C. Milton Wright won its 24th straight regular-season game last night with a 42-7 victory over visiting Dulaney, but not without an early struggle.
Early mistakes kept the Mustangs from building a big lead.
By the end of the first half, the Mustangs already had amassed 105 yards of penalties. They never trailed, but Dulaney tied the score, at 7-7, on Chris Karppala's 12-yard run early in the second quarter.
"We're young and inexperienced and it showed," said Mustang's coach Steve Harward. "In the second half, we played like a football team that knows how to play."
Dulaney's only touchdown came three minutes into the second quarter. The Mustangs helped the drive along with a pair of 15-yard pass interference calls.
C. Milton Wright, which reached the state Class 3A title game two years ago and the state quarterfinals last year, finally took control of the game with back-to-back touchdowns by junior running back Eric McEvoy early in the third quarter.
Veteran tailback Chris Gill (52 yards on six carries) had put the Mustangs on top with a 3-yard run up the middle early in the first quarter. Gill, who gained 1,143 yards last year, sat out the last three quarters with a mild concussion.
The Mustangs, with only one returning starter on offense and five on defense, totaled 120 yards of penalties for the game.
They made up for it, however, with 326 yards rushing and 63 yards passing. The C. Milton Wright defense held the Lions to 26 yards rushing and 26 passing.
McEvoy's first touchdown run capped a 65-yard drive to open the third quarter.
On Dulaney's first play of the next drive, Mustangs' linebacker Brad Fordyce intercepted a short pass and returned it 30 yards to the Lions' 5. McEvoy (132 yards on 20 carries) ran the ball in on the second play. Caleb Frick added two more points on the conversion run for a 28-7 lead.
The Mustangs added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Jason Tharpe (72 yards on 11 carries) scored on an 8-yard run and Dennis West scored on a 5-yard run.