The Mustangs have overcome several adversities this season, with the main one being Hurricane Ike, but Saturday night, they were unable to overcome the Gilmer Buckeyes to proceed on to the next level in the play-offs.

Although the Mustangs gave a tremendous second half effort, scoring twice in the third quarter, it wasn’t enough to win, as WO-S lost its first game of the season, 35-23.

“We had a great year,” Head Coach Dan Hooks said. “In the second half, they did what I asked them to do. They put forth the effort and wanted to win, but we just didn’t do it.”

The Mustangs, who have been very stingy with allowing rushing yards, were faced with only a few rush attempts by the Buckeyes, while quarterback Darian Godfrey went to the air for most of the game.

“Gilmer is a great team who we knew was capable of the big plays,” Hooks said. “They had chances on offense and capitalized on it, while we couldn’t seem to.”

The Mustangs first got on the board after hoarding the ball for over 8 minutes, with a Justin Sparrow field goal. However, the Buckeyes came back with a touchdown pass of their own to go up 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was disaster for the Mustangs as the Buckeyes scored two more times before quarterback Ortavious Hypolite could perform his diving run into the end zone to put the Mustangs back in the game, 21-9. However, just before the half, Gilmer struck again and the Mustangs went to the locker room, down by 19.

Kicker James Haynes kicked off to the Buckeyes to start the third quarter, but on the next play Gilmer fumbled and the momentum shifted for the Mustangs. Running back Quintavius Garrett scored twice within four minutes to put the Mustangs within 5 points of the Buckeyes.

However, those were the only scores the Mustangs could muster and Gilmer added one more before it was all over.

“Everyone’s going to face their last game as a loss unless you are the State Champions and you win it all,” Hooks said. “And it really makes it hard for our kids and fans, and everybody when you haven’t lost a game all year.”

But as sports fans in this area know, WO-S will reload for next year.

“I hate it for the seniors and wish them the best of luck but we’ve got some young ones that will get busy in the weight room and hopefully we’ll go back and get a chance to play them again next year,” Hooks said.

For me, this is the hardest part of my job-to write the final story for football, especially when it is a loss. I would personally like to applaud all of the fans that came to support us from other schools that wore their school colors-Bridge City, Orangefield, Hardin Jefferson and Little Cypress were the ones that I saw and I know there were more. Thanks so much for your support. I would also like to thank our die hard Mustangs fans that will stay for the ENTIRE game, whether rain, sleet or cold, win or lose, no matter what. Our players know that you are there and do appreciate you.

Because most of the players were off Monday and Tuesday, stay tuned for next week’s tribute to the team that will recap the whole season, in their eyes, and give a little insight into some of the players that have ended a great career here in a silver helmet.