MONROE — Junior Aidan Anderson rushed for 164 yards and scored three touchdowns, senior Andrew Mitchell recovered a fumble in the end zone and PCM’s football team began the 2020 season with a 44-18 home win over Class 3A Newton on Aug. 28.
The Cardinals turned it over twice in the first half and the Mustangs outscored Newton 21-0 in the second frame to pull away.
PCM rushed for 300 yards in the win. The Mustangs had a 22-8 advantage in first downs and outgained the Cardinals 420-186 on the night.
“Overall, I feel pretty good about the win,” PCM coach Greg Bonnett said. “I think Newton is a good team. There’s no doubt about that. We came out tonight with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, which is how I want us to play.
“Both of these teams are going to continue to get better. We are all just happy to be playing right now, and we won’t take it for granted.”
Both teams were turned away on their first possessions. Newton started its second possession on the 1-yard line after senior Brayden Berger’s punt dropped inside the 10 and was ruled downed just before the end zone.
On the first play from scrimmage, the Cardinals fumbled the exchange from quarterback to running back and Mitchell pounced on the ball in the end zone to give PCM (1-0) an early lead.
After Newton went three and out on its next possession, Anderson made it 14-0 with an 11-yard touchdown run.
The play was set up by sophomore August Stock’s 40-yard pass play to senior Landon Fenton.
Junior Tyler Kuecker booted the extra point to make it 15-0. After the first TD, Kuecker turned a muffed snap into a two-point conversion when he hooked up with Berger in the end zone.
Newton got on the board two minutes later as junior Nate Maki sprinted 46 yards for the TD. It was a five-play, 64-yard drive that also included a 13-yard run by junior quarterback Zay Arguello.
But the second quarter belonged to PCM as Anderson scored on back-to-back possessions on runs of 27 and 33 to put the Mustangs up 28-7.
The first scoring drive came off Newton’s second lost fumble, which again came on the handoff exchange. The Mustangs went 65 yards in four plays. Anderson went for 12 on the second play and sophomore quarterback August Stock ran for 20 before Anderson’s 27-yarder capped it.
“PCM is a fantastic team. You have to give them credit,” Newton coach Andy Swedenhjelm said. “They are disciplined and they compete really hard. They fight for everything they get.”
Anderson’s 33-yard TD run came after Newton went three and out. PCM needed just two plays to go 49 yards. Stock hit senior Gatlin Boell for 16 and then Anderson scored on the next play.
PCM started its next drive on Newton’s 24-yard line. Anderson rumbled for 12 yards on the first play, Stock countered a five-yard penalty with a 14-yard run and then senior Sage Burns pounded it in from 1 yard out. His two-point conversion run made it 36-7 at halftime.
“Once we figured out what worked and once we got going, it was really fun,” PCM senior offensive lineman Caleb Duinink said. “We moved the ball well throughout the game.
“The turnovers were big. It put their defense right back on the field. It got us going. That first TD was set up because of Berger’s great punt and great punt coverage.”
Newton (0-1) outscored the Mustangs 11-8 in the third quarter and neither team scored in the fourth.
Senior Josh Meyer booted a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter and senior Gavin Urias scored on a 2-yard TD run in the final minute of the third to cap the scoring.
The Meyer field goal was set up after the Cardinals’ blocked a punt. Newton also blocked a punt later in the third quarter that led to Urias’ short TD run. Arguello’s two-point run made it 44-18.
PCM senior Jacob Van Winkle rumbled for a 39-yard TD in the third quarter to finalize the Mustangs’ scoring.
The Mustangs’ only scoring drive of the second half covered 78 yards in eight plays. Burns went 15 yards on a screen pass then had a 16-yard run on the drive before Van Winkle scored on the long run.
Anderson’s 164 rushing yards came on 15 carries. Van Winkle had 67 yards on four carries and Burns gained 52 yards on 11 carries.
Stock rushed for 65 yards and was 8-of-11 for 122 yards and a pick through the air. Fenton had 59 yards on two catches and Boell gained 39 yards on three catches.
Maki led the Cardinals with 76 yards rushing and a TD on six carries. Junior Reese Hammons led the Newton defense with 11 tackles.
Sophomore Durant Van Dyke led the PCM defense with 5.5 tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Duinink had a team-high six tackles.
Notes: Berger’s two punts averaged 44.5 yards for the Mustangs. ... Mitchell scored a defensive TD after recovering a fumble in the end zone. Fenton had 5.5 tackles and Connor Bennett finished with 4.5 tackles. ... PCM plays Pella Christian (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Pella.