Homecoming has always been a big deal at West Orange-Stark and Friday was no exception as the Mustangs won their thirtieth in a row, beating the Hardin Jefferson Hawks, 46-6, in front of a huge crowd. Although the defense saw much more playing time than the offense, the offense was able to strike quick while the defense was able to hold the Hawks to just one touchdown.

“Hardin Jefferson was better than we thought they were,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “They run that old school offense that is hard to stop so we were a little big-eyed early in the game, but I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half and stopped them.”

The Mustangs hit paydirt on their second offensive play when quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole hit a wide open Deionte Thompson in the middle of the field and the track star took it 82 yards for the score. Kicker Rodickson Cano was right on the money and the Mustangs led, 7-0 with less than four minutes ticked off of the clock.

The Hawks’ running game from the Slot T and ball control kept the Mustangs out of the end zone until the second quarter. But as soon as the Mustang offense got their hands on the ball again, after stopping the Hawk offense on the ten yard line, Sterling-Cole and his offense marched the ball down the field and running back Chris James took the ball in from 19 yards out for the score. Cano’s kick was again good and the Mustangs led, 14-0.

Hardin Jefferson didn’t give up and moved the ball down the field for a score of their own with a little more than 6 minutes left in the half. The PAT failed and the Stangs led, 14-6. That was as close as it would get. The Mustangs were able to hit paydirt on their next possession after Tre Spencer moved the ball 45 yards down the field on a screen pass. The score came on another Sterling-Cole pass, this one to Will Johnson from 13 yards out. Cano hit his third PAT and the Mustangs led at the half, 21-6.

After senior Derreashia Breaux-Daughtery was crowned homecoming queen at the half, the game belonged to the Mustangs. Every play had to count because HJ was stingy with the ball. Mustang Tre Baldwin blocked a Hawk punt at the 35 yard line and WO-S’ Mandel King took it to the 8. Three plays later Spencer scored on a four yard Sterling-Cole pass, putting the game at 27-6 after Cano’s kick failed. Less than a minute later, the Hawks fumbled and James was able to pick up the loose ball and take it 32 yards for the score. The two point conversion failed but WO-S still had the lead at 33-6.

The Chain Gang defense struck again when senior Elijah Teel stepped in front of an HJ pass and took it 63 yards before being tackled at the nine yard line. Sterling-Cole was able to take it across the goal line from three yards out to up the score to 40-6. The last score of the game, with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, came on a six yard pass from Chase Rutledge to Dwain Boullard.

“The defense really stepped it up and made some big plays in the second half,” Thompson said. “Elijah Teel has improved every week and we got Steven Tims back this week. Josh Tims played good for us at defensive end this week, too.”

The Mustangs will not play this week but will face Orangefield next week at Orangefield.

“Orangefield runs the same type of offense that Hardin Jefferson does. In fact, we’ll look at this type of offense for the next two games with them and Buna,” Thompson said. “We’ll work on our weaknesses on defense and continue to improve more on offense. We have to be mentally ready to defend the district championship and we’ll do that by playing and preparing one game at a time.”

Orangefield, who will face Hardin Jefferson this Friday in Sour Lake, is coming off of a 52-14 spanking of Hamshire-Fannett. The Bobcats are 4-2, having lost to Silsbee and Newton and posting wins over the Longhorns, East Chambers (22-21), Jasper (30-22) and Kelly (19-14). Their big running game is led by the Wiley brothers, Carl and Carmichael, with almost 1700 rushing yards on the season.

Tickets to the game against Orangefield on October 18 will only be sold at the gate that night and will be $4 for adults and $2 for students.

The ninth grade team is still undefeated after beating the HJ Hawks, 42-6. Jerimiah Shaw scored the first touchdown on a 24 yard TD run. Jaylen Mathews then scored on a 56-yard reception from Malik Phillips. The two point conversion from Phillips to Mathews was good. Trey Guillory scored the next touchdown on a 7-yard Phillips pass. Mathews was again good on the two point conversion pass Phillips. Scoring on defense, BB Tezeno returned a fumble 50 yards for the score and also caught the two point conversion from Phillips. Phillips scored six of his own on a 16 yard run and Diamante’ Polidore finished the scoring on a 51 yard run. Standouts on the offense are Phillips, Mathews, Tre Franklin, Shaw and Polidore. Defensive standouts are Tezeno, Teron Brown, Tarek Riley, Cory Skinner and Trey Guillory.

The JV team also beat the Hawks, 22-6. Peyton Robertson scored first on a 3 yard touchdown pass from Jack Dallas. JD Thompson ran in the two point conversion. Michael Snow scored on an 18 yard fumble recovery and Quinton Chargois had a 24-yard touchdown run. Snow scored the two point conversion on a pass in the back of the end zone. Other offensive standouts are running back David Webb and offensive lineman Anthony Moses. Defensive standouts are Thompson, Snow and defensive end David Bundage.

The subvarsity teams will be back in action at home Thursday night, October 17 beginning at 5 pm, while the varsity will play Friday at 7 p.m. at McClain Stadium in Orangefield.