"I want to play. That one quarter doesn't make the season," said Ryan as the slight rain that started just before the beginning of the game continued. "It's a good warm up and that's what we approach it as. It's the final warm up before we get ready for a talented East Ridge. They are dangerous."
"It lets us know if we are where we need to be. Hopefully, by the time you get to jamboree you are crisp and not still making mistakes we made three and four weeks ago. We saw that tonight. I think we're where we need to be going in. We've got this week to prepare for East Ridge and get ready to go."
The Mustangs looked sharp and in tune against the Hustlin' Tigers scoring twice against the Hustlin' Tigers with relative ease. A third touchdown as time ran out was called back after a procedure call for not enough men on the line of scrimmage.
The Mustangs opened on their own 35-yard line where Tanner Dillard got the Walker Valley ground game going with a 7-yard run. Chandler Hunt followed with a 29-yard outburst to the Howard 34. Two plays later Holt Spencer covered 14 yards for the first touchdown of the night for the Mustangs. Keven Sabany made it 14-0 with the extra point.
The Mustangs held the Hustlin' Tigers to negative five yards on their first possession and took over on their own 33-yard line after a Howard punt.
Spencer moved the ball for 13 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Colton Morrow and Spencer moved the ball to the Howard 23 with back-to-back 15-yard carries. A 5-yard run by Dillard set the Mustangs up at the 23. Quarterback Cory Cook stepped into the pocket and connected with Ben Clark to the 1-yard line.
The only blemish on the night for Walker Valley came on the next play when a fumble was recovered by Howard. The Mustangs made up for the miscue one play later recovering a Hustlin' Tigers fumble at the 2-yard line. This Spencer made sure the ball made it over the line on the next play for the second Mustangs TD. The Sebany PAT made it 14-0.
"They (East Ridge) are very athletic and better than they were last year. They are going to come after us. We've got no easy row to hoe. We've got to come out and play," said Ryan. "We can't have fumbles down on the 1. We can't have those kinds of mistakes. We're still a work in progress. Every day we will work to get better and I think when it's all said and done we can hold our heads high."
Walker Valley got one more shot at putting more points on the board after a stingy Mustangs' defense held Howard on a fourth-and 3 at the Tigers' 36 with 2:23 to play.
Cook connected with Spencer and Elijah Haynie for 10 and two yards to the 24. From there Spencer appeared to put the Mustangs up by 20 with 15 seconds left on the clock. But, the Mustangs were flagged for illegal procedure nullifying the score.
"Overall we were very crisp. We made a few little mistakes, but overall we were pretty crisp. The blocking was pretty good and we had time to throw. We made some good throws, but we also missed a couple of guys wide open early," said Ryan.
"I'm proud of these guys. They come to work and understand we can't just show up. We've got to come to work and get better every day."