SOUR LAKE —
Great Scott! … and Spencer … and Salter … and Lynch … and …
The talent was endless on the field for West Orange-Stark as the Mustangs rolled past Hardin-Jefferson 49-0 in a District 21-3A showdown at Hawks Field on Friday night.
John Scott, the big runner for the Mustangs, scored twice on runs of 3 and 61 yards, leading a tedious first half offensive effort, then running away with it in the final two quarters. WO-S is now perfect at 6-0 and 2-0, while H-J falls to 3-2 and 0-1.
Hardin-Jefferson’s defense kept the game close in the first half, limiting the Mustangs’ typically explosive backfield. But Scott would set the tone for the second half in one quick step through the hole. With WO-S up 14-0, Scott took the opening handoff of the second half 61 yards for a 21-0 lead.
After forcing H-J to punt on the next possession, the Mustangs went back to work as J’Marcus Rhodes returned the boot to the H-J 11. Four plays later, Jimmy Salter connected with Rhodes for an 8-yard touchdown and a 28-0 advantage. The runaway was underway.
The Mustangs’ Deionte Thompson picked off H-J quarterback Jared Gieseke on the Hawks’ next possession, setting up WO-S drive that spanned 68 yards in 11 plays with Abear Simien crossing the goal line from the 1 for a 35-0 lead.
Another H-J punt and another Mustangs touchdown ensued. This drive went 45 yards on nine plays with Ar’Tevin McDonald sprinting 20 yards for the score and a 42-0 mark.
On their next drive, the Hawks put together their best drive of the game, marching 53 yards in 11 plays to the Mustangs 12. With just seconds left on the clock, Gieseke hurled the ball to a receiver on a crossing pattern. Instead of hitting his intended receiver, Mustang defender Joe Lynch snagged the interception and sprinted 94 yards for the score with no time left on the clock.
The best that could be said of the early moments of the game is “ugly” as the opening kickoff reaped back-to-back penalty flags that led the Hardin-Jefferson taking possession on offense at the Mustangs’ 41. The Hawks looked like they were spoiling for an upset when Gieseke completed a 52-yard pass play to Andrew Martel.
The offensive totals for H-J at the end of the half told a more complete story as the Hawks finished the first two quarters with 11 yards of total offense and the one first down on the Gieseke-Martel hookup.
Once WO-S got over the early game struggles, the Mustangs were able to push H-J deep into their own end of the field, forcing punts that left the Ponies with a short field looking directly into the end zone.
After forcing H-J to punt, Mustang returner Dwain Boullard brought the ball back from the 31 to the 3 where John Scott took the ball on the first snap into the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Mustangs were able to convert again on good field position, moving the ball 34 yards in three plays midway through the second quarter with Jimmy Salter connecting with Dre Spencer for 18 yards and the score. The Mustangs took their 14-0 lead into the halftime break.
Leading the Mustangs offense was Scott with nine carries for 123 yards while Salter completed 8 of 15 for 75 yards. His top receiver was Dwain Boullard with 2 for 29 yards. The Hawks, who were limited to 73 total yards, including negative-2 rushing, were led by Gieseke’s 4-of-12 pass attempts for 75 yards with three interceptions.
West Orange-Stark 49
WO-S 7 7 21 14 - 49
HJ 0 0 0 0 - 0
WO-S - John Scott 3 run. Rodrickson Cano kick.
WO-S - Dre Spencer 8 pass from Jimmy Salter. Cano kick.
WO-S - Scott 61 run. Cano kick.
WO-S - J'Marcus Rhondes 8 pass from Salter. Cano kick.
WO-S - Abear Simien 1 run. Cano kick.
WO-S - Ar'Tevin McDonald 20 run. Cano kick.
WO-S - Joe Lynch 94 interception return. Cano kick.
First Downs: WO-S 17; HJ 4
Rushes/Yards: WO-S 33-195; HJ 34-(-2)
Passing Yards: WO-S 84; HJ 75
CAI: WO-S 9-17-0; HJ 4-12-3
Fumbles/Lost: WO-S 4/1; HJ 2/0
Penalties/Yards: WO-S 11-110; HJ -53
Rushing: WO-S John Scott 9-123, Abear Semien 5-32, Ar'Tevin McDonald 3-25, Kane Tezeno 3-13, Jimmy Salter 7-12, Tremaine Anderson 2-6, Maurice Morris 1-2, Daniel Woodson 1-2, Chase Rutledge 2-(-20). HJ Devan Cooper 14-17, Travis Stevens 3-2, Dylan VanNow 2-(-9), Jared Gieseke 15-(-12).