Aric Cormier’s catch and run from quarterback Jack Dallas set up the Mustangs third touchdown. Dallas was 13 for 13 on pass completions and Cormier was two for two on receptions. RECORD PHOTO: Meri Elen Jacobs

Meri Elen Jacobs – For The Record

Playing in unfamiliar territory can often be a little nerve wracking, but the Mustangs showed up for the first time ever at Liberty’s field and dominated from the beginning, torching the Panthers, 49-0. Although the defense spent almost twice as much time on the field, the offense made it look easy as the Mustangs scored on all but two of their possessions, winning their first district game of the season.

 “It was great that we opened with a victory at Liberty,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “I was a little worried about their speed and their size but our guys performed well, especially on the defensive side of the ball and we were able to give everyone a chance to play.”

Nine Mustangs were involved in putting points on the board for the Mustangs. The Mustangs took the opening kick-off and six plays later, quarterback Jack Dallas hit Thomas Wallace on third down from fourteen yards for the first score of the night. The Mustangs went for two but didn’t make it.

The defense forced the Panthers to punt after only three plays on the field and WO-S wasted no time getting back on the board. Malech Edwards took a Dallas hand off from 3 yards out for the score. Dallas faked kicking the extra point and ran it in for two to put the Mustangs up, 14-0.

After another quick Liberty three and out, Jeremiah Shaw scored from three yards out on a short Dallas pass. A 29 yard Dallas pass to Aric Cormier started that drive.  Justin Brown scored the two point conversion, bruising his way right up the middle and the Mustangs ended the first quarter up, 22-0.

Liberty went to the ground on their third drive and Panther Alex Brown was able to bulldoze his way for three first downs before the Chain Gang held tight and quarterback Tino Briggs pass was incomplete on fourth down. The Panthers  ate time off the clock during the second quarter, only giving the Mustangs one opportunity with the ball but it was enough to put points on the board.

The Mustangs took over and Jeremiah Shaw hit pay dirt from 10 yards out after a Dallas to Dominique Tezeno 56 yard pass gave WO-S great field position. Dallas’s PAT was no good and the score stood at 28-0 to end the half.

Cormier got in on the scoring in the third quarter when he took a pass from Dallas across the goal line. Ryan Baham-Heisser’s PAT was good and the Mustangs led, 35-0. The defense got in on the scoring when sophomore Ronald Carter blocked a Liberty punt and linebacker Steven Tims took it 17 yards for 6 points. Baham-Heisser’s PAT made it, 42-0.

Backup quarterback Payton Robertson took over for Dallas, who was 13 for 13 on pass completions and handed off to Quinton Chargois for the last score in the fourth quarter. Chargois ripped right through the middle of the Panther defense for 28 yards and the score. Baham-Heisser was 3 for 3 on PATs and the Mustangs finished the game, 49-0.

The Chain Gang defense held the Panthers to 7 first downs and a mere 79 yards with no pass completions, except to Mustang Demorris Thibodeaux in the third quarter.

This week is Homecoming for the Mustangs, who will face a 4-3 Orangefield team who is coming off of a huge 24-23 victory over the Hardin Jefferson Hawks in the last two minutes of the game. The Hawks scored and went for two to win the game instead of tying the game with a PAT. Orangefield’s defense stopped HJ from scoring and saved the win.

“Orangefield is an over achieving football team,” Thompson said. “They will play hard for four quarters and are well coached. Two years ago we had to kick a field goal late to beat them, 17-14.”

The Bobcats are led by quarterback Matthew Watkins who, according to Thompson is their best athlete. Watkins also plays left corner on defense. Brandon Bray is also strong, playing center and noseguard and Austin Moore is also a leader at middle linebacker and full back. Orangefield’s kicker Matthew Rainey heads up the Bobcat’s strong kicking game and was 43 for 43 on PATs last season.

“We will again have a lot of distractions with homecoming, but we usually rise up and play pretty good in front of our homecoming crowd,” Thompson said. “We’ve only lost one over the years in 1982 so I think that’s a pretty good percentage.”

The game will begin at 7:30 and tickets will go on sale Thursday from 9-12 and 1-3pm and Friday 9-12 only. Adult tickets are $5 and students are $2 with all tickets at the gate $5.

Homecoming festivities have already begun this week with the Homecoming parade Monday night followed by the community pep rally. This year’s parade Grand Marshall was 1981 graduate Gina Simar who works for Lamar as the Dean of Health Science and Workforce Technology. The homecoming court will be presented at Friday’s pep rally and the king will be crowned at that time. The court will also be presented at half time of the game and the queen will be crowned then.

The ninth grade team lost it’s first game in five years Thursday, 22-24, to Liberty. With a minute or so left in the game, Teshaun Teel intercepted a Liberty pass and took it over 60 yards for what would’ve been the winning score. But it was called back for a questionable late hit to give the Panthers the win. Scoring the 22 points for the Mustangs were Teel on a 9 yard run, Brettlin White for two touchdowns and a two point conversion and Rinaldo Rose for a two point conversion. Leroy Simien recovered a fumble and White also had an interception.

The JV beat the Panthers, 44-0.  Jamarcus Joulevette scored on a 7 yard run, 56 yard run and 31 yard run. Mark Thibodeaux scored the first two point conversion. Alex Williams scored from 8 yards out and a two point conversion. Anthony Griffin scored on a Kaleb Ramsey 32 yard pass. Chaka Watson had two-two point coversions. Offensive Standouts for the JV team are Ramsey, Joulevette, Williams, Griffin, Adrik Mims and Watson. Defensive standouts are Herzel Washington, Davien Teate, Mark Thibodeaux, Damion Morris, Andrew Hebert, Jacorry Brady and Jaqualan Coleman.

The next game for the combined freshmen/JV team will be Thursday at 6 pm at Orangefield.