Mustangs defeat Panthers, advance to finals
Pelting rain, slick turf, three interceptions, one fumble and eighty yards in penalties in the first half didn’t keep the Mustangs from holding a 17-13 lead at half time against the Bullard Panthers. The rest of the game belonged to WO-S as the Mustangs went on to win, 45-13, in the Region 3 Division 2 semifinals this past Saturday in The Woodlands.
“We made too many mistakes early but once we settled down and got the penalties out of the way, we showed what kind of team we really are,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “In the second half, we were able to execute our offense and we stuffed them on defense.”
The Mustangs finished the game with 519 total offensive yards, 347 on the ground and the defense held the Panthers to just 8 first downs and 114 total yards, with 95 of those coming in the first half.
Quarterback Jimmy Salter and Britton Lindsey teamed up to lead the Mustangs on offense.
Even with three first half interceptions, Salter kept his head, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Larry Sonnier and also scoring on a one yard run before the half. Salter finished the night, completing 11 of 17 passes for 172 yards and 67 yards rushing. He also threw for three touchdowns and, besides his first rushing touchdown, scored on a bum play when he dropped the ball, picked it up and ran for 47 yards to score.
“Jimmy came back and had a great second half,” Thompson said.
Lindsey finished the night with 190 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Lindsey leads the Mustangs’ rushing game with 1645 yards and 20 touchdowns for the season.
Receiver J’Marcus Rhodes scored on two passes from Salter, a 48-yard toss across the middle that pretty much sealed the win in the third period and then a 22-yard pass, between two Bullard defenders, that he shook off before walking into the end zone. Rhodes finished with 4 catches for 82 yards.
The traditional “Chain Gang” defense has also continued to do their job. Junior Travon Blanchard had an interception that set up the first touchdown and was also instrumental on good field position with great punt coverage. Junior Quentin Tezeno and senior Ian Jenkins both recovered fumbles caused by the WO-S defense. Linebacker Daniel Woodson also had an interception to set up the last score in the fourth quarter.
“The entire defensive unit, our Chain Gang, has been pulling together,” Thompson said. “There are not really any standouts. They all play hard.”
Thompson also gives credit to the offensive and defensive linemen.
“Both the O-line and D-line have gotten us where we are,” Thompson said. “We got our center back several weeks ago and all five are playing in their same positions and they keep getting better. I told them early on that our football season will go as our O-line goes.”
Next up for the Mustangs is a game that, according to Thompson, all 3A eyes will be on-WO-S and the Coldspring Trojans. The Trojans are the district champions out of District 22-3A and sport a 13-0 record after beating Lorena, 13-7, in the Regional tilt last Friday night.
“All 3A eyes will be on Turner Stadium Friday night,” Thompson said. “We have to have a great week of workouts. Then just play our game and get after it.”
According to Thompson, the undivided attention will go to Sherman Gilbert, who is Coldspring’s #1 “go-to guy.” Gilbert plays wide receiver, running back and wing back with over 1900 offensive yards for the year. In last weeks’ win over Lorena, Gilbert had 305 yards and two scores for the Trojans. Another threat is quarterback Alford Scott whose brother was also a quarterback for the Trojans several years ago.
With only eight teams left in Division 2 of 3A, the Mustangs are excited to finally be playing in December, a goal that was set at the beginning of the season.
“I told the kids, ‘The good news is-we are still alive. The bad news is-we are playing the Coldspring Trojans,’” Thompson said. “This week, we have to play 48 minutes of football. We are both pretty good on offense and pretty good on defense, with our kicking game better. I couldn’t think of two teams that are better to play for the Region 3 title than them and us.”
The game will be played Friday night at 7:30pm at Turner Stadium in Humble with the Mustangs being the visiting team. Tickets will be on sale Wednesday, November 30, from 9-12 and 1-3pm and also on Thursday, December 1 from 9-12 ONLY at the WO-S Athletic Office.
Tickets prices are $8 for Adults and $5 for students with all tickets at the gate being $8.
Tickets can also be purchased on line for a small fee at https://www.totalgatesolutions.com/SelectEventTickets.aspx?eventId=21751. On line tickets must be printed out and presented at the gate.
Directions to Turner Stadium (1700 Wilson Road — Humble, Texas) are as follows: Take I-10 West to Beaumont. Take the College Street/Old Hwy. 90 exit and make a right on College.
Follow Hwy 90 through Dayton to Beltway 8. Take Beltway 8 to the Wilson Rd. exit and make a right on Wilson. Follow Wilson Rd. to Turner Stadium, which will be on the left. Visitor parking will be past the high school and middle school.
For a great game of football, join the Mustangs on the visitor side. Holler with the cheerleaders, dance with the Fillies and band, and cheer on the Mighty Mustangs as they vie for the Regional championship and one step closer to a goal the team set in August.