Not only can Jack Dallas pass the ball, 2453 for the season, he can also run if he wants to. RECORD PHOTO: Meri Elen Jacobs

Meri Elen Jacobs – For The Record

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs wasted no time, pouncing on the Caldwell Hornets early and never letting up as they went on to win, 69-13, this past Friday in the Regional Semifinal game at New Caney’s Texan Drive Stadium. The win sets up a contest between WO-S and the Bellville Brahmas Friday night at 7:30 pm in the same stadium.

“I didn’t believe in my wildest hallucinations that we were that much better than they were and that the score would be that high,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “We played hard and were able to score quick and we just got after them. That’s the effort you have to have at this time in the season.”

The Mustangs relied more on the run, racking up 358 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns. The defense was able to score on two of their four interceptions and special teams scored on a punt return.

On their first possession, it only took eight plays for quarterback Jack Dallas to march his offense down the field and cross the goal line for six points. Jeremiah Shaw had three carries on that drive before scoring from three yards out.

 The Chain Gang defense went to work immediately and forced the Hornets to punt after three plays. After trading the ball on back to back punts, the Mustangs took three plays to up the score by six. Dallas’ pass to KJ Miller for 24 yards put the Mustangs up and Dallas scored on the two point conversion for a 14-0 lead.

The Mustangs ended the first quarter as Keion Hancock ran out of the “wildcat” formation and hit the end zone in just two plays. WO-S led, 20-0 to start the second quarter.

On their next possession, after forcing the Hornets to punt, Shaw took the handoff and headed for the end zone from 21 yards out for the score. Dallas’ two point conversion was good and the Mustangs lead, 28-0.

After gaining their first first down of the game, the Hornets were forced to punt and sophomore Jarron Morris returned the punt 81 yards for a touchdown. Hancock, who also helps with the kicking duties, hit the first PAT and the Stangs were up, 35-0. The Chain Gang again forced the Hornets to go three and out, and on the Mustangs next play, Malech Edwards hit the holes and took the ball 62 yards for the score. Hancock’s PAT was again good.

The Hornets finally were able to get going after a pass from Caldwell’s quarterback Joseph Crnkovic was tipped into the hands of Tanner Stefka who ran 51 yards before being brought down at the 15. Two plays later, the Hornets got on the board on a 4 yard run by William Deleon. Crnkovic’s PAT was good. On the Hornets next possession, Mustang Malick Phillips picked off Crnkovic at the three yard line and returned it 97 yards as time expired. Hancock’s PAT was good and the Mustangs headed to the locker room up, 49-7.

To start the third quarter, the Mustangs kicked off to Caldwell, but on their first play from scrimmage WO-S Ronald Carter picked off Crnkovic and returned it 25 yards for six. Hancock again put the ball through the uprights for the extra point and with only 20 seconds ticked off the clock after the half, the Mustangs led, 56-7. On the next possession, WO-S took their time moving the ball down the field on the ground, using Shaw and Miller before Hancock took the honors and crossed the goal line from four yards out.

Crnkovic was again intercepted by Morris, setting up a touchdown run by Quentin Chargois. Dallas’s PAT was good and the Stangs led 69-7 going into the fourth quarter. The Hornets got on the board again late in the game when Crnkovic hit Devin Morris for a 72 yard score.

“I’m proud of the way we played,” Thompson said. “Our little sophomore Jarron Morris played well with two interceptions and a punt return for a touchdown and our defensive ends Ronald Carter and Keyshawn Holman had good games.”

Dallas also had an outstanding game setting several records and breaking two that he set last year. With 335 career passing completions, he passes up Jimmy Salter’s record of 333. He also set a record this week with 4816 career passing yards, passing up Salter again, who passed for 4717. He passed Salter’s career passing touchdowns with 63 and also broke his own single season passing record with 32 and single season passing yards with 2453 to outdo last years’ 2363.

The Mustangs will now turn their attention to the Bellville Brahmas who are 11-2 and just defeated Giddings this past Friday, 37-20. Giddings was the Brahmas first loss of the season in week two, 26-28.

“There are no ugly ladies at this dance,” Thompson said. “Bellville traditionally has a good football program with good, tough kids. They run the Slot T/Wing T similar to Orangefield with athletes. They just throw the ball more.”

According to Thompson, the player that the Mustangs will have to know where he is at all times is fullback Mac Briscoe. On the defensive side of the ball, middle linebacker Dillon Johnson is the “bell cow” and has started since his freshman year.

The Mustangs will be the visiting team when they meet Bellville Friday night at 7:30 at Texan Drive Stadium in New Caney. Tickets will be on sale in the WO-S Athletic OfficeThursday, 9-12 and 1-3 and Friday, 9-12 ONLY. Adult tickets are $6 and students $4 presale, with all tickets $8 at the gate.

Directions From the South -Take US 59 N towards New Caney and exit FM 1485. Make a U-turn at FM 1485 and continue on the service road of US 59 S for approximately 1 ¼ miles. Turn right onto Valley Ranch Parkway to enter the stadium. From the North – Take US 59 S towards New Caney and exit FM 1485. Continue on the service road of US 59 S for approximately 1 ¼ miles. Turn right onto Valley Ranch Parkway to enter the stadium, which is the visitor parking lot.

For those who use a GPS, do not use the stadium address. Use 21262 US 59, New Caney, Texas 77357, which is Porter Glass and Mirror, the business right in front of the stadium.