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Mustangs facing Kennedale test

WEST ORANGE — With a little more than week to get ready to defend yet another district title, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs will look to take down the Kennedale Wildcats to wrap up non-district play Friday at Nacogdoches High School.

The Mustangs (5-0), ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A ranks, have certainly proved their might through the first five weeks, including a 51-2 rout of the Silsbee Tigers last week.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats (2-2) are looking to gain some momentum after falling to Whitehouse 34-21 last week. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Kennedale reached the Class 4A Division I Region II semifinals last year where they fell to state runnerup Argyle.

The Mustangs have stymied opposing offenses at every turn to put together arguably the state’s top defense through the first five weeks.

Opposing offenses have yet to find the end zone. Silsbee came the closest last week with five trips inside the red zone only to be denied.

The WO-S defense is allowing a mere 74.8 yards per game. Opposing ground attacks have only mustered 262 yards on 187 carries for a putrid 1.4 yards per carry.

Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 20-of-55 passes for 112 yards and have been picked off five times.

One thing for certain, the Mustangs will not have to worry much about the Wildcats airing it out.

Kennedale runs its offense out of the Slot-T and Wing-T formations.

The Wldcats are piling up 373 yards a game, 328.5 of it via their ground game.

Sophomore De’Shaun Kirven is the feature back and has 532 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries.

Junior Jaden Knowles has 373 yards and four TDs on 67 carries while David Roper has 174 yards and a TD on 20 carries.

Wildcat quarterbacks Evan Jowers and Aaron Rinehart have combined to go 8-of-22 passing for 178 yards with two TDs and one pick.

The Wlldcats defeated Terrell (21-20) and Wichita Rider (34-27) and also lost to Alvarado (21-14).

The Mustangs had their most productive total yardage output against Silsbee, racking up 433 total yards. They are averaging 356.4 yards a game for the season.

Quarterback Jack Dallas has completed 43-of-74 passes for 625 yards with nine TDs and four picks.

The Mustangs have spread the wealth around amongst their receivers. Keion Hancock has 13 catches for 189 yards and a TD. KJ Miller (10-165-3) and Dominique Tezeno (6-107-3) have also made big plays.

Running back Jeremiah Shaw leads the ground game after a 144-yard effort against Silsbee. Shaw has 495 yards and nine TDs on 50 carries. Fellow back Kavyn Cooper has strolled for 174 yards and two TDs on 27 carries.

The Mustangs will open up defense of its district title when they welcome in Hamshire-Fannett Oct. 7. WO-S has won six consecutive district titles.