COURTESY OF THE INDIANA MUSTANGS
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Mustangs improved their record to 3–0 with a hard-fought 16–10 overtime victory over the Indiana Generals (1–2) on July 29. The Generals defense shut down the Mustangs high-octane offense for nearly four quarters, an offense that was averaging 48 points per game in their first two games. Trailing 10–0 in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs finally hit pay dirt when quarterback Eric Hooks (North Central High School/University of St. Francis) hit two-way player Paul Carter (Northwest/St. Francis) for a 19-yard touchdown reception with eight minutes left in regulation. The Mustangs were able to tie the score at 2:20 left in the game with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Jon Pruesz.
The Mustangs home crowd's prayers were answered when the Mustangs defense created a fumble by the Generals at the Mustangs four-yard line with 28 seconds left in the game, allowing the Mustangs one more chance to win in regulation. But with eight seconds left in the contest, Hooks threw his sixth interception of the night allowing the Generals one more opportunity. Generals kicker Ian McGarvey then lined up to attempt a potential game-winning 56-yard last-second field goal that was blocked. The blocked kicked was returned by Paul Carter III 75 yards, where an exhausted Carter, with one man to beat, was caught and tackled at the Generals 13 yard line by kicker McGarvey as time expired in regulation.
The coin toss in overtime was won by the Mustangs and during the Mustangs first possession of the overtime period, Hooks hit receiver Gavin Wisel (Trine University) for a 66-yard scoring strike to lock up the Mustangs third consecutive win 16-10, and remain undefeated.
Defensively the Mustangs were led by Jeep Adams (Ben Davis H.S.), who was credited with one sack and one fumble recovery, and safety Stefan Osby who finish the night with four tackles. The entire Mustangs defense stifled the Generals offense, holding their veteran team to only 136 yards of total offense. Special teams also shined for the Mustangs with William Stubbs (Cathedral/Marian University) blocking a General’s punt, and Russell Peterson (Arlington/Hanover College) blocking two field goal attempts to assist in allowing the Mustangs offense to shine late in the fourth quarter.
Offensively, Mustangs quarterback Eric Hooks overcame a difficult passing day which included six interceptions to throw for 316 yards, including the big 66 yard strike to Gavin Wisel (Garrett/Trine) in overtime to lock in the win. Wisel finished the game with 171 yards on seven receptions including the game winner. On the season, Wisel is averaging 140 yards receiving per game while becoming one of Hooks favorite targets. Carter (Northwest/St. Francis) is another of Hooks favorite targets, catching seven passes for 56 yards and one touchdown.
The Mustangs are scheduled to play the Indiana Nighthawks on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Roncalli High School in a double-header with the Indiana General hosting the Lake Geneva Generals in the nightcap. Kickoff for the Mustangs vs. Nighthawks game is 5 p.m. The Indiana Nighthawks are in their first year and are hungry for a win standing winless at 0-3.
The Mustangs are looking for dedicated volunteers and corporate sponsors. Advertising opportunities are available ranging from $75-1,500. For more information on the Indiana Mustangs, please contact General Manager Rich Castanias (317) 908-8399.