Flinthills Mustangs mercy-rule Udall Eagles, qualify for playoffs for the first time since 2008

Emmie Boese
Special to Butler County Times-Gazette

It’s been 13 years since they have made it to the playoffs but in week 8, the Flinthills Mustangs qualified for playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Flinthills beat Udall 52-6 by mercy rule on Friday night. 

Head Coach Chase Casteel said it feels great to make it to the playoffs, especially with it being his first year as head coach of the program. Flinthills put on a show on senior night with all seven of their seniors scoring a touchdown. This made making the playoffs even more exciting for Casteel. 

“I’m super blessed to have taken over this program when I got the opportunity to take it over,” Casteel said. “This group of seniors is flat out incredible, and I couldn’t be happier for them and the whole team.” 

One senior that has had a significant impact on the Flinthills making it to the playoffs is Brandon Gleason. Gleason was playing weak side tight end until week 4 against Oxford when senior Kendall Pinkerton went down with a back injury. Pinkerton’s injury caused Casteel to decide putting Gleason at fullback. Casteel said Gleason’s versatility on the filed this season has helped his team. 

“He came in in the third quarter and started playing fullback and one thing led to another and now you see the 70 [Gleason] that you see today,” Casteel said.

Flinthills produced their second highest score of the season in week 8. Two highlights from those scoring drives included two touchdowns from Pinkerton. Pinkerton ran for a 35-yard touchdown run around the left end in the second quarter. Then, Pinkerton’s second touchdown came right before halftime after Flinthills caught an interception to get the ball back. 

Pinkerton scored a 13-yard sweep around the right side. This was the touchdown that started to solidify Flinthills chances of making the playoffs.

Pinkerton said him and his teammates getting to produce a high scoring game right before the playoffs was a reflection of their hard work in the offseason. 

“I say it’s a big accomplishment seeing from summer camp all the way to now,” Pinkerton said. “All the work we put in and stuff paid off.” 

Gleason said to make the playoffs feels like a feeling of relief after not making it for several years. 

“Seeing all the hard work actually be put towards something, seeing our football program actually come back,” Gleason said. “It just feels amazing.” 

Some more highlights from week eight include Gleason’s two touchdowns on the night. Gleason scored a four-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 25-yard touchdown run around the left side in the third quarter. To close out the game, senior Tayler Brown scored a 65-yard touchdown run around the left side. 

Flinthills ended their regular season with an overall 3-5 record. They finished 3-3 in the eight-man South Central Border League. They will play at Sedan next week in the first round of the playoffs.