By: Meri Elen Jacobs

October 7 was a big day for KJ Miller.
It wasn’t the senior’s 18th birthday.
It wasn’t the day he got an offer to play at the next level.
But it was a day he probably won’t forget.
Not only was he crowned Homecoming King earlier in the day at the pep rally, he scored on not one but two punt returns in the 68-0 whipping of the Hamshire-Fannett  Longhorns.
Miller also scored on a 26 yard pass from Chaka Watson.
But Miller wasn’t the only Mustang who had a good night.
By the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs were up, 34-0, with points scored by six different WO-S players.
“We got us another victory,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “Hamshire-Fannett is young and inexperienced but a win is a win and we had to have it if we are going to be district champs. We were able to let everyone play.”
Miller set the tone of the game with his first touchdown, snagging the punt and running it back for six points. Kicker Chad Dallas hit the PAT and the Mustangs were up, 7-0. Jeremiah Shaw was the next one to score after the Mustang defense held the Longhorns to three and out. Five plays later, Shaw carried the ball across from just 6 yards out and with Dallas’ kick put the Mustangs at 14-0.
Three plays later, the defense put six on the board when Demorris Thibodeaux picked off a Longhorn pass and returned it 37 yards for the score.
On the Mustangs next possession, quarterback Jack Dallas hit Jarron Morris for a 12 yard score after a WO-S was penalty moved the Mustangs back 10 yards. Going for two, Miller and kicker Chad Dallas faked out the Longhorns as Miller tossed the ball to Mandel Turner-King for conversion.
Late in the first quarter, HF’s punter aimed for the sidelines but Miller was able to catch it right on the line and run the punt back 67 yards for six more. The PAT was no good but the ‘Stangs were still up, 34-0. Hamshire-Fannett fumbled the kickoff and two plays later, Kayvyn Cooper scored on a Dallas hand off. Freshman Paulino Santos hit his first PAT for the night. Cooper scored on the next WO-S possession from 36 yards out and Santos kicked his second PAT of the night.
Junior Chaka Watson came in during the second quarter and picked up right where Jack Dallas left off, hitting Miller for a 26 yard touchdown. The Mustangs led, 55-0 after another good Santos PAT. The Chain Gang defense scored the final touchdown of the half when Ronald Carter picked up a loose HF ball and returned it 15 yards for the score. Santos’ PAT was good and the Mustangs headed to the locker room up, 62-0.
After the half, Tyshon Watkins was the only Mustang to score. Watkins took a Watson handoff 11 yards for a touchdown.
The Mustangs will travel to Hardin Jefferson to take on the 4-1 Hawks. HJ’s only loss was to the LC-M Bears (10-20.) They have beaten Buna, 40-25; Kelly, 49-0; Hardin, 54-0 and Jasper 30-22.
“Hardin Jefferson is a much better football team than what we have seen,” Thompson said. “They are much improved over last year and are one of the few teams with a winning record that we will play. We will be playing in their yard which can be tough. Last time we were at HJ we gave up 21 points which is unacceptable at West Orange-Stark even though we won.”
The Hawks run a Slot-T offense directed by Brayden Pelt, who has a good arm and can throw well on the run. His favorite target is Luke Morreale. On defense, Kelechi Nwachuku and Talon Tilley are very aggressive and get to the ball.
“They are pretty good but haven’t played the schedule that we have,” Thompson said. “We lost our defensive quarterback this week in Justin Brown who went down with a broken arm. But we have Davien Teate and Cory Skinner, with Keyshawn Holman who will hold it down. We have the normal bumps and bruises at this time of year but hopefully we will be well and ready to go Friday night.”
Tickets for the Hardin Jefferson game will ONLY be sold Friday night at the gate, per district rules. Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Game time is 7:30pm.
The combined sophomore/JV team played in Hamshire-Fannett last Thursday and won, 34-0, in what could be called the “Justin Sibley” show. Sibley accounted for all five touchdowns and a two point conversion. His touchdowns were on runs of 15, 7, 4, 37 and 44 yards. Ja’Vonn Ross scored a two point conversion. Offensive standouts besides Sibley include Jay’zn Robinson, Christian Adams and Quincy Ledet. Defensive standouts who shut the Longhorns down were Lande Butler, Shemar Manaway, Mark Thibodeaux and Hykiem Taylor. The combined team will play one game, their Pink Out game, Thursday at home at 5:30 against the HJ Hawks.
This weeks’ theme is “Hammer the Hawks.” Come dressed in your MC Hammer pants and 90’s clothes.