It was an emotional night underneath those stadium lights tonight. The West Orange – Stark Mustangs went up against the Brookshire Royal Falcons. The Falcons, who are number three in their district, met the Mustangs at the Woodforest Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas.

The Mustangs kicked off the game leaving the Falcons to start at the 20 yard line. The Falcons went for three straight passes but fell short, with the ball resting on the one inch mark when the Mustangs took control. The Mustangs gained a total of eight yards before attempting a fake punt and Wide Receiver, Mark Roberts took a hit, turning the ball over at their ten yard line.

With 7:55 left in the first quarter, the Falcons went on to score a touchdown and an extra point. The kickoff left the Mustangs starting at the 30 yard line. Quarterback, Jimmy Salter passed the ball to Roberts for gain of 15 yards and first down. The Mustangs gained another nine yards before Salter was hit at the line of scrimmage leaving them with a fourth down and three yards to go. Kicker, Bryce Crew kicked the ball with a high kick and the ball stopped at the seven yard line. There was a flag on the play, a personal foul against the Falcons. The foul occurred before the ball stopped giving the Mustangs a first down at the 23 yard line with 6:13 left in the first quarter.

Tailback, Britton Lindsey ran the ball to the 21 yard line, gaining two yards; Roberts was tackled at the 19 yard line, for a three yard gain; and Salter threw it away, leaving the Mustangs with a fourth down and five to go. It looked as if the Mustangs were going to attempt a 37 yard field goal, but they attempted another fake. Salter was forced to throw it away again.

On the next drive by the Mustangs, the ball was fumbled on the second snap allowing the Falcons to gain control at the Mustang 32 yard line. The first quarter ended with another penalty flag on the Falcons (making it three so far) for substitution violations and a third down and 24 for to go for Brookshire Royal.

The second quarter started with a 31 yard pass for the Falcons, leading to another touchdown. The score sat at 14-0 with 10:07 left in the first half. The rest of the first half was spent with many short comings on both sides. The Falcons racked up nine flags, two of which were personal fouls, for a total of 61 yards in penalties. Both the Mustangs and the Falcons had two interceptions.

The second half of the game kept spectators and listeners a little bit more on the edge of their seat. The Mustangs had a six minute drive which included a fumble and three penalty flags for the Falcons, raising that total to 12. The last flag allowed the Mustangs to keep possession of the ball but they ended up fumbling it in the end.

With 3:34 left in the third quarter, Falcon Brandon Williams made his third touchdown of the night. The Mustangs jumped back in and Lindsey ran a fake reverse and ran 61 yards for the first touchdown of the night for the Mustangs. The score sat 21-7.

The Falcons first drive of the fourth quarter ended with a field goal attempt from the 30 yard line. The kick was good and the Falcon were leading the game 24-7

On the Mustangs first drive of the fourth quarter, Roberts ran 62 yards and scored another touchdown leaving the score 24-14. The Mustang defense may have been able to keep the Falcons from scoring but the Falcon defense was equally as strong. The two teams waged a battle with two interceptions each team, three penalty flags for WO-S and oneflag  Brookshire Royal.

Running back Darius Robinson scored another touchdown for the Mustangs with 2:24 left on the clock. Crew also scored the extra point leaving the score 24-21.

The Falcons had control of the ball and were at a third down with four to when a new quarterback ran onto the field. With 1:45 on the clock, it looked like they were going to score another touchdown when a penalty flag flew into the air. The Falcons were called on for having an illegal formation.

The Mustang gained control of the ball with 38 seconds left but were very careful about not running down the clock. At 22 seconds, the Falcons called a timeout. The Mustang fans wanted their team to know they were there. They became chanting “Reggie, Reggie, Reggie” and Reggie Garrett Sr. was up on his feet chanting along with them. The game commenced. Fifteen seconds on the clock, the Mustangs with a third down and ten to go on the 25 yard line, and Wide Receiver DeCarlos Renfro caught a 44 yard pass from Salter. The team rushes to get back into formation.

Three seconds on the clock, the fans are still chanting “Reggie” and Renfro steps in for Salter and threw a Hail Mary pass down the field. It was intercepted by the Falcons. The stands grew silent. The game was over. The 2010 football season was over for the Mustangs. Tears began to fill everyone eyes.

While the Falcons won the game and will be continuing on in the Regional Playoffs, they showed a great deal of respect for the Mustangs. The Mustangs shook hands with their opponents and congratulated them on their win. The Brookshire Royal Falcons then began to link arms with the West Orange – Stark Mustangs and said a prayer.

This season has proven to be a difficult one for the Mustangs, but their strength and their spirit has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with. “Just as iron strengthens iron, so does one man strengthen another.” The WO-S Mustangs fought hard tonight, and while this loss is a hard one to face, they can walk away with their head held high knowing that they gave 112%.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers