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Wishful Thinking: The Mustangs' dream season

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By Sam Draut

Let’s have fun with a twist on fantasy football and imagine a best-case scenario for the football teams in Oldham County.

Since every fan base is entitled to their own drama-filled dream season, the fantasized future for the Colonels, Dragons and Mustangs must be split up. And remember, we usually wake up before the dream is finished, so readers can decide their own ending to the season.

The Mustang football program has gone 693 days without a win, but all that time in between can be forgotten as the ball is kickoff against Western in the season opener. North Oldham debuts its wing-t offensive attack in the first possession and things couldn’t go better. Connor Newhouse busts up a 35-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and the Mustangs are off and running.

Josh Thome powers his way up the middle several times to continue the North Oldham drive. After a heavy dosage of run plays, Tanner McCoy finds Brandon Rose in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

The crowd erupts in realization that Mustang football is back.

North Oldham holds a touchdown lead for much of the first half, but Western evens the score with a drive before halftime.

After holding Western on the opening drive in the second half, North Oldham marches up the field, but is forced to settle for a 35-yard field goal from kicker Adam Barry.

Leading 10-7 in the fourth quarter, Josh Pitchford forces a fumble that’s scooped up Hunter Hyden, who returns the turnover inside the 20 yard line. On North Oldham’s ensuing possession, McCoy hits Brendan McAfee for a touchdown on third-and-8 to give the Mustangs’ a 17-7 lead.

The score holds and North Oldham celebrates its first win in almost two calendar years.

The taste of victory doesn’t spoil the Mustangs’ hopes of revenge against Oldham County, who defeated North Oldham for the first time last year. The highly anticipated rivalry game is a sellout. Fans and students arrive to the field by 4 p.m. in pursuit of the limited amount of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches sold at the concession stand.

Hours later on the field, North Oldham battles Oldham County in a tightly contested game. Both teams trade field goals in the first quarter before being held scoreless in the second.

Newhouse and Ryan Riggs begin to find a rhythm in the second half, alternating possessions at running back. North Oldham punches in two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 17-3 lead, but the Colonels respond with a touchdown of their own to close the deficit to seven.

On Oldham County’s final drive of the game, Mark Hasl has a key tackle for a loss on third down and McAfee knocks away a fourth-and-12 pass attempt to seal the win.

The Mustangs suffer their first defeat of the season against Waggener one week later, but attention turns to rival South Oldham.

Throughout the week, North Oldham students spread word that the game will be a ‘black out.’ Naturally, South Oldham students plan to counter with a ‘white out.’ But, the Dragon fan base feeds into the hands of the Mustangs as North Oldham students show up in all white. The entire crowd is now in ‘white out’ attire when the Mustangs charge out of the locker room with sleek white helmets and jerseys. 

Colors don’t matter much once the game gets going. Coach Joe Gamsky plans to eat as much clock as possible to keep the ball away from the vaunted South Oldham offense. The game plan works as North Oldham goes on scoring drives of 10 and 12 minutes in the first half.

When South Oldham finally gets the ball in the third quarter, they go to work quickly. The Dragons tie the score at 14-14.

Late in the fourth quarter, McCoy hits Tyler Beisner on an underneath route that sets up a game-winning field goal. Barry nails the 32-yard kick, sending Goshen into bedlam. In the excitement, T.J. Beisner, father of Tyler Beisner and CN2 sports anchor, crashes his son’s postgame interview in a dramatic role reversal. 

The winning ways continue as the Mustangs defeat Bullitt Central before a bye week and the second half of the season. Gamsky, a supporter of multi-sport athletes, encourages his players to compete in other sports during the bye week.

Because playing multiple sports decreases injury rates and improves athletic performance, the Mustangs return in a big way against Spencer County. Anthony Coffey rushes for two touchdowns and Evan Williams tallies six tackles for a loss as North Oldham wins 42-10.

Welch’s receives word of the North Oldham student section chanting McCoy’s nickname “Juice” during games, so the juice company hands out free bottles of grape juice and fruit snacks to every fan in attendance of the Mustangs’ final home game of the year against Shelby County.

North Oldham turns in a fluid performance against Shelby County, defeating the Rockets 28-13.

After dropping two straight games to Collins and Franklin County, North Oldham ends the season with a road win over Anderson County.

In the first round of the playoffs against Moore, Blake McAfee returns an interception for a touchdown to jumpstart a North Oldham rout. The Mustangs defeat John Hardin 24-14 in the second round behind a rushing attack that churns out 300 yards.

In hopes of avenging their regular season loss, North Oldham prepares for Collins in the third round. An anonymous artist paints a mural of the 2017 Mustang team on the water tower days prior to the game.