The theme for the night was USA, and the Stars and Bars were represented all over beautiful Scheumann Field on Friday night. The Indiana Air National Guard showcased their military strength for the fans off the field, while the Jeff Bronchos flexed their football might, on the field. The evening was cool, with a hint of fall football Friday’s to come. Unfortunately, the Mavericks were never able to get hot for the 2nd week in a row.
The Mavs fell behind early, with a Broncho TD strike in the opening drive. Jeff’s speed on the perimeter was evident early, but the Mavericks found their rhythm defensively throughout most of the opening frame.
The Maverick offensive line had a tough battle all night with a strong and athletic Broncho defensive front. Facing many 3rd and longs made sustaining drives difficult for the Mavericks. Playing the field position game worked for a while, but the returners for Jeff created problems for McCutcheon’s special teams.
The Bronchos began to capture the momentum, that was spurred on by the near-capacity crowd. Jeff was able to score points through the air, on the ground, on defense, and in the return game. Soon the Mavericks were facing a daunting deficit at the half, 41 – 3.
In the second half, the Mavs were inspired by Coach Ken Frauhiger and his staff’s aggressive counseling to relight the fire in their ranks. Hard running by Soph. Brayden Stall, and a better push by the McCutcheon O-line helped the Mavs move the chains much better in the second half. With more manageable downs and distances, Senior QB Mason Douglas was able to buy time and find receivers downfield. One of the offensive highlight plays was a deep bootleg pass to Senior slot receiver Garrett Maesh. The drive was capped off by Senior Will Griffen’s 2nd FG of the night.
The banged-up Maverick defense continued to fight throughout the 2nd half and gave the offense plenty of opportunities to put more points on the board. As the clock ran down in the 4th quarter, Douglas was able to launch one last deep ball to Junior Josh Garcia. Garcia’s acrobat catch and lunge to the endzone was the only time the Mavericks were able to cross the goal line. If was an important score for McCutcheon to build off of, as it ensured that the Mavs outscored Jeff, 9 – 6 in the second half.
Even though the outcome of the game wasn’t what McCutcheon and its fans were hoping for, it was a night to appreciate the Lafayette community and the beauty of Friday Night Football. Next up for the Mavs is a home field rematch of last year’s sectional championship as the Mavs face-off with the Wildkats of Kokomo HS. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM.