In the first home game of the season, the young Mustangs (2-1) put on a stellar performance, beating the 4A Central Jaguars, 31-7.  In front of a huge crowd of 5000, the Mustangs used a  balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive stance controlling the game from the beginning..

“Our kids came out and played hard,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “I thought the kids rose to the occasion and showed flashes of brilliance where Mustang football is concerned. We still are not playing the full 48 minutes, with a lull in the third quarter, but we have overcome a big hurdle.”

The dynamic duo of Mustang quarterbacks Dillon Sterling-Cole and Chase Rutledge combined for four touchdowns and kicker Rodikson Cano hit all four PATs and a 27-yard field goal to hit 31 points in the game.  The Chain Gang defense held strong in the first half, limiting the Jaguars to just 43 yards.

The defense came up with big plays early when Kalen Garrett intercepted Central’s quarterback, giving the ball back to WO-S. Sterling-Cole hit the end zone for the first time with less than seven minutes left in the first quarter when he ran around the left side 10 yards for the score.

Central’s special teams struggled all night and the Mustangs were able to take advantage of the miscues and score two more times before the half. The second score, Cano’s 27-yard field goal, came after the Jaguar punter’s knee hit the ground before he could ever get the punt off. WO-S took over at the 16 yard line and four plays later, Cano did the honors to put the ‘Stangs up, 10-0.

Central’s next punt soared over the punter’s head, giving the Mustangs excellent field position and another chance to score. With just 5 seconds off the clock in the second quarter, Rutledge took the ball in from three yards out for the score.

The Jaguars came out strong after the half and were able to move the ball down to the 5 yard line but the Chain Gang held and the ball went over on downs to the Mustangs. Ten plays later, the Mustangs again hit the end zone when Sterling-Cole connected with receiver Dwain Boullard on an 8 yard pass and Cano’s PAT put the Mustangs at 24-0 with less than 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

On the last play of the quarter, Central was able to get into the endzone but the Mustangs didn’t let that put a damper on the game as they quickly answered back with a 32 yard scamper by Rutledge with 10:12 left in the game.

John Scott led the team with 11 rushes for 65 yards and fellow running back Chris James had 12 for 38 yards. Quarterbacks Rutledge and Sterling-Cole combined for almost 100 yards. Sterling-Cole threw for 83 yards with Boullard being his top receiver with 2 catches for 24 yards.

The Mustangs will now turn their attention to the1-2 Jasper Bulldogs, who are coming off of a heartbreaking 23-20 loss to Kirbyville. The Bulldogs beat Liberty, 28-7 in week zero, but lost to Orangefield, 30-22 in week one.

“We’ll travel to the Alamo and I have told the kids it is a hard place to win,” Thompson said of this week’s game. “They didn’t believe me when I told them that about the Reservation and this is the same kind of deal. They will be defending their home turf so we better have a good week of practice.”

Jasper is a senior team, starting only one junior on offense. Quarterback Steven Walker has been running things in Bulldog Country for three years. Senior Terrence Cuney runs the ball and is a threat on offense. The showdown will start at 7 pm and all tickets must be purchased at the gate Friday night and are $5.

The subvarsity teams both beat the Central Jaguars at Babe Zaharias Stadium Thursday night. The ninth grade team started the night out right beating Central, 52-6. KJ Miller had 20 yard TD reception from Malik Phillips and BB Tezeno scored the two point conversion. Tezeno also score the next touchdown on a 9 yard pass from Phillips. Phillips scored the two point conversion. Trey Guillory also had a 10 yard TD reception from Phillips and the two point conversion was made by Jaylen Matthews. Jared Dupree caught a 38 yard pass from Phillips for the next touchdown. Tezeno scored again on a 46 yard reception from Phillips. Matthews blocked a Central punt at the 5 and Teron Brown took it in for the score. Jeremiah Shaw scored the two point conversion. He also scored on a 40 yard run and Miller scored on the final two point conversion. Offensive standouts are Malik Phillips, BB Tezeno, KJ Miller, Jeremiah Shaw, Chris Griffin, Jared Dupree, Trey Guillory and Jaylen Matthews. Defensive standouts are Tarek Riley, Teron Brown, Ronald Carter, Tre Franklin, Torrien Burnett and Jalen Powdrill.

The JV team scored late in the third when Michael Snow took a catch and run pass from Jack Dallas 74 yards for the touchdown. Dallas scored on the two point conversion. Offensive standouts are quarterback Jack Dallas, receiver Jeron Preston, offensive linemen Thomas Nobles and Ahmaud Baldwin. Defensive standouts for JV are linebackers Justin Brown and JD Thompson, defensive lineman Michael Snow and noseguard Quentin Chargois.

Both teams will play at home Thursday beginning at 5 pm against the Jasper Bulldogs.

Making noise on the college level, DaCarlos Renfro caused a fumble and recovered it in UTEP’s 42-21 win over New Mexico Saturday, while Joe Lynch had an interception with 50 seconds left in the game to secure Kilgore’s 24-19 win over Trinity Valley Community College.

Come out and support the Mustangs on Thursday and Friday and then sit and enjoy watching the former Mustangs play on Saturday and Sunday on TV.

Quarterback Chase Rutledge heads around the left side for the last touchdown of the game. Rutledge had seven carries for 54 yards.