The Orange Leader
WEST ORANGE —
West Orange-Stark made no doubt who the District 21-3A champions are Friday night as they dominated the Silsbee Tigers in every fashion in notching a 27-0 victory.
The win gives the Mustangs (8-1, 6-0) nine out of the last 10 21-3A titles.
However, no one expected the Mustangs to notch their 91st shutout in school history against a Silsbee (7-2, 5-1) offense that was chewing up more than 430 yards a game entering the tilt.
“I couldn’t be happier for the kids, they came out tonight and earned it,” said Thompson. “We beat one heckuva football team tonight. Silsbee has so much talent across the board and they have tremendous athletes but we’ve got some pretty darn good ones too. If you would’ve told me we would’ve pitched a shutout tonight, I would’ve said no way. Our kids just hunkered down and got after it.”
The Mustangs will now move on to face the Huffman Falcons in the Class 3A Region III Division I bidistrict playoffs Thursday at 7 p.m. at Barbers Hill High School.
Silsbee will face Cleveland in bidistrict next week as well.
Big plays were made by the Mustangs throughout the first half as they scored all the points on the night to lead 27-0 at intermission.
The Mustang defense swallowed up the mighty Tiger offense all night.
They held standout Silsbee quarterback Patrick Reed down and the outstanding quarterback went down with a leg injury with 4:54 left in the first half and never returned after the Mustangs had built a 21-0 lead.
WO-S limited the Tigers to just 179 total yards.
Reed completed just 3-of-12 passes for 75 yards and an interception and he led the Tigers with 57 yards on 10 carries.
“The Reed kid is an unbelievable athlete and we’re so glad we don’t have to see him any more,” said Thompson. “It was tough to see him get hurt. Hopefully he can bounce back next week for their playoff game. It was physical out here tonight. We’re a little banged up too after this one.”
WO-S sophomore quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole didn’t let the spotlight blind him.
He completed 10-of-19 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and ran for 53 yards on 14 carries and scored on a sneak.
The Mustangs finished with 326 total yards. Receiver Will Johnson hauled in three passes for 104 yards and a score while Deionte Thompson had two grabs for 66 yards.
“I thought Dillon had excellent composure in a big game and that says a lot for a sophomore but he’s been doing it all year,” said Thompson. “We had some really big plays on offense that set the tone in the first half. Deionte Thompson had a great interception that really helped sink Silsbee’s sails late in the first half and we were able to punch in another score to go into the half with the big lead.”
After a nice 38-yard kickoff return by Thomaracus Fontenot set the Mustangs up at the Silsbee 45 on the opening kickoff, the Mustangs found the end zone six plays later when tailback Chris James scored on a three-yard run off left tackle with 9:43 left in the first period.
Sterling-Cole ran for 17 yards on two carries and hit Thompson with a 13-yard pass and WO-S also took advantage of a pass interference penalty.
Silsbee tried to counter when Reed connected with receiver Zayon Jackson on a 56-yard pass to the WO-S 41 but two plays later Mustang defensive back Deionte Thompson picked off a Reed pass at the Mustang 25 and returned it 41 yards to the Tiger 34 with 2:11 in the first.
Seven plays later the Mustangs hit paydirt when Sterling-Cole scored on a one-yard keeper to make it 14-0 with 11:51 in the half. The big play on the series came when Sterling-Cole hit Johnson for a 31-yard gain over the middle on fourth-and-10.
The Tigers used a 10-play drive that started on their own 41 that went all the way to the Mustang 5 but Thompson and Tre Spencer made back-to-back outstanding plays by knocking away Reed passes to intended receivers in the end zone.
WO-S really burned the Tigers after that. The Mustangs motored 92 yards in six plays to find the end zone again capped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Sterling-Cole to Dwain Boullard, who split two Tiger defenders to score with 6:08 in the half. The biggest play of the march came when Sterling-Cole hooked up with Thompson on a 53-yard pitch-and-catch down the left sideline.
Reed suffered the right leg injury with 4:54 remaining in the half and was replaced by Jackson at quarterback.
WO-S used some razzle-dazzle to get their fourth touchdown when Sterling-Cole threw a lateral pass to receiver/quarterback Chase Rutledge and Rutledge found a wide-open Johnson for a 66-yard touchdown bomb down the right sideline.
The Mustangs outgained the Tigers 259-144 in the first half.
Sterling-Cole was 6-of-11 for 130 yards and he rushed for 40 more. Johnson hauled in three passes for 104 yards.
The second half was literally a wash as both teams exchanged several penalties and neither could get their respective offenses going.
The Mustangs had just 67 total yards in the second half while the Tigers, without the services of Reed and receiver Zayon Jackson, who also got injured, mustered just 35 yards.
WO-S 7 20 0 0 — 27
Sils 0 0 0 0 — 0
WO-S: Chris James 3 run. Rodikson Cano kick.
WO-S: Dillon Sterling-Cole 1 run. Cano kick.
WO-S: Dwain Boullard 21 pass from Sterling-Cole. Cano kick.
WO-S: Will Johnson 66 pass from Chase Rutledge. Kick blocked.
First downs 15 13
Rushes-yards 29-106 34-77
Passing 220 102
Comp-Att-Int 11-20-0 5-20-1
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 5-1
Penalties-yards 11-94 7-64
Rushing: WO-S, Dillon Sterling-Cole 14-53, Tre Baldwin 4-25, Chris James 4-20, Chase Rutledge 4-14, John Scott 2-2, Team 1-(-8); Silsbee, Patrick Reed 10-57, Sedrick Spearman 8-17, Tavoris Brooks 3-11, C. J. Green 2-1, Zayon Jackson 5-(-3), Troy Gore 7-(-6).
Passing: WO-S, Dillon Sterling-Cole 10-19-0 154, Chase Rutledge 1-1-0 66; Silsbee, Patrick Reed 3-12-1 75, Zayon Jackson 2-4-0 27, Troy Gore 0-2-0 0.
Receiving: WO-S, Will Johnson 3-104, Deionte Thompsonm 2-66, Dwain Boullard 2-32, Caleb Collins 1-9, Chris James 1-5, Chase Rutledge 1-4, Chris Horn 1-0; Silsbee, Khris Elers 2-19, Zayon Jackson 1-56, Sidney Holmes 1-16, Sedrick Spearman 1-11.