It was a perfect night for football-clear skies, a cool breeze, a stadium full of Mustang fans and the newest addition, a student section full of screaming students with signs and noisemakers all adorned in pink for breast cancer awareness. The Mustangs took the opportunity, after the seniors were recognized before the game, to put on a show and beat the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns, 54-21.
Starring for the Mustangs were quarterback Jack Dallas and receiver Deionte’ Thompson, who both tied school records Friday night, in passing and receiving respectfully.
Dallas threw for 330 yards and six touchdowns, completing 13 of 14 attempts. He tied the record set last year by Dillon Sterling-Cole in the first round of the playoffs against Huffman.
Thompson had six catches for 236 yards, four for touchdowns. He tied the record that Will Johnson set last year also in the Huffman game.
“We won,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “I was impressed with how well we threw the ball and how we caught the ball. We just have to be more consistent with our running game.”
The Mustangs came out strong from the beginning. After forcing the Longhorns to punt, WO-S took the ball 54 yards in three plays as Dallas’ first touchdown pass to Thompson for 43 yards put the first six points on the board. On their next series, the Mustangs wasted no time, adding another touchdown and PAT to the score when Dallas hooked up with Will Johnson from 19 yards out after carrying the ball himself 20 yards. Hector Vela booted his first PAT and the Mustangs led, 13-0 with just eight minutes ticked off of the clock.
A little more than two minutes later, after forcing the Longhorns to punt on three and out, Dallas again hit Thompson for a 68 yard touchdown. Vela’s kick was good and the Mustangs were up by 20 to start the second quarter.
The Mustangs once again crossed the goal line in the second quarter when Dallas found Thompson from 21 yards out for his third score of the night. The Longhorn, who never quit scored in the second quarter and when both teams headed into the locker room at the half, the ‘Stangs were up, 26-7.
The Mustangs came out of the field house as fired up as they went in and Dallas continued his show, throwing to Grant LaPoint-Teate, who took the ball 47 yards to make it 33-7.
The Longhorns never gave up and scored the next two times they had the ball, cutting the margin to 33-21. The two quick scores got the Mustangs attention, who then finished the game with the lasat three touchdowns, all three coming in the fourth quarter. Another Dallas to Thompson touchdown from 75 yards put WO-S up 40-21 and less than a minute later, Trey Spencer snagged a Longhorn pass and juked and jived his way through several Longhorns 53 yards to the end zone.
Second string quarterback Peyton Robertson came in to lead the team after the Mustangs forced the Longhorns to punt. Robertson handed off to tailback Malech Edwards who bulldozed his way through the Longhorn defense 44 yards for the last score of the night. Edwards finished the game as the leading rusher with 55 yards on 7 carries.
The win over Hamshire-Fannett sets up the long-awaited game for the district championship against the Hardin Jefferson Hawks, who are undefeated this season. The game will be played in Sour Lake Friday night, starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets will only be sold at the gate at their stadium.
“We beat the Hamshire-Fannett but that’s all behind us now,” Thompson said. “We have to have total concentration Monday through Thursday this week to beat Hardin Jefferson. They may be better than we are but we have to be better for 48 minutes.”
The Hawks are led by quarterback Camden Dubois, son of Head Coach Dwayne Dubois. HJ’s offense runs the slot T and according to Thompson, does a great job at it.
“They believe that their offense is their best defense,” Thompson said. “They had the ball 36 of 48 minutes last year and that’s their plan. When we do have the ball, we have to capitalize on it and execute our offense.”
According to Thompson, Hardin Jefferson is one of the biggest teams that we will play. Several players to key on are tight end Blain Padgett, who is a Rice commit, Josh Persohn and Roe Wilkins.
“They believe that they can win,” Thompson said. “It is their mission to beat WO-S because they will go down in history if they do. Coach Dubois has done a great job there in turning around their program. They went three deep in the playoffs last year and will probably go that far this year.”
“We have to have the concentration we had against Richmond Foster,” Thompson said. “It has to be a total team effort and we must take care of our business.”
The combination team of the freshman and JV beat Hamshire-Fannett, 40-6. Both freshman and JV quarterbacks, Caleb Ramsey and Malachi Hodge, who was in for an injured KJ Miller, were instrumental in scoring. Hodge had a 4 yard run to start the scoring and Tre Guillory was good for the two point conversion. Jarron Gilbert scored on a 76 yard run and Jeremiah Shaw scored on a 66 yard run and also scored the two point conversion. Dameon Morris caught a Ramsey touchdown pass for 28 yards and Jaylin Matthews caught an 11 yard Hodge pass for a score. Hodge finished off the scoring with a 21 yard run late in the game. Offensive standouts for the game were Ledarian Carter and Morris Joseph. Standout players for the defense were Paul Ivory, Devien Teate, Jerrick Spencer and Torrien Burnett. The combined team of the ninth and JV will play their last game of the season at home, Thursday night at5:30 for the district championship.