The Mustangs put on their most complete show of the season this past Friday night when they hooked up with the Cleveland Indians and walked away with a huge 57-0 victory. The Mustangs scored in almost every way possible-offensive passing and rushing plays, an interception, a kick-off return, a blocked punt and a safety, while the defense also had their best outing, holding the Indians to just seven yards of offense and one earned first down.

“It was good to win our first play-off game,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “There were several 5A teams picked to win that got beat last week but we were focused and did our job and got after them pretty good and won big.”

The Mustangs were firing on all cylinders from the opening kick-off. Kicker Rodickson Cano kicked to the Indians and the returner was immediately tackled for little gain. After a three and out by the Indians, the Mustangs took the ball and quickly scored. The touchdown by Quentin Tezeno was called back for holding, but the Mustangs hit pay dirt when quarterback Jimmy Salter hooked up with J’Marcus Rhodes after the penalty for a 41-yard touchdown pass to put the Mustangs up, 7-0, after a good PAT by Cano.

“The offense did a good job executing even though we were a little worried about the size of Cleveland’s defensive line,” Thompson said.

The Chain Gang defense forced another Cleveland three and out and after a short six-yard punt by the Indians, the Mustangs had great field position and were able to score again pretty quickly with another Salter to Rhodes pass. It didn’t take long for the Mustangs to score again when Salter took the ball and ran it in from just nine yards out just seconds before the end of the first quarter.

Defensive back Travon Blanchard stunned the Indians when he intercepted the ball on the first play of the second quarter and took the ball 31 yards to the end zone to put the Mustangs up, 27-0. Back-up quarterback Chase Rutledge got in on the scoring when Salter lined up as a receiver and Rutledge in the wildcat. He bulldozed his way into the end zone from one yard out to put the ‘Stangs up, 34-0.

The game went from bad to worse for the Indians when Ar’Tevin McDonald blocked a punt the rolled into the end zone from 34 yards out with 5:10 left in the half and Will Moore was able to recover it in the end zone for another score.

“I just don’t think that Cleveland had seen a team that flies to the ball on defense like ours,” Thompson said. “The game wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be but they had some injuries that really hurt them, and we just got after them good.”

The Mustangs were able to get on the board again in the third period when Rutledge scored on another quarterback keeper from two yards out. Cano’s PAT was good and the score hit, 48-0. The Indians were still fighting back but after another three and out, the ball sailed over the Cleveland punter’s head into the end zone for a free two points. That is when Tezeno was able to finally put points on the board when he returned the kick-off, juking 67 yards down the field for the last six points of the game. Cano’s PAT made it 57-0.

While the defense was stopping the Indians cold in their tracks, even in the fourth quarter with many new faces and numbers on the field, the offense was making play after play, utilizing the stable of Mustangs that Salter has to choose from. Eight Mustangs ran the ball including Abear Simien, Tezeno, Kane Tezeno, Salter, Maurice Morris, John Scott, Rutledge and Tremaine Anderson. Salter completed 11 of 15 passes to Rhodes (6-139 yards), Anderson, Dre Spencer, Rutledge and Simien.

The Mustangs are now staring the West Columbia Roughnecks in the face in a game that will be played Friday at 6 pm in Channelview at Ray Maddry Memorial Stadium. The Roughnecks beat Houston Kashmere this past Friday night, 33-6, to move on to the second round.

West Columbia is the second place team in their district behind the La Marque Cougars and is led by left-handed quarter back Willis Johnson who is quick and throws well, according to Thompson. They are in the #2 offense in their district, averaging 360 yards a game and are the #1 defense holding their opponents to 172 yards a game and an average of 17 points per game.

“If we can hold them to half their average on the offensive side of the ball, we will have a good night,” Thompson said. “They are a physical team that can run and they do have good athletes. On paper, we match up well with them as far as their speed and quickness.”

The Roughnecks are now 8-3, with losses to Wharton (21-23), Hempstead (17-32) and La Marque (0-48). They also have a 1500 yard tailback in Floyd Bess, who was chosen as the preseason MVP of 3A, and Jerry Wayne Cotton who is a very athletic receiver and also a good blocker, according to Thompson.

“That Johnson kid is one that can make good plays out of a bad play,” Thompson said. “They come from a tough part of the world but their defense swarms to the ball as most defenses will this time of year.”

Come out and support the Mustangs in their second play-off game in Channelview. The stadium is easy to find off of Interstate 10 West. Take the Sheldon Road exit (#783) and turn right on Sheldon Road. The stadium is about a mile down the road on the right.

Good luck to the Silsbee Tigers who are still in the race for a state title in 3A Division 1. They face Stafford at 1 p.m. Friday at Turner Stadium in Humble. Also, good luck to the Nederland Bulldogs and the Deweyville Pirates as they also play this weekend, hoping to stay alive in the play-off hunt.

Quarterback Jimmy Salter looks to pass down field. Salter had 11 completions for 184 yards. RECORD PHOTO: Meri Elen Jacobs