After a devastating loss to the Newton Eagles last week, the Mustangs bounced back in true fashion to slaughter the Liberty Panthers, 45-7, in front of a huge homecoming crowd Friday night.

“We pounded them from all levels,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “I thought that we went out and played with a lot of effort and enthusiasm. I was happy with the victory. We seem to be back on track.”

The Mustangs were able to score on their first possession of the game, running off of the legs of Grant Lapoint-Teate, who capped off the 10 play drive with a 10 yard carry into the end zone. Kicker Hector Vela’s PAT was good and the Mustangs never looked back.

The second quarter belonged to the Mustangs, as four different players scored, Vela made all PATs and the scoreboard read 35-0 at the half. Deionte Thompson, who had four catches for 71 yards, scored on two different passes (5 and 25 yards) from quarterback Jack Dallas. Junior Malech Edwards, who was playing in his first Mustang varsity game, scored on a nine yard run, carrying several Liberty Panthers on his back down the field.

Will Johnson, the leading receiver for the night with five catches for 87 yards, caught a 48 yard touchdown pass from Dallas to end the second quarter. Dallas finished the night with 14 of 19 completions for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

After the half, Thompson took the kick-off and ran it back to the 6 yard line. Two plays later, Trey Baldwin took the ball in from one yard out for the last touchdown of the night. Vela finished off the scoring late in the third with a 22-yard field goal.

The fourth quarter belonged to the younger players, who have recently been moved up. Peyton Robinson, who is the holder for Vela, called the shots at the quarterback position. Ryan Ragsdale snapped the ball to Robinson. Jay’len Matthews had a 12 yard catch before Dallas came out of the game.

“The young ones are hungry,” Thompson said. “Malech hit the holes running and Trey Guillory got some plays in with a (22 yard) catch. (Jalen) Powdrill also got in on defense and played well.”

The Mustangs will travel to Orangefield Friday to face a team who, according to Thompson, is doing a lot of things right. The Bobcats lost a close game to Hardin Jefferson in their district opener, but defeated Newton, 26-20 earlier in the season.

“We must play one game at a time at this point,” Thompson said. “We have yet to play 48 minutes of football and that’s what it will take. We must give a supreme effort.”

The Bobcats are 4-3 and are led by quarterback Matthew Kress, who can throw the ball pretty well. Fullback Colby Choate is also a key offensive player who can score pretty quickly. Orangefield plays the wing T and that is an offense that the Mustangs sometimes have trouble with.

“We don’t typically play the wing T very well,” Thompson said. “It takes the discipline of doing your job on every snap. Orangefield has scored more on us in district than anyone else in the past few years. This year, they know that they can play with us because of how they performed last week against HJ.”

Although the Mustangs won Friday, they can’t think about yesterday.

“We can only think of Orangefield right now,” Thompson said. “Because they have something we don’t have-a win over Newton.”

The combined freshmen/JV team won big in Liberty last Thursday, 68-16. Quarterback Kentavious Miller scored on the first series with a 3 yard run. Freshman Jarron Gilbert scored on a 25 yard run and a 1 yard run and scored two 2 point conversions. Rufus Joseph caught a Miller pass for a touchdown from 47 yards and Blake Robertson had a 24 yard and 10 yard touchdown reception. Jeremiah Shaw scored on a 3 yard run and also had a 2 point conversion. Deandra Hughey caught a 5 yard pass for a score and converted the two points. Dominic Tezeno had a 28 yard touchdown and Miller scored two 2 point conversions. Defensively, Ryan Heisser and Gilbert both had interceptions and Torrien Furnett recovered a fumble. Offensive standouts for the night were Gilbert, Robertson, Miller, Shaw, Tezeno, Mikey Gobert and Kaleb Ramsey. Standouts for defense were Devian Teate, Ronald Carter, Jerrick Spencer, Joseph and Burnett. The combined team will play Thursday at home at 5:30 against Orangefield.

Orangefield will have their Pink Out game Friday for Breast Cancer awareness and has invited all who attend to participate. Tickets will go on sale at the gates at Orangefield only, beginning Friday night at 6 pm.