Meri Elen Jacobs – For The Record

The Liberty Panthers planned an ambush on the Mustangs last week, by completely changing their offense to a “scrum/rugby-style.” Although the Mustangs didn’t score as many points as they have been, they were able to walk away with a 32-7 victory.

The Panthers put together a great game plan to try to slow down the Mustangs and keep them off of the field. The Mustangs had 28 offensive plays to Liberty’s 63 and the Chain Gang defense spent almost double the time on the field as the offense.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game like that,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “They were playing scrum football, rugby style. Not really trying to win the game but trying to keep it away from our offense.”Liberty ate 5.15 off the clock after the opening kick-off before the Chain Gang defense held on fourth and 4, giving the ball back to the Mustangs.

It only took two plays and 24 seconds for the Mustangs to put six on the board. Jeremiah Shaw ran for 37 yards, setting up the 17 yard Jack Dallas to Keion Hancock pass for the score. Chad Dallas’s kick was good and the Mustangs led, 7-0.The Panthers ate over 7 minutes off of the clock on their next drive, moving the ball down the field before Liberty’s Tyris Williams scored from just two yards out. The Panther PAT was good and the score was knotted at seven.Recovering the on-side kick, the Mustangs took their time moving down the field. Hancock fumbled at the 30 yard line and KJ Miller was able to get his hands on the ball and bring it to the two to set up the second touchdown. Dallas did the honors by keeping the ball and running it in from just three yards out.

Brother Dallas’ PAT was no good but the Mustangs still had the lead heading into the locker room, after De Morris Thibodeaux intercepted a Liberty pass on the 5, squashing the Panthers’ opportunity to score.“We had some people that fought hard all four quarters,” Thompson said. “Their offensive line was bigger than I thought they were so that gave us some problems.”To begin the second half, the Mustangs recovered another on side kick by the Panthers and took four plays for Dallas to hit Jeremiah Shaw from 47 yards out for a touchdown.After Liberty’s Jeremiah Guillory broke for 38 yards, the defense held before Williams coughed up the ball to Mustang Morris Joseph.Six plays later, on fourth down and 16, Dallas hit KJ Miller for the fourth touchdown. Chad Dallas’s PAT was no good, but the Mustangs led, 25-7.

The Mustangs hit pay dirt with 1.21 left in the game when Dallas connected with Dominique Tezeno on a 40 yard pass for a score. Chad Dallas’s PAT was good and the Mustangs won the game, 32-7.One more team stands in the way in order for the Mustangs to claim their district title-the Orangefield Bobcats, whose only district loss is to Liberty. Orangefield beat Hardin Jefferson Friday night, 17-15. The two teams will face off Friday at 7:30 at McLain Stadium in Orangefield.“We may have the same thing Friday night with them trying to control the ball,” Thompson said. “They run the Slot T, which is the seventh one we have seen this year so we should be able to get lined up better.

Coach (Josh)Smalley and his staff do a great job over there. They are an overachieving ball club.”The Bobcat offense is run by quarterback Caleb Kress with backs Wesley Frillou and Christopher McGee to carry the ball. The offense is averaging 285 yards a game, while the defense, according to Thompson is pretty good. Orangefield has a number of guys going both ways.“In order to be district champs, we have to defeat Orangefield,” Thompson said. “If we win then we will be finalizing arrangements for the play-offs.”The sub varsity teams beat Liberty, with no team allowing the Panthers to score. The WOSMS 7th grade team won, 42-0 and the 8th graders won, 28-0.

The combined 9/JV team beat the Panthers in Liberty, 38-0. Offensive standouts were Shemar Manaway, Jaylin Mims and Ja’Vonn Ross. Defensive standouts were Javeen Wood, Lande Butler and Herzel Washington.The combined 9/JV team will play their last game at home Thursday night, tentatively set for 5:30, while the middle school teams will travel to Orangefield with a 5 pm start. Due to our district rules, all tickets for the WOS vs. Orangefield football game, have to be purchased at the gate the evening of the game. Ticket prices are Adults $5 and Students $3.