.

Wood connected on a long touchdown strike to receiver Jake Wilkie, while the defense turned in a few highlights, as well.

"Our (offensive) line did a good job opening up some holes," Gwartney said. "This is a young line we have, and I think they did a good job out there for the most part. We think they're going to be pretty good.

"I thought we did some good things on both sides of the ball. At times our defense, I think, did some very nice things, but they've still got a ways to go."
Gwartney said his team will be ready to take on the two-time defending champion Tigers.

"It's always the same every year when you go through the preseason you get tired of going over the same thing every day," he said. "We're ready to get started. The kids are ready. That's why they play the game. We're ready for it."