Friday night was a night of firsts for the Mustangs-it was the first time this season that a district team scored on WO-S, the first interception thrown by quarterback Jimmy Salter and the first time all season for the Mustangs to be behind. However, the Mustangs rose to the occasion, like usual, and won the game, 26-12, over the Silsbee Tigers.

Proving what they were made of, the Mustangs took their mistakes and turned them around to make a statement in front of a large crowd at Tiger stadium.

“We knew going in what type of ball game it was going to be,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “They were undefeated in district and so were we and we knew we would get their best game. It was the first time this year that we’ve been behind but we responded in a positive manner and therefore, we are the district champs.”

Going into the game, Silsbee was averaging 40 points per game while the Mustangs were only allowing an average of 2 points per game, with no points scored during a district game. WO-S knew that Silsbee’s game plan was to score on the Chain Gang defense.

The first quarter was a typical slugfest with neither team scoring. However, Abear Simien was able to break loose some big gains and crossed the goal line for the first touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Rodikson Cano’s kick was good and the Mustangs were on the board, 7-0.

The Tigers didn’t take much time to answer back after a WO-S fumble. Silsbee quarterback Patrick Reed used his arm to get the ball down the field before running it in from seven yards out for the first score on the Mustangs since week three’s game against Jasper. The PAT was no good and the Mustangs still led, 7-6.

With a little more than five minutes left in the half, Silsbee’s Chris Elam did what no one has done all season, picked off a Jimmy Salter pass. Just four plays later, Reed hit Elam for the second score on the Chain Gang defense in less than 3 minutes. The Tigers were up 12-7 after the two point conversion was stopped in the back field.

The second touchdown only infuriated the Mustangs and Salter led his crew right down the field using senior Quinton Tezeno, Simien and Tremaine Anderson to move the ball before Simien bruised his way in for the second score from one yard out. Cano’s kick was blocked but the Mustangs were still up going in at the half, 13-12.

Halftime was a huge turning point for the game. Thompson’s half time speech and adjustments were just what WO-S needed to come out fired up.

“Coach T told us at the half that they scored on us and we didn’t have that monkey on our backs anymore so we just needed to go back out there and play Mustang football,” senior Jhayllien Monette said.

The Mustangs came back out and dominated from the kick-off. Salter led his team down the field, passing and running before backup quarterback Chase Rutledge took the ball in from one yard out to put the Mustangs up, 19-12. Rutledge took the snap but the shovel pass was stopped short of the line. Rutledge would also cross the goal line to seal the deal from 8 yards out with a little over eight minutes left in the game. Cano’s kick was good and the Mustangs were up, 26-12.

The offensive line was the key to the rushing game this week, with WO-S cashing in on 46 carries for 262 yards and Simien finishing with 122 of those.

“The offensive line did a great job this week, knocking Silsbee off of the ball,” Thompson said. I was really proud of the way we responded.”

Celebration for the district championship was short-lived as Monday, the Mustangs were back to work preparing for a familiar foe in the Cleveland Indians. Last year, WO-S beat the Indians in the first round of the play-offs, 56-14. However, according to Thompson, this isn’t the same Cleveland team.

“They are much better defensively than last year,” he said. “They have a big defensive line comparable to Nederland and they are much improved athletically on the offensive side of the ball.”

The Indians check into the game with an overall record of 7-3, 4-2 in district play. Last week’s win over Shepherd, which got them to this stage, was a 41-34 overtime win. They are led by Chris Taylor, who moved over to quarterback from the defensive back position he played last season. One of his favorite targets is Trent Willis, who plays slot receiver. They are a spread team and run a lot of jet sweeps, according to Thompson.

“They are as athletic as we are and they can run,” Thompson said. “They must feel pretty confident because they didn’t really care where we played, they were just ready to play.”

The Mustangs will face the Indians Friday night at the Carrol A. “Butch” Thomas Educational Support Center in Beaumont. The Mustangs will be the visiting team. Ticket prices are $7 for Adults & $4 for students. All tickets at the gate are $7. Tickets will be on sale in the WO-S Athletic Office Thursday, November 15th – 9-12 & 1-3pm and Friday, November 16th – 9-12pm ONLY. Mustang fans travelling from the east can find the stadium by taking IH-10 West towards Houston and exiting Brooks Rd, exit #847. Follow the access road to the Brooks Road ramp; turn left at the stop sign and take the ramp to cross over IH-10. Turn left onto the eastbound service road. The Thomas Center entrance will be on the right.

The freshmen and junior varsity teams combined to play and beat the Silsbee Tigers, 38-0, for the district championship. Junior Jordan Richard started the scoring on a 5 yard touchdown run and quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole ran in the two point conversion. Sterling-Cole scored again on a 6 yard run and Kalen Garrett scored the two point conversion. Caleb Collins scored next on a touchdown pass from Sterling-Cole into the end zone and Sterling-Cole toted the two point conversion in. Garrett scored again with a 26-yard touchdown pass and Sterling-Cole was good again for two. Dee Wolfford returned a 20 yard interception for a touchdown and JaDarrius Thompson scored the last touchdown with a six yard run. Three of the four Stallion teams won, the 7A, 8A and 8B, all for the district championships.

Basketball season starts this week, so come out and enjoy the games in the gym during the week and then meet us at the play-off game against Cleveland at the “Butch” at 7 pm on Friday night. Cheer on the Mustangs as they enter the third phase of their season, the Play-offs!!

Pictured: The Mustang Chain Gang torched the Silsbee offense all night long, holding the Tigers to only 12 points after them averaging 40 coming into the game.