The Orange Leader
Dominating the game for the first three quarters, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs took down the West Columbia Roughnecks 20-10 in the Class 3A Region III Division II area round of the playoffs Friday night at Channelview’s Maddy Stadium.
Mustang quarterback Jimmy Salter tossed three touchdown passes and the WO-S defense limited the Roughnecks (8-4) to 157 total yards to lead the way to victory.
“We certainly didn’t play our best game of the year but a win, is a win, is a win,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson. “We really had a off week of practice and it showed tonight with some of the mental mistakes we made. We had that holiday week and the kids missed being in that school structure. We’ll go back to the drawing board in the morning and they’ll be ready to get after it next week.”
Salter completed 10-of-12 passes for 110 yards, including two scores to J’Marcus Rhodes and the other to Quinton Tezeno. Tailback Abear Simien had a workman-like 78 yards on 16 carries.
“Jimmy had a couple touchdown passes there that he did on his own with some great scrambles,” said Thompson. “That’s usually when he is at his best. I know one thing, we’ve got to do a better job protecting him next week.”
The Mustangs (12-0) held the Roughnecks’ vaunted running game to just 43 yards on 31 carries.
WC quarterback Willis Johnson completed 7-of-14 passes for 114 yards but was sacked six times. Roughneck receiver Jarius Kesee had four receptions for 85 yards. The Mustangs held 1,000-yard back Floyd Bess to 48 yards on 11 carries.
“We held them in check for the most part, and all of a sudden they would get a big pass play on us,” said Thompson. “Give those West Columbia kids a lot of credit, they battled us hard. They had eight or nine kids going both ways for the most part and they never gave up.”
The Mustangs finished with 241 yards, 131 on the ground.
“West Columbia came in here allowing just a little more than 170 yards,” said Thompson. “They proved that they were pretty darn good defensively too.”
The Mustangs will now take on either Lorena or Fairfield in the regional semifinals next week.
After holding the Roughnecks to a quick three-and-out on the first series of the second half, the Mustangs navigated 59 yards in eight plays to take a 20-0 lead with 6:25 left in the third.
Simien carried three times for 21 yards on the series and caught a crucial 10-yard screen pass from Salter to keep the march alive.
Salter and Rhodes finished it off when Salter scrambled around nicely and spotted a wide-open Rhodes in the end zone for a 20-yard scoring dart.
The Roughnecks took advantage of a turnover to get on the board on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Willis Johnson picked off a Salter pass at the Mustang 49 and returned it to the 12 with 1:45 left in the third.
However, the Mustang Chain Gang defense held firm and the Roughnecks settled for a 24-yard field goal by Greg Gomez with 11:55 remaining.
The Roughnecks put together a nice seven-play, 51-yard scoring drive late in the final period.
Johnson completed three passes for 42 yards on the march and running back Broderick Thomas finished it off with a two-yard touchdown run, making it 20-10 with 1:22 remaining.
The Roughnecks recovered the ensuing onside kick and started at the Mustang 44 with 1:20 left. The Mustangs finally ended the rally when Ar’Tevin McDOnald fell on a Johnson fumble at the WC 46 with 1:09 remaining.
Salter passed for two touchdowns as the Mustangs held a 14-0 advantage at intermission.
WO-S kept the Roughnecks on the West Columbia side of the field for most of the first half except for two times.
The Mustangs limited the Roughnecks to just 87 yards in the first half, 51 of it coming on West Columbia’s last drive of the half.
WO-S made it 14-0 with a six-play, 41-yard drive late in the second quarter.
Simien ran for 23 tough yards on three carries on the march. On third-and-12 from the WC 20, Salter eluded a couple Roughneck rushers and threw a superb dart to the end zone to Quinton Tezeno, who made a nice leaping stab between a pair of WC defensive backs for the touchdown, making it 14-0 with 2:05 left in the half.
The Roughnecks almost put points on the board to close the half.
Johnson hit Kesee on two straight passes that went for 45 yards, including a 33-yarder down to the Mustang 15. Johnson spiked the ball with 0:03 left but the Roughnecks came away empty-handed when Gomez missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt that barely went wide left as time expired.
The Mustangs gained 164 yards in the half, 83 in the air and 81 on the ground.
Salter was 7-for-8 for 83 yards. Simien had 10 rushes for 55 yards.
The Roughnecks had 45 yards in the air and 42 on the ground. Bess had 49 yards on eight carries.
The Mustangs got on the board with 6:45 left in the first period when Salter hit Rhodes in the right flat and Rhodes took it into the end zone down the right sideline for a 18-yard touchdown pass to cap a four-play, 29-yard drive. Kicker Rodrikson Cano drilled the extra-point to make it 7-0.
The score came after a Roughneck turnover.
Johnson put the ball on the ground and Mustang Colin Janice fell on the loose leather at the WC 29 with 8:27 in the first, leading to Salter and Rhodes touchdown connection a little less than two minutes later.
WO-S drove from its own 18 all the way to the Roughneck 26, mainly due to a 32-yard pass from Salter to receiver Dre Spencer. However, Salter was sacked at the Roughneck 31, coughing it up to defensive lineman Chris Hobbs with 8:37 in the first.
West Columbia 10
WO-S 7 7 6 0 - 20
WC 0 0 0 10 — 10
WO-S: J’Marcus Rhodes 18 pass from Jimmy Salter. Rodrikson Cano kick.
WO-S: Quinton Tezeno 20 pass from Salter. Cano kick.
WO-S: Rhodes 20 pass from Salter. Kick blocked.
West Columbia: Greg Gomez 24 field goal.
West Columbia: Broderick Thomas 2 run. Gomez kick.
First downs 17 9
Rushes-yards 43-131 31-43
Passing 110 114
Comp-Att-Int 10-12-1 7-14-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 5-40 7-35
Rushing: WO-S, Abear Simien 16-78, Chase Rutledge 9-25, Jimmy Salter 14-11, Maurice Morris 1-8, Quinton Tezeno 1-7, Tremaine Anderson 1-1, Kane Tezeno 1-1; West Columbia, Floyd Bess 11-48, Broderick Thomas 7-21, Darius Bell 2-2, Ryan Griggs 1-1, Willis Johnson 10-(-29).
Passing: WO-S, Jimmy Salter 10-12-1 110; West Columbia, Willis Johnson 7-14-1 114.
Receiving: WO-S, J’Marcus Rhodes 2-38, Dre Spencer 1-32, Quinton Tezeno 4-29, Abear Simien 1-10, Tremaine Anderson 2-1; West Columbia, Jarius Kesee 4-85, David Rodriguez 2-21, Devin Woodard 1-8.