Versatile Plum offense leading way in resurgence

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Saturday, September 19, 2020 | 6:39 PM


The Plum Mustangs haven’t started off a season with two straight wins since 2015, which was also the last time they made the playoffs.

After two big wins over Greensburg Salem (36-13) and Indiana (48-10) in the first two weeks of the season, the Mustangs are out to change that fortune this season, and they’ve done so in several ways. Plum coach Matt Morgan said it started with a new energy the Mustangs discovered during the pandemic, along with their move to a new classification.

“It was just a resurgence, going to 4A, the excitement of playing other teams-type thing and just the opportunity to get to play,” Morgan said. “They were all hungry for it, and it makes a big difference when something gets taken away from you just like it did for everybody as far as the covid situation. I think they were just so excited to give everything that we asked them to give day in and day out, and it’s making a big difference for us right now.”

Not only have the Mustangs been playing with a different type of energy, but they’ve been doing it as a team. Five players have scored a touchdown through the first two games, and Plum has scored via pass, run, field goal and kick return (senior Reed Martin’s 92-yarder against Greensburg Salem in the season opener).

A few players have stood out so far, but Morgan believes they still have a few bullets left in the gun in terms of other players who can contribute offensively.

“We are running the ball well, we are throwing the ball well and guys that we know that can make plays are making plays,” Morgan said. “It doesn’t have to be just one guy, either. We have multiple weapons that can go out there and hurt you. The last two weeks, it’s varied on who has been making the plays, and some guys still haven’t even gotten the opportunity to make their plays yet.”

Two of the main contributors so far through this season have been senior quarterback Ryan Hubner and junior wide receiver Logan Brooks. Although four players have completed passes for the Mustangs, Hubner leads the way. He’s completed 70% of his passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns.

All four of his touchdown passes are to Brooks, who has nine receptions for 258 yards and four scores. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound wideout scored on a 33-yard pass against Greensburg Salem then caught touchdown passes of 67, 80 and 14 yards Friday against Indiana.

“The opportunity is there for anyone right now, but the thing about Logan Brooks is when you put the ball in his hands, he is very very special,” Morgan said. “He didn’t get enough credit for it last year, but this year he’s really going to make a statement on how well he can play the game. He’s a very athletic kid, and he’s creating his own opportunity right now with how he’s playing.”

Freshman running back Eryck Moore has carried the ball 17 times for 174 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 10 yards per carry. Morgan said Moore was a pleasant surprise when they restarted workouts this summer as he had moved back to the area from Georgia. But the freshman is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We still have a really really good one there in Billy Guzzi,” Morgan said about the senior back who has 70 yards of total offense and one touchdown. “But Eryck continues to prove week in and week out that he’s pretty special, and he’s been creating a lot of opportunities for us, as well.”

Although Plum has played well through the first two weeks of the season, Morgan believes it has room for improvement as it prepares for an undefeated Mars team that took down Highlands on Friday.

“We just have to clean up our play a little bit so we’re not doing stupid things like penalties, and in the first week we had way too many turnovers, so we addressed that,” Morgan said. “The penalties have to stop, and we just have to learn how to win in general. These kids have lost a lot of games the past few years, and they had some opportunities last night to really put a team away early and they kind of let them back in a little bit.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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