Mustangs shake off playoff nerves, manhandle Kuemper Catholic

By Dylan Sanders

The PCM Mustangs went into Friday’s opening playoff matchup as the only undefeated team left in Class 2A. They kept their record unblemished thanks to a 49-0 routing of Carroll Kuemper Catholic. The Mustangs were able to overcome their past playoff shortcomings in the game. They were led by seniors Wes Cummings and Reed Worth, who both provided an electric playoff performance along with a dominant defense that pitched their fourth shutout of the season.

Cummings had a team-high 203 total yards and four touchdowns,with three on the ground and one in the air. Worth had yet another efficient game, throwing only one incompletion and for 266 yards and two touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground, running for 33 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jarron Trausch showed out with 116 total yards and two touchdowns on the night. Senior Preston VanWyk led the team in receiving with 90 yards on three catches and a touchdown.

The Mustangs shake hands with the Knights after a 49-0 win. 

Having a fireball of an offense is one thing, but defense wins championships, and the Mustangs have a stellar one. The Knights didn’t gain a lot of yards, and they scored no points as they were manhandled by the Mustangs stifling defense. Whenever the Knights gained momentum or seemed ready to score, the Mustangs would come up with a crucial takeaway. Senior Nick Dredge had two of those takeaways on the night, with two interceptions. Junior Rayce Kolfhof and Sophomore Colby Tool each had takeaways later in the game that continued to prevent the Knights from scoring. Dredge broke the school record for most interceptions in a career with his second. The Mustangs have broken many records this season, and they’ll look to break many more on their road to the dome. The Mustangs were led in tackles by Trausch and senior Olin Meinders with six and a half and five, respectively.

Ending the season with a 17-18 loss was not the outcome many had hoped for a talented PCM team last year. An exciting season that ended in bitter disappointment. A Mustang team many thought could make a run to the dome, lost in the first round to the eventual 2A runner-up. Many players on the Mustangs felt as if that could have been them. Instead, they had to watch at home, and say goodbye to a senior class that was a big reason for the team’s success. They had to watch in turmoil as the team that barely scratched out a win against them went all the way to the championship game of the state playoffs. That loss inspired this year’s Mustangs to give a dominant performance in the first round of the 2A playoffs. The convincing victory means the Mustangs will now have a chance at redemption as they will face Williamsburg in the second round of the playoffs after Williamsburg pulled off a 51-32 victory over West Marshall. The Mustangs will have to overcome the loss of star defensive end Cole Dustin as he was ejected in the game against Kuemper Catholic and for the game against Williamsburg.

Cummings said, “We’re going into this next game thinking of last year’s seniors. We remember how their high school football careers ended, and we don’t want the same result.”

Come support the Mustangs as they look to continue on their path to a state title tomorrow at 7 p.m. vs Williamsburg at PCM high school.