When the Mustangs showed up to play the Hawks this past Friday night, quarterback Jack Dallas reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out the running game to treat the crowd to a fabulous District Championship show down. WO-S took control from the kick-off, spooking the Hawks in all phases of the game and bringing home another district title with the 42-21 win.
Dallas, who tied the school record last week throwing six touchdown passes, was just as successful running the offense using the ground game and quick short passes.
“We’re the district champs and I am happy about that,” Head Coach Cornel Thompson said. “We played hard and had a bunch of kids make contributions to the win. Even though it was one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen, the kids overcame two big penalties and still scored on two occasions.”
The Mustangs were hampered all night long with 13 penalties to Hardin Jefferson’s 4. However, the biggest complaint from the Hawks was a “controversial” punt that grazed off of an HJ player. The ball was given back to the Mustangs, setting up a Deionte’ Thompson touchdown right before the half.
Grant LaPoint-Teate was the main man on the ground game, bulldozing his way for 207 yards and a touchdown. LaPoint-Teate hit pay dirt first on only the fourth offensive play, when he took the handoff from Dallas and scampered straight up the middle from 19 yards out. Hector Vela’s PAT was good and the Mustangs were on the board with less than two minutes off of the clock.
“Grant ran well and the line blocked for the most part,” Thompson said. “I said all along that the game would be won or lost in the offensive and defensive line and that is where we won it.”
After forcing the Hawks to punt, the Mustangs, again drove down the field and scored when Dallas hit Trey Baldwin, who bobbled the ball before securing it as he crossed the goal line. HJ answered back after eating time off of the clock, to put the Hawks within seven. The Mustangs went in at the half, up 20-7 after scoring on the controversial punt.
HJ came out fighting after the half and were able to put seven points on the board, but that was the last time that they would even be close. Dallas moved the offense down the field with a handoff to LaPoint-Teate that he took 45 yards to get close to the red zone. After two crucial penalties, Dallas looked to get the Mustangs out of a jam by hitting Will Johnson for the score, but a taunting penalty brought the ball back to the 5. Dallas again turned to Baldwin, who took the ball in for the score from just a yard out. On a fake PAT, holder Peyton Robertson hit Thompson with a shovel pass for the two point conversion.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Mustangs as Baldwin found the end zone again from just one yard out after linebacker Justin Brown picked off HJ’s quarterback, setting up good field position. WO-S last touchdown came with less than seven minutes in the game when Kalen Garrett picked up a fumble and took it 27 yards for the score.
“We did what it took to beat HJ and I’m happy about that,” Thompson said. “We could see them again in the fourth round. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Although this week is the Mustangs bye week, they are preparing for their first game with business as usual. WO-S will face Houston Scarborough in the first round at a time and date to be determined.
“It will be business as usual preparing for our first playoff game,” Thompson said. “We must win to stay in the playoffs. Someone who is not supposed to lose will get beat that first week and we don’t want it to be us.”
The combined team of the ninth grade and JV beat Hardin Jefferson in their last home game, 42-0, finishing the season, 10-0 and making them district champs also. Quarterback KJ Miller started the scoring with a 10 yard run and also scored the two point conversion. After putting in the freshmen offense, Jarron Gilbert hit the end zone from 5 yards out to score and Blake Robertson caught a pass for the two point conversion. Rufus Joseph scored on defense when he recovered a fumble in the end zone. Jeremiah Shaw ran from 22 yards out for a score and Ronald Carter scored the two point conversion. Demorris Thibodeaux caught a 10 yard pass from Kaleb Ramsey and Gilbert finished the scoring with an 8 yard run. Offensive standouts for the team include Morris Joseph, Chris Griffin, Christian Adams and Kaleb Ramsey. Standouts on defense are Paul Ivory, Torrien Burnett, Shaw, and both Joseph boys, Rufus and Morris.
Watch for information next week and where and when the Mustangs will play their first week of playoffs.