With only ten seniors on the team, five of them not dressed out due to injuries, the Mustangs knew that someone else would have to step up. The underclassmen joined forces with the five seniors on the field to come up with a big 29-15 win over the Bridge City Cardinals.

Although two of the scores came from senior Steven Cook, two also came from juniors as well, Darius Mitchell and Reggie Garrett.

The offense wasn’t the only side of the ball where the underclassmen had to stand up and shine. The young defense also did their share of work. Led by the likes of Wilson Washington and Cook, the Chain Gang held the Cardinals to 202 total yards and only two touchdowns, one coming in the last minute of the game.

“We got off to a slow start and then picked up speed,” Head Coach Dan Hooks said. “We hit a lull in the third quarter and then picked it up in the fourth quarter by controlling the ball with the run for over 8 minutes before our final touchdown.”

The Mustangs struck first in the game during the first quarter when Garrett took the ball 25 yards to the end zone. A Justin Sparrow PAT put the Mustangs on top, 7-0.

The Cardinals quickly answered back with a score of their own when quarterback Josh LeMoine hit pay dirt from one yard out. Bridge City then went up by one, when the Cardinals used a trick play where holder Luke Rhodes hit Josh Ozio in the end zone for the two point conversion.

The Mustangs could’ve gotten down, but sophomore Justin Thomas made his big play for the night, when the track speedster took the kick-off 75 yards to the seven yard line, setting up an easy six for Cook, who played both ways on Friday. In order to stay ahead by seven, senior James Haynes took the ball around the right side for a two point conversion.

Haynes would again be the hero, setting up the next score, after picking off a half-back pass that BC’s Matt Menard intended for Cameron Dishon. Cook again hit the end zone from two yards out and Sparrow’s PAT put the score at 22-8 for half time.

The third quarter was a little sloppy, while both teams traded punts and couldn’t seem to get going. However, the Chain Gang defense held the Cardinals on fourth down to start the fourth quarter and the Mustangs began their “drive for the night,” chewing up close to nine minutes of the clock, all on the ground, as Mitchell and Cook traded off carrying the pig skin, before Mitchell broke loose on a 19-yard sprint to score. Sparrow’s last PAT of the night was good and the Mustangs were up, 29-8.

However, the scrappy Cardinals weren’t going to give up and marched the ball down the field, scoring in the last minute of the game.

“ Give Bridge City credit. They played hard all night long,” Hooks said. “We knew going in that we had to win over there and we did.”

The Mustangs will host the Hardin Jefferson Hawks Friday night at home as the senior players, cheerleaders, band members and Fillies will be honored during pre-game.

Hardin Jefferson comes into the game 2-1 in district with wins over Orangefield and Hamshire-Fannett and a heartbreaking 20-10 loss to Bridge City . Key players for the Hawks are three-year starter quarterback Blake Venable, running back Jacoby Turner, receiver Garrett Gustafson and linebacker Luke Walters.

Although the middle school Stallions were rained out for last weeks’ game, the ninth grade and the JV teams beat the Cardinals, 28-0, both games. Scoring for the freshmen team was Alex Sezar on runs of 2 and 3 yards, Ar’Tevin McDonald on a 72-yard pass from Tremaine Anderson and two two-point conversions and Joe Lynch on a 12 yard run. Offensive standouts include Anderson, Sezar, Lynch, McDonald, Larry McDonald and Austin Rutledge. Defensive standouts were William Moore, Sezar, Travon Turner, Tyron Como and Reshon McDonald. The freshmen are 7-1, 3-0 in district.

The most impressive win of the week had to be the JV team who dressed out only 17 players after losing four to varsity and several others to grades. Sheldon Lee quarterbacked his first game and although he didn’t throw a pass, he was successful in handing off for three touchdowns and two two-conversions, and scoring on a 15-yard run himself. Abear Simien scored on a 6 yard run and Brilon Douglas had two touchdowns for 3 yards and 50 yards. Phillip Jones and Simien also scored the two-point conversions. Offensive standouts, besides those who scored, were Dre Hypolite, Devon Hebert, Terrance Dennis, Alvin Childress, Daniel Woodson and Derek Ledet. Defensive standouts include Matthew Lackey, Taywaun Lucas, Ed Ivory, Bryce Crew and Travon Blanchard. The JV team is 6-1, 3-0 in district.

Tuesday night, the volleyball team honored their seniors, Kayla Gonzales and Ishanika Gant in their last game of the season. Although the team struggled with injuries and various other problems once district began, their most impressive fight came against Hardin Jefferson last week when the Lady ‘Stangs won in five games, with the final a close 15-13.

Come out and support the Mustangs in their last home game of the season and honor the seniors in the pregame activities Friday.