During the summer, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine came out with their yearly predictions of who would be the district champions in every division, every district. Although the Mustangs have been the district champions all but one year since dropping down to 3A in 2004, Dave Campbell and his colleagues chose the Silsbee Tigers to win this years’ title. All this did for the Mustangs was give them something to prove and they did that mighty handily Friday night as they shut out the Tigers, 27-0.

”I tell the kids all the time that the District Championship runs through West Orange-Stark and if that is going to change, someone will have to come take it from us,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “The kids played dang hard Friday night. I was real proud of their effort. They gave maximum effort from our quarterback all the way down to our manager.”

The Mustangs were hot right from the start as Thomarcus Fontenot took the opening kick-off down to the Silsbee 45 to give the Mutangs excellent field position. Quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole took the first snap around the right side and leapt over a couple of Silsbee defenders before hitting the sidelines. However, his first run of the game was good enough for a first down and the Mustangs never stopped as Chris James hit the end zone from three yards out for the first score of the game with less than three minutes off of the clock.

Silsbee took the ball on their next possession and moved the ball down the field but just when it seemed that they might strike for their own six points, Deionte Thompson jumped in front a pass intended for Silsbee’s Chris Elam and returned it 41 yards to set up the next Mustang score. Sterling-Cole went to the air on fourth down, connecting with receiver Will Johnson for a 31-yard pass and Sterling-Cole was able to take the ball in from just one yard out to put the game at 14-0.

In their best series all night, the Tigers took the kick off and moved the ball down the field in ten plays but Thompson and defensive back Tre Spencer batted down two would be Tiger scores and the Mustangs took over on downs at the 5.

“The bottom line is we were too physical for Silsbee,” Thompson said. “We were mentally and physically tougher. Our defensive MVP this week was definitely the Chain Gang as a unit. It was a total team effort.”

The Mustangs took the ball at the Mustang 5 and were able to hit paydirt again in just six plays when Sterling-Cole hit receiver Dwain Boullard from 22 yards out. Rodikson Cano made it 21-0 after kicking his third PAT of the night. However, on his next kick off, Cano went down and was out the rest of the night.

WO-S’ fourth touchdown came on a trick play, when Sterling-Cole pitched back to quarterback Chase Rutledge who launched the ball 66 yards to Johnson for six points. Sterling-Cole attempted the point after but was out of practice and wasn’t able to hit the uprights.

With the Tigers dropping like flies with injuries, the second half of the game featured many Mustangs in different positions and the game ended with the same score as the half. The offense finished the game with 326 yards and the Chain Gang defense held the Tigers to just 179. Reed, who is the district’s leading passer with 1550 yards, only completed 3 of 12 passes for 75 yards and only toted the ball 57 yards.

“We forced Silsbee to play all 48 minutes,” Thompson said. “They finally quit trying to throw the ball and had to run.”

The Mustangs now enter the third phase of the season, the playoffs. First up for the Mustangs is the Huffman Hargrave Falcons. That game will be played on Thursday night at 7 pm at Barbers Hill High School. The Falcons are 6-3 for the season and have no common opponents with WO-S.

“I’m a little concerned about our approach,” Thompson said. “Sometimes after a big game like Silsbee, it is hard to get back the momentum, plus we have one less day to practice with us playing on Thursday.”

The Mustangs met Huffman for the first time ever in 2004 in their last game in the Astrodome. In the Mustangs first play-off game in 3A, the Falcons won after kicking a field goal with 8 seconds left, 30-28. But the next year, the Mustangs won in Conroe, 41-21.

The Falcons are led by quarterback Cody Gaitan, who has completed 210 of 308 passes for over 2,300 yards. His favorite receivers are Darion Gray (1,110 yards) and Chase Harrell (344 yards). The Falcon’s three losses were to Galena Park (35-21), Cleveland (55-14) and Coldspring (41-17.)

“I told the kids ‘It’s time to quit looking where we have been and look where we are going.’ Now it’s the Huffman Falcons,” Thompson said.

Tickets will be on sale in the Athletic office Wednesday, 9-12 & 1-3pm and Thursday – 9-12 only.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults & $3 for students. All tickets at the gate are $6. The Mustangs are the visiting team. In order to find the stadium, take Interstate 10 west to Houston and take Exit 800 (Mont Belvieu). Turn right at Exit and Barbers Hill High School is just past the Baptist church, going north. The gates will open at 5:30.

Both subvarsity teams beat Silsbee for the district championship titles. The freshmen team won,  28-0. Scoring for WO-S was Jerimiah Shaw on a 21 yard run. The two point conversion was no good. Malik Phillips had 3 yard TD run, and Jaylin Matthews scored the two point conversion on a pass from Malik Matthews.  Jaylin Matthew scored the next six points on a 7 yard TD reception from Phillips, and BB Tezeno scored the two point conversion. Keyshawn Holman, who played in his first game of the year due to a collarbone injury scored on a 9 yard run.  Jaylin Matthews and Tezeno both had interceptions defensively. The ninth grade finished the season 8-0 and are the District Champions. The offensive standouts are Jaylin Matthews, Malik Phillips, Jerimiah Shaw and Josh King. Defensive standouts are BB Tezeno, Keyshawn Holman, Teron Brown and Jaylin Matthews.

The JV team beat Silsbee, 32-8. Michael Snow scored the first touchdown on a 63-yard catch and run thrown by Jack Dallas. Dallas scored the two point conversion. JD Thompson scored on a 1 yard run after Justin Brown ran 85 yards to the goal line and put the Mustangs within inches of the score. Jaylen Matthews, back in action with the JV, had an eight yard TD catch thrown by Dallasand Dallas also scored on a 1 yard run. Snow scored  the last touchdown on a 33 yard pass from Dallas. Other JV offensive standouts were OL – Tyler Hryhorchuk, OL – Ahmaud Baldwin and RB – Justin Brown. Defensive standouts include LB – JD Thompson, DE – Jermaine Mitchell, DL – Michael Snow and DB – Chris Brown.

Come out and support the Mustangs in their Bi-District matchup against the Huffman Falcons, Thursday night at 7 pm at Barbers Hill High School.