Mustangs take on Bellville as quest for title continues
KJ Miller had one receiving touchdown for 24 yards, two carries on the ground and also returned three kick offs. RECORD PHOTO: Meri Elen Jacobs
By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs looks like a team on a mission.
The Mustangs defeated the Caldwell Hornets, 69-13, this past Friday in the Regional round of the Class 4A Division 2 high school playoffs and will now advance to the State Quarterfinals for the fifth straight year.
West Orange-Stark unleashed its running attack on Caldwell as the offense gained 460 total yards in the victory, while limiting the Hornets potent offensive attack to just 274 yards, most of which came in the second half once the game was out of reach.
The Mustangs dominated from the start as WO-S jumped out to a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, and a 42-0 lead before the Hornets offense found the end zone.
WO-S quarterback Jack Dallas was efficient in his game management as he completed six passes on 12 attempts for 100 yards, while tossing one touchdown to Kentavious Miller early in the first quarter.
Runningbacks Jeremiah Shaw and Keion Hancock added two rushing touchdowns each. Shaw finished the night with 109 yards on 12 carries, and Hancock had 96 yards on eight carries for the game.
The “Chain Gang” defense never let Caldwell’s star quarterback Joseph Crnkovic get into a groove and kept flushing him out of the pocket. Although Crnkovic completed for more than 230 yards, he only managed a late touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs defense, however, returned two of Crnkovic’s four interceptions on the night for scores, as Malick Phillips went 97 yards for a touchdown to end the first-half and Ronald Carter returned another for a 25-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
West Orange-Stark (12-1) advances to the State Quarterfinals of the playoffs and will take on the Bellville Brahmas at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, at Texan Drive Stadium at 21360 Valley Ranch Parkway in Porter, Texas. This is the same stadium the Mustangs defeated Caldwell at this past Friday.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students in advance and can be purchased at the WO-S Athletic office from 9 a.m. – noon, and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Thursday, and 9 a.m. – noon, Friday. Tickets are $8 at the gate.
Bellville (11-2) is the winner of District 12-4A and its two losses came early in the football season as the Brahmas lost to Stafford, 40-15, and then to Giddings in Week 3 by a score of 28-26.
Bellville has advanced to the State Quarterfinals after defeating Salado, 49-7, in the Bi-district round, then generating a 21-19 come-from-behind victory over Hamshire-Fannett in the Area round. In the Regional round, the Brahmas had a rematch with the Giddings Buffaloes and defeated Giddings, 37-20 to advance to the State Quarterfinals this week.
The Brahamas have outscored opponents 415-234 this season. Its offense averages 31.9 points per game, while its defense only allows 18 points per game. The Mustangs have outscored opponents 566-134 and average 43.5 points per game, while the “Chain Gang” defense gives up just 10.3 points per game.
Bellville’s offense is a run-oriented attack which is centered around runningback Mac Brisco, who has carried the ball for more than 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. In the most recent playoff game, Brisco carried the ball 27 times for 220 yards and two touchdowns, one for 43 yards and the other for 75 yards, in the victory over Giddings.
The Brahmas offense only gained 311 total yards, while Giddings had 361 total yards of offense. However, the Bellville defense proved to be very opportunistic as it came up with three Buffaloes turnovers, which included a 49-yard interception return for a score.
The winner of the game between West Orange-Stark and Bellville will play against the Region IV winner of the game between Cuero (8-5) and Sinton (12-0) in the Class 4A Division 2 State Semifinals the next weekend. Sinton and Cuero are the first and second place teams, respectively, from District 15-4A. Sinton beat Cuero 14-10 in their first meeting on Oct. 23, 2015.