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Mustangs ready to tangle with Spartans

WEST ORANGE — The “third phase ” part of the season will kick in for the West Orange-Stark Mustangs Thursday night and the boys in Blue and Silver would love to get to where they were last year.

Last season, the Mustangs waltzed their way all the way to the Class 4A Division II State Championship Game and they certainly would mind finding their way back as their playoff push begins.

The District 9-4A Division II Mustangs (9-1) will tangle once again with the Houston Scarborough Spartans (1-9) in the 4A Region III Division II playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium.

The Mustangs whipped the Spartans 64-0 in the same round last year in Beaumont. WO-S led 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and the two teams agreed on a running clock late in the second quarter.

The Spartans were winless last year but made the playoffs due to only four teams participating in District 10-4A. The loss to WO-S last year extended their losing streak to 58 games.

Scarborough got off the “snide” this season, defeating KIPP Sunnyside 18-14. However, the Spartans are now on a nine-game losing streak and were outscored 228-6 in four 10-4A contests.

For the Mustangs, their key concerns will be staying focused and definitely avoiding injuries to any key starters.

The Mustangs wrapped up another perfect district season in which they outscored their four opponents by a whopping 169-3 total with three shutouts. They led 9-4A in both total offense (374.0) and total defense (207.3)

Mustang junior quarterback Jack Dallas has completed 143 of 221 passes for 2,035 yards to go along with 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

WO-S has the top four receivers in 9-4A led by Thomas Wallace (37-551-9), KJ Miller (25-445-6), Keion Hancock (19-298-1) and Aric Cormier (18-182-2).Melech Edwards and Jeremiah Shaw pace the WO-S ground attack.

Edwards has 592 yards and six TDs on 102 totes while Shaw has rumbled for 484 yards and six TDs on 83 carries and also has 10 catches for 126 yards and two TDs.

The Spartans will try to generate some offense against a Mustang defense that did not allowed completed pass at all in 9-4A play.

Players to watch for when the Spartans have the ball is quarterback Jared Holley, running back Titus Randle and receiver Martrez O’Neal.

The Mustangs held the Spartans to minus 19 yards in last year’s blowout.

The winner of the WO-S-Scarborough tilt will face either Wharton (7-3) or LaGrange (7-3) in the area round next week.