Flinthills Mustangs falls in tough battle against West Elk

Kalon Fullerton
Contributor to the Butler County Times-Gazette
Flinthills' Kendall Pinkerton runs against West Elk on Friday, Sept. 17.

ROSALIA, Kansas — First year Flinthills' head coach Chase Casteel preached the need for a good week of practice after a big loss last week. Casteel was happy with how his team prepared in the days leading up to his team’s game against West Elk.

But the execution just wasn’t quite there tonight.

Flinthills came into the game knowing two of the team’s last four wins had come against these very same Patriots. But the Patriots finally had the Mustangs’ number on Friday, defeating FlintHills 34-14 on homecoming night in Rosalia.

“We knew West Elk was going to be tough, and we had some really good practices and I’m happy with that,” coach Casteel said of his team’s preparation leading up to the game. 

And the Mustangs began the game well, answering an early Patriots' touchdown with a Kendall Pinkerton 20-yard trot to the end zone, and the game was tied after the Mustangs converted the two point try. They would tie the game again later with Ty Lowmaster’s four yard run, making it 14-all. 

In a very even and physical first half, the pendulum swung with West Elk driving down the field late, with Tate Stewart scoring a 10-yard touchdown pass, finishing a drive with less than 20 seconds left in the half. 

Still, the Mustangs would have felt the game was theirs for the taking, down just six points with two quarters to play.

However, they wouldn’t find the end zone again.

West Elk forced an interception on the first drive of the game and running back Creyo Koop scored a five yard rush in what would be the biggest play of the game, a 14-point swing with scores on either side of halftime. 

Flinthills’ defense kept the team in the game, forcing three turnovers on down in their own red zone, but poor field position and turnovers kept the offense from the scores they needed to get back into the game. 

“We held them three separate times inside our own 10 and I’m definitely happy with the boys on that” Casteel praised his defense," Casteel said. "Unfortunately, you got to get points on the board and we couldn’t get the offense rolling tonight.” 

Kendall Pinkerton was the bright spot for the Mustangs offense, shaking off an injury to rush for 122 yards and a touchdown. Hunter Lowmaster also pitched in, running for eight yards and a touchdown.

Flinthills (1-2) will look to bounce back on the road against Oxford next week, while the unbeaten West Elk (3-0) will travel to Sedan.