“Whoever shows up and plays 48 minutes of football will win.”
Head Coach Dan Hooks made this statement last Monday, referring to the great match-up between Silsbee and WO-S. However, Hooks couldn’t, at that point, see into the future and know that the first 48 minutes wouldn’t win the ball game, it would be the extra plays in overtime that would do it for the 4-0 Mustangs.
Tied at the end of regulation, 7-7, the Mustangs stepped it up a notch taking only 4 plays to score in their second ever overtime. Then the Chain Gang defense held the Tigers to a fourth down and 11 and stuffed Silsbee’s Jeremy Johnson before he could ever get going out of the backfield.
“Silsbee is a good team and I knew that they would come here ready to play,” Hooks said. “I’m proud of our kids because they hung in there and fought hard and came away with the victory.”
The Mustangs started out strong with a great kick-off return by junior James Haynes, but things quickly went downhill as the offense wasn’t able to capitalize on the great field position and were forced to punt.
Although the Mustangs got close four times in the first half, the Silsbee defense, and a couple of holding calls, kept them out of the end zone.
The Tigers went into the locker room at the half, leading 7-0.
Neither team was able to score in the third period, but the Mustangs came up with the tying 7 early in the fourth when senior Quintavious Garrett finally found daylight, taking the ball 25 yards to the end zone. Kicker Justin Sparrow hit the PAT right on the money to knot it at 7.
The momentum changer of the night came with just 19 seconds left in the game. The Mustang secondary who worked hard all night, tipped a ball right into Tiger receiver Chase Kelly’s hand and he was able to take it down to the Mustang 7. The Tigers, with no timeouts, had to stop the clock, but Johnson kneeled the ball instead of spiking it, sending the game into overtime.
“We definitely dodged a bullet. I’m so proud of our kids for their attitudes throughout the game. These are games when kids get upset with each other and we just didn’t have that on the sideline. They didn’t quit until it was 14-7 and over,” Hooks said.
The Mustangs won the toss for overtime and set up on the 25-yard line first. It took 3 plays to get a first down and then Garrett did the honors, dodging Tiger defenders, taking it to the end zone. Sparrow again hit the PAT and it was over for Silsbee.
The Chain Gang defense, led by Stephen Cook and Kevin Robinson, held strong. Quarterback Ortavious Hypolite actually made the tackle on first down as he flipped Silsbee’s ball carrier right on the line. On fourth and 11, Robinson and Terry Rubin sacked Johnson in the back field and the celebrating began for the Mustangs, who won their 25th consecutive 3A district game.
After two straight home games, the Mustangs will travel to Hamshire-Fannett to face the Longhorns who are also 1-0 in district after a come from behind overtime win over Orangefield Friday night.
“Hamshire is a scrappy, well coached team. They have had a few problems with injuries but they should be healthy for us,” Hooks said.
The Longhorns are led by quarterback Jake Minaldi and will be ready to continue their fight for a chance to go to the play-offs.
“We’ll have a good week’s worth of practice and go down to their place and be ready to play,” Hooks said.
Ticket sales will ONLY be at the gate the night of the game at Hamshire-Fannett. Adult tickets are $4 and students are $2.
If you missed the sub varsity story, the JV team is undefeated (4-0) with a recent 12-7 win over Silsbee and the ninth grade is 3-1 after a big 32-14 win over the Tigers. The JV will play Hamshire-Fannett Thursday at Dan R. Hooks Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. There will not be a Freshman game.
The Lady Mustang Volleyball teams are also in the middle of their season. All three teams play on Tuesday and Friday nights.
Take a break from insurance adjusters, wet carpet and sheetrock and cheer on the Mustangs, whether in the gym or out on the field.
The students need your support and you will be glad you did.