Rested Mustangs facing 8-1 Panthers
WEST ORANGE — It might be a game that has lost a little luster this week when West Orange-Stark welcomes in the Liberty Panthers in District 12-4A Division II action, but don’t tell that to the Class 4A No. 1-ranked Mustangs as they are coming off their bye week full steam ahead.
Many thought Liberty (8-1, 1-1) would enter the game undefeated to battle the Mustangs (8-0, 2-0) for what would have likely been for the district title. However, the Panthers stubbed their toe last week at home against Hardin-Jefferson, losing 17-14.
H-J (6-2, 1-1) fell to the Mustangs 62-0 the previous week. The Mustangs have been suffocating opponents left and right throughout the season, outscoring the opposition 429-23 and 130-0 in two 12-4A wins, allowing just 89.3 yards a game.
Liberty will check in with 12-4A’s leading offense at 391.6 yards a game and the second leading defense at 166.2.
The Mustang Chain Gang defense will look to tame 12-4A’s leading rusher in the form of Panther tailback Alex Brown.
Brown has shredded opposing defenses for a whopping 1,598 yards and 16 touchdowns on 161 carries. The Panthers average 323.1 yards on the ground.
Quarterback JJ Slack has been productive, keeping defenses on their toes, completing 40-of-68 passes for 607 yards with 12 TDs and five interceptions.
Fellow back KK Antoine has zipped for 323 yards and four TDs on 28 carries.
The Panthers have solid receivers in Jarius Hill (12-212-4), LJ Domain (9-184-3) and Jeremiah Guillory.
The Mustangs were able to heal a few bumps and bruises as they look to snag yet another district title and deep playoff run in which they are trying to repeat last year’s 4A Division II state title.
WO-S will check in averaging a balanced 371.3 yards a game. The Mustangs have definitely benefitted from great field position throughout the season as they numbers could easily be higher if it wasn’t for leading so big in most at halftime in so many of their games.
Senior quarterback Jack Dallas has completed 70-of-118 passes for 1,045 yards and 15 TDs to easily pace the 12-4A leaders.
Tailback Jeremiah Shaw has been rested as well but still has rumbled for 726 yards and 13 TDs on just 85 carries. Fellow back Kavyn Cooper compliments Shaw well with 401 yards and seven TDs on 45 totes.
Dallas has plenty of excellent receivers to get the leather too including KJ Miller (20-359-6), Keion Hancock 14-197-1) and Dominique Tezeno (10-145-4).
Miller has also ignited the Mustangs with four punt returns for TDs and is averaging 35.2 yards a return.
WO-S leads the all-time series 4-0 and have outscored the Panthers 217-14, including 49-0 last season.
The Mustangs will close out their regular season on the road at Orangefield next week.
2006: WO-S 60, Liberty 0
2010: WO-S 63, Liberty 7
2014: WO-S 45, Liberty 7
2015: WO-S 49, Liberty 0