It didn’t last long.
The excitement of the first win of the season for the Milaca football team was squelched at Mora last Friday as the Mustangs scored their initial victory of the season by topping the Wolves 26-14.
The Wolves had defeated Albany 14-13 at Milaca Sept. 20.
“We reverted back to our pattern in the first three games of the season of playing well in the first half but not well in the second half,” said Milaca Coach Randy Johnson, whose team dropped to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in Granite Ridge Conference play. “We had too many breakdowns and too few big plays.
“Mora did what we had prepared for but we missed some tackles. They took control of the line of scrimmage in the second half.”
“It came down to us not beating ourselves,” said Mora Coach Bryan Cook. “We had been making the same mental mistakes week after week that would put our backs against the wall.
“Our drives on offense had been stalling out and defensively, we had given up too many big plays that resulted in scores for our opponents. We had to keep our boys believing that things would come together for us and they did Friday.
“We were able to put some pressure on Milaca’s quarterback when it mattered most and that was another area we improved on. Milaca kept plugging away and came close to making the game a nail-biter.
“We were very happy to play well for our homecoming.”
The Wolves took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when senior back Ian Carpenter scored on a one-yard run and junior receiver Nic Wolbert kicked the extra point.
The Mustangs countered with a three-yard scoring run by senior back Greg Chmiel that cut the margin to 7-6 after the extra-point kick was no good.
Milaca’s second touchdown came on a 67-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Nathan Hass to Wolbert. Once again, Wolbert kicked the extra point.
Mora then scored twice to take a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Hass led Milaca’s offense as he completed 11 of 24 passes for 153 yards and rushed 10 times for 54 yards.
Senior Wolves back Brian Kiel and junior defensive back Mike Garber both saw action after being slowed down by injuries.
“We didn’t come up with any new injuries at Mora but we’ve had some sickness on the team,” said Johnson.
Milaca continues GRC play tonight (Friday) at conference-leader Becker. The Bulldogs are 4-0 in GRC play and 4-1 overall, with the loss coming in the season-opener against Hutchinson.
Becker stopped Albany 36-7 last Friday.
“Becker has another very good team,” said Johnson. “It’s been rotating three quarterbacks and each brings something different to the game.
“Once again, our focus will be to eliminate mistakes.”
Milaca’s homecoming game is Friday, Oct. 11 when it hosts Zimmerman (2-2, 2-3) at Claffy Field at 7 p.m.