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Mustangs blast Doss in opening round

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Beasley runs for three TD's in North win

By Brad Stephens

GOSHEN – North Oldham turned what was supposed to be one of the area's better opening round football playoff games into a rout Friday night.

Arien Beasley rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries as the Mustangs routed Doss 49-12 Friday at Mustang Stadium in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. North (8-3) led by as much as much as 49-6, forcing a running clock against a Dragon team that beat the Mustangs in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Mustangs “took care of some demons” from last year's matchup, coach Billy Martin said. In that game North had a big lead before Doss came back to win 36-27.

This year North jumped out to a 28-6 halftime lead and never took its foot off the pedal.

“I wouldn't say we were worried (about giving up the lead), more than we were just focused on what we had to do,” Beasley said. “We knew that last year we got the lead and they ended up coming back and beating us. We knew that this year we could not let that happen so we had to stop them every down, every play that they had.”

North's defense effectively did just that, holding the Dragons to 164 yards of total offense. Doss (6-5) ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and completed just 7-of-21 passes for 110 yards. The Mustangs also forced three Dragon fumbles, recovering them all.

“Defense played lights-out,” Martin said.

Just as impressive to Martin was the play of his offense against a Doss defense he'd praised heavily earlier in the week.

North ended up with 410 yards of total offense, including 365 rushing yards on 43 carries. The Mustangs won the time of possession battle 30:18-17:42.

“They took Louisville Central and just manhandled them,” Martin said of the Dragons' Sept. 13 33-19 win over the defending Class 3A champions. “I'm like 'Good lord, they're scary'...

“I was worried about manufacturing some points. I thought 21 or 28 was going to be a reasonable thing with their defense... But once we got past that first wave of defenders we broke some big plays on them.”

North's first big play of the game was a 24-yard run by Quentin Shea on a 4th and 11 at the Doss 30. Kevin Graham ran in for a six-yard score the next play as the Mustangs took a 7-0 lead.

The Dragons ran the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown, but the return was called back for a block in the back, and Doss later fumbled in its own territory.

Beasley then broke the first of his big runs later in the quarter, sprinting 31 yards for a touchdown that made the score 14-0.

“That breakaway speed is huge,” Martin said of Beasley.

Doss made it a one-score game early in the second quarter on a nine-yard run by Keyonte Parris. The Dragons converted a two-pointer, but the play was called back for an illegal lineman downfield, and the score stayed 14-6.

North controlled the rest of the quarter, using a 61-yard Beasley run and a 30-yard pass from Keenan Dowd to Shea to make the Mustang lead 28-6.

North then put any questions of giving up the lead out of doubt in the third quarter. The Mustangs out-scored the Dragons 21-0 in the third, getting a 25-yard TD run from Graham, a 62-yard scamper from Beasley and a three-yard run by Nick Thome.

Beasley and Graham both credited an offensive line that's had to shuffle its lineup lately with the rushing success. Jo Austin Pierce, playing center after Cameron Schoenbachler had to give up football due to concussions, played well Friday, Graham said.

“I give props to the line,” Graham said. “There's new guys out there and they stepped it up.”

Doss scored a fourth quarter touchdown on a 48-yard pass from William Maddox to Jerry Coleman to make the final score 49-12.

North will travel to Louisville next Friday to take on Western (6-5) in the second round of the class 4A playoffs. A win clinches the Mustangs a spot in the state quarterfinals.

“I'm really proud of our guys,” Martin said. “If we play like this, we're dangerous against anyone we play.”