The West Orange-Stark Mustangs came against their biggest challenger this season. The Mustangs remain undefeated and advance in the state football playoffs. But what is getting the most attention is the 10 points the Roughnecks put on the scoreboard. The Mustangs are ranked 6th in the state with 8 shutouts in a perfect season.

West Columbia went head to head with the Mustangs and earned those 10 points the hard way– against the Chain Gang defense. Final score, 20-10, after all this is the playoffs.

The Mustangs threatened to score on their first possession starting on the 18 yard line. Salter combined with receiver Dre Spenser and running back Abear Simien for three first downs in 8 plays to the West Columbia 26 yard line. The Mustangs failed to score turning the ball over on a fumble 8:37 in the first quarter.

Two plays later the Mustang Chain Gang defense forced a Roughneck fumble recovered by defensive end Colin Janice on the 29 yard line. The Mustangs took over with Simien barrelling to the 19 year line. Salter connected with J’Marcus Rhodes on second and nine for a touchdown pass. Rodrikson Cano’s PAT was good and the Mustangs took a 7-0 lead at 6:45 in the first quarter.

On their next possession West Columbia engineered a 9 play drive to the Mustang 22 yard line before the Chain Gang defense put it to an end. The first quarter ended with the West Orange-Stark offense driving the ball against the Roughnecks.

To start the second quarter Salter and Simien combined to chip away at the West Columbia defense. Receiver Kane Tezeno crossed the 50 yard line into Roughneck territory with 11:25 on the clock and a first down pass from Salter. The Mustangs failed to score on the drive turning the ball over. The Chain Gang defense snuffed W.C. three and out. Led by seniors Joe Lynch, Daniel Woodson and Colin Janice the Mustang defense held the Roughnecks scoreless through the first half of the contest.

Second quarter action saw wide receiver Chase Rutledge getting action at quarterback as Salter took a receivers position. Rutledge scampered on the keeper for good yardage before W.C. forced the Mustangs to punt.

WOS churned out a touchdown combination of Simien, Salter and Tezino that broke through the second quarter stalemate. The Mustangs scored on a Salter to Tezino pass from the 19 yard line with :33 left in the half. Cano’s kick was good . WOS went into the locker room with a 14-0 lead.

Third quarter action went much the same way. With 9:20 on the clock the Mustangs drove 59 yards on nine plays to score. Salter passed to Rhodes on third and seven from the 23 yard line. It was Salter’s 19th touchdown pass for the season. Cano’s PAT, however, was blocked leaving the score 20-0.

When the Roughneck offense wasn’t being roughed-up by the Chain Gang they roughed themselves up with penalties.

Halfway into the third quarter W.C. broke a drive that Tezino stole with a pass interception to the 34 yard line.

In kind, Salter was intercepted on a third down and 13 yards from the 31 yard line.

The Roughnecks used the opportunity to put a chink in the Mustang eight shutout season. On fourth and four on the seven yard line West Colombia kicked a 24 yard field goal, 20-3, 11:56 in the fourth quarter.

Rutledge worked at quarterback for the Mustangs much of the fourth quarter chewing up the clock. West Columbia scored again with 1:22 left in the game. The PAT was good as the playoff bout came to an end, 20-10. WO-S (12-0) advances to play the winner of Lorena and Fairfield in a Class 3A Division II regional semifinal game.
***For game highlights see Mustang Insider in the upcoming issues of the County Record and the Penny Record newspapers. Also here at TheRecordLive.