The Orange Leader
WEST ORANGE —
Clicking on all cylinders both offensive and defensively, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs manhandled the Buna Cougars 42-0 in District 21-3A action at Hooks Stadium Friday night.
The Mustangs (6-1, 4-0) piled up 417 yards using a balanced offensive attack while limiting the vaunted Buna Slot-T offense to just 128 total yards, all of it on the ground.
Mustang quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole completed 12-of-16 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, both of them going to receiver WIll Johnson while he also rushed for another.
The Mustangs picked up 229 yards on the ground with John Scott rushing for 110 yards on just five carries while Sterling-Cole had 64 yards on nine totes.
“The kids did a great job of moving the ball tonight,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson. “We got a lot of kids involved and they all contributed, from the offensive line to all of our receivers. It was a solid effort all the way around.”
Buna (5-4, 2-3) was led by running back Matthew Biddle, who earned 70 tough yards on 22 carries.
“We were certainly prepared for what they (Buna) wanted to do,” said Thompson. “We’ve been preparing for this style of offense for nearly a month, which has been the last three games. We’ll go to Bridge City to face the spread next week, we may not even know how to line up by then because we’ve faced this same offense for so long.”
The Mustangs limited the Cougars to just 40 total yards on 26 carries and three incompletions in the first half as WO-S led 21-0 at intermission.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs piled up 204 yards behind the arm and legs of Sterling-Cole. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 108 yards and rushed eight times for 71 yards to aid three touchdown drives.
After a bad Buna punt after the Cougars’ first series of the game, the Mustangs took over at the Cougar 20 and Sterling-Cole burned the Buna defense immediately, going 20 yards untouched and into the end zone for a 7-0 WO-S lead with 10:34 in the first.
Utilizing a short field on their second series, the Mustangs navigated 41 yards in seven plays, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown dart from Sterling-Cole to Johnson by the right front pylon as WO-S led 14-0 with 4:48 left in the first.
Sterling-Cole teamed up with Deionte Thompson on a 43-yard bomb that got to the Buna 18 but the Cougars held and kicker Rodikson Cano missed a 35-yard field goal with 10:34 left in the half.
The Mustangs went up 21-0 with 5:18 left in the half when tailback Chris James bolted up the middle for a four-yard touchdown. Sterling-Cole carried the leather three times for 60 yards on the march, including a 34-yarder that got inside the Cougar 10.
A 23-yard touchdown pass from Sterling-Cole to Thompson was negated with 1:55 in the half due to a Mustang holding penalty. Thompson had four grabs for 69 yards in the first half.
Buna did move from its own 47 down to the WO-S 25 late in the first quarter but the Mustangs sacked quarterback Joseph Clark on fourth-and-12 from the 28 for a loss of nine.
Biddle led the Cougars with 40 yards on 11 totes.
The Mustangs went 62 yards in eight plays to score on their first series of the second half. Sterling-Cole and Johnson connected for their second TD of the night when Johnson caught a short pass in the flat and raced 30 yards down the right sideline for the score to make it 28-0 with 9:17 left in the third.
Mustang defensive back Tre Spencer picked off a Clark pass at the Mustang 16 with 4:15 in the third to halt a Cougar drive.
The Mustangs capped off a five-play, 43-yard drive early in the fourth period when Chase Rutledge threw a beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to Dwain Boullard in the end zone to up the lead to 35-0 with 10:12 remaining.
The Mustangs made it 42-0 with 5:04 remaining when tailback John Scott bolted in from a yard out. Scott carried three times for 47 yards on the drive.
The Mustangs will travel to Orange County rival Bridge City next week while the Cougars play host to Orangefield.
WO-S 14 7 7 14 —42
Buna 0 0 0 0—0
WO-S: Dillon Sterling-Cole 20 run. Rodikson Cano kick.
WO-S: Will Johnson 12 pass from Sterling-Cole. Cano kick.
WO-S: Chris James 4 run. Cano kick.
WO-S: Johnson 30 pass from Sterling-Cole. Cano kick.
WO-S: Dwain Boullard 31 pass from Chase Rutledge. Cano kick.
WO-S: John Scott 1 run. Cano kick.
First downs 21 10
Rushes-yards 25-229 52-128
Passing 188 0
Comp-Att-Int 13-18-0 0-5-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 5-50 1-5
Rushing: WO-S, John Scott 5-110, Dillon Sterling-Cole 9-64, Chris James 7-26, Dwain Boullard 1-17, Chase Rutledge 4-12; Buna, Matthew Biddle 22-70, Justin Kennedy 10-47, Perry Smith 8-28, McCrea Lopez 4-12, Cody Ireland 1-0, Mason Lopez 1-(-3), Josh Kelly 1-(-8), Joseph Clark 4-(-18).
Passing: WO-S, Dillon Sterling-Cole 12-16-0 157, Chase Rutledge 1-2-0 31; Buna, Joseph Clark 0-5-1 0
Receiving: Deionte Thompson 5-77, Will Johnson 3-50, Dwain Boullard 2-42, Chris Horn 2-16, Chase Rutledge 1-3.