WO-S welcomes Orangefield for 9-4A showdown

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WEST ORANGE — Both the West Orange-Stark Mustangs and the Orangefield Bobcats have almost punched in respective playoff tickets.

After all, both compete in the five-team District 9-4A Division I and both got off to superb 9-4A starts last week.

The Mustangs (6-1, 1-0) will entertain the Bobcats (4-3, 1-0) for Homecoming this week with the winner basically nabbing down a playoff berth for sure.

The Mustangs, defending 9-4A Division I champions, are coming off a crushing 49-0 shutout victory over the Liberty Panthers while the Bobcats nailed down a huge 24-23 home victory over the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks.

WO-S put together a dominating performance against the Panthers last week after they navigated through one of the toughest non-district slates in the state.

The Mustang “Chain Gang Defense” limited the Panthers to a mere 79 yards of total offense and to just eight yards in the second half. The Mustangs are allowing just 218.1 yards a game.

Mustang quarterback Jack Dallas completed 13-of-13 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns to help the Mustangs get out to a 28-0 lead at halftime against Liberty before getting a rest, like a lot of the Mustangs got in the second half.

Dallas has completed 103-of-159 passes for 1,347 yards to go along with 16 touchdowns through the season for an offense that is averaging 376.7 yards a game.

Thomas Wallace leads WO-S’ balanced receiving group with 29 catches for 360 yards and six TDs. KJ Miller (18-316-5), Keion Hancock (16-240-1) and Aric Cormier (15-142-1) can get the job done as well.

Melech Edwards leads the Mustang ground game with 491 yards and five TDs on 84 totes while Jeremiah Shaw has 355 yards and four TDs on 64 carries as WO_S will face a Bobcat defense that is allowing 305.2 yafrds a game.

The Bobcats, who have never defeated WO-S, have some nice momentum going into this Orange County battle after getting some big plays against Hardin-Jefferson last week.

Linebacker/running back Austin Moore will definitely remember the win over the Hawks. Moore rushed for 141 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 80-yard run to open up the game. He helped end it as well when he stopped H-J back Deshon Moreaux on a two-point conversion run with 1:09 remaining to preserve the Orangefield win.

Moore now has 322 yards on 40 carries and three TDs for the season.

Quarterback Matthew Watkins leads the balanced Bobcat ground game with 865 yards and eight TDs on 126 carries. Christopher McGee has darted for 512 yards and seven TDs on 92 carries for an offense averaging 305.5 yards per outing.

The Mustangs defeated the Bobcats on the road last season 42-14, breaking away from a 14-14 tie at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs had 413 yards and the Bobcats had 286. Grant LaPOint-Teate rushed for 96 yards for WO_S while Dallas threw for 177 yards and a pair of scores. Colby Choate and Watkins combined for 148 yards on 20 carries for the Bobcats.

The Mustangs will visit Hamshire-Fannett next week while the Bobcats welcome in Liberty.