Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Armstrong led all tacklers with nine and senior defensive lineman Josh Zirkle had seven tackles. Junior linebacker Colby Price had two sacks.
The night was extra special as the Merritt Island community paid tribute to the undefeated 1972 state championship football team. Many former coaches and players were in attendance, including Leon Bright, who went on to star at Florida State University, the New York Giants, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Mustangs scored at 9:51 in the first quarter on a 69-yard run by Kelly. The offense had been stopped on third down, but a Raider penalty gave MI a second chance and Kelly scored on the next play. After consecutive Rockledge penalties before the extra point, Mustang coach Jeff McLean opted to go for two points. Merritt Island led 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Mustangs extended their lead in the second quarter on a Dylan Barnas 36-yard field goal. The score at the half was 11-0, but that score changed quickly at the beginning of the second half.
With only 11 seconds gone in the third quarter, junior linebacker Ty Shwab picked up a Raider fumble and scampered into the end zone untouched. Barnas added the point after and the Mustangs led 18-0.
The Mustangs added a final score when quarterback Nick Smith hit Studstill for a 69-yard touchdown pass with 4:01 left in the game. Smith was 3-11 for 92 yards and one interception.
Photo by Drew Parker