Kyle Story has been stressing quicker starts from his offense. The Decatur head coach didn’t even have to wait two minutes for the Eagles first score Friday.
Decatur (4-1) scored early and often on their way to a 42-7 win over the Iowa Park Hawks (3-2).
It was the fourth consecutive win for the Eagles. “We finally came out fast like we’ve been talking about,” Story said. “The first quarter we came out and scored on the first two drives.
“It felt like the best game we’ve had so far.”
Decatur put everything together Friday, for their most dominating win to date. Quarterback Grayson Muehlstein had his way with the Hawk defense, running for four scores and throwing for another.
The senior threw for 193 yards and ran for 123 more.
“The past two games we didn’t come out real strong in the first half, so coaches empahsized coming out strong in the first half,” Muehlstein said. “We just executed, went right down the field and scored.”
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and quickly marched 75 yards in five plays capped off by a 20 yard touchdown pass from Muehlstein to Cain Lowe.
After the Decatur defense held on downs, Muehlstein struck again with a one-yard touchdown run, to give the Eagles a quick 14-0 lead.
“Grayson [Muehlstein] came out and played great tonight,” Story said. “He threw the ball well and ran the ball harder. I thought it was his best overall game.”
After stalling twice, Iowa Park put together a drive down to the Eagle three-yard line. Decatur held on fourth down to preserve the two touchdown lead going into the second quarter.
The Eagle defense held the Hawks to 177 total yards and created two turnovers.
“That was a big goal line stand on defense,” Story said. “I was really proud of our defensive effort. Guys were flying around making tackles and knocking the ball loose.”
Decatur put the game away in the second quarter with two more Muehlstein touchdowns. He scored on a 37-yard run and a 28-yard run before the end of the half to give the Eagles a 28-0 halftime lead.
Muehlstein would score one last time early in the third on a three-yard scramble.
The Decatur defense stopped the next two Hawk possessions on turnovers. Taylor Shield came away with an interception and Cole Vaughn had a fumble recovery.
Justin Meyers capped off the final Eagle score of the night late in the third quarter with an 11-yard scamper.
With one game left before district, Story is happy with the progress he’s seeing from his team.
“I told the kids after the game to think back in that first and second scrimmage when we didn’t execute very well,” Story said. “Tonight we executed and we go out and work on getting better every day.
“I’ve been pleased with their effort on the practice field and they’re a team that wants to get better all the time.”
The Eagles travel to Alvarado next Friday.
DECATUR 42, IOWA PARK 7
Decatur … 14 … 14 … 14 … … 0 … – … 42
Iowa Park … 0 … 0 … 0 … … 7 … – … 7
Decatur – Grayson Muehlstein 20 pass to Cain Lowe; Clark Allen kick
Decatur – Muehlstein 1 run; Allen kick
Decatur – Muehlstein 37 run; Allen kick
Decatur – Muehlstein 28 run; Allen kick
Decatur – Muehlstein 3 run; Allen kick
Decatur- Justin Meyers 11 run; Allen kick
Iowa Park – Derrick Ponder 18 pass to Westyn Stenson; Hale kick
IOWA PARK … DECATUR
First Downs … 11 … 29
Rushes Yards … 115 … 272
Passing Yards … 62 … 211
Total Yards … 177 … 483
Comp-Att-Int … 8-20-1 … 19-30-1
Fumbles lost … 2-1 … 2-0
Penalties … 6-85 … 4-38
Rushing – Decatur, Grayson Muehlstein 17-123; Iowa Park, Kelly Houston 14-64
Receiving – Decatur, Cain Lowe 9-104; Iowa Park, Houston 2-24
Passing – Decatur, Muehlstein, 18-28-193; Iowa Park, Derrick Ponder, 8-20-62