Mustangs ready for Bellville rematch
WEST ORANGE — After slowing down one of the most prolific offenses in the state in the Class 4A ranks, the top-ranked and defending Class 4A Division II state champion West Orange-Stark Mustangs will face a familiar foe in the playoffs as they will take on the Bellville Brahmas Friday at 6 p.m. at Texan Drive Stadium in Porter in the 4A Region III Division semifinals.
The two squads met in the Region II Finals last year as the Mustangs (12-0) walked away with a 42-3 victory over the Brahmas (10-2).
The 12-4A champion Mustangs stopped Robinson 47-14 last week and have now outscored opponents 641-44 for the season, including 120-14 in the postseason.
The Brahmas, District 11-4A champions, defeated Salado 34-14 in the area round and toppled Orangefield 45-21 in bidistrict. Bellville has outscored opponents 461-164.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Coach (Grady) Rowe and what that Bellville program has accomplished,” said Thompson. “They play hard and they are fundamentally sound in what they like to try to do. It was a dogfight last year. It was an 8-3 game at the half. I’m sure those guys are fired up at getting another crack at us.”
The Mustangs, who held a wide-open spread offense Robinson team that averaged nearly 590 yards and 52 points a game to just 339 yards and 14 points, will face an offense that they are certainly accustomed to in the Brahmas this week.
Bellville runs the classic Wing-T, Slot-T and a little I-formation, something the WO-S defense has faced eight times this season.
“We’ve played this type of offense so much, I worry about us sometimes,” said Thompson. “We’re a little concerned about our focus, we didn’t have a great practice (Monday). We just can’t expect to just show up and walk away with a win. This Bellville bunch is sitting here, just like us, in the third round. They’re a district champion and a darn good football team. It may be the same offense, but it’s a different-colored uniform and different personnel. We’ve got to go out and play hard.”
The Mustangs will certainly face one of the best backs in 4A in the form of Brahma Mac Briscoe.
Briscoe has bulldozed his way to 2,131 yards and 29 touchdowns on 264 carries.
The Brahmas are chewing up 392.9 yards a game, 330 of it via the ground attack.
The Mustangs limited the Brahmas to 128 total yards in last year’s game with Briscoe accounting for most of it with 94 yards on 23 carries.
“The Briscoe kid is the real deal,” said Thompson. “He’s not afraid to run by you are over you. He runs hard behind a physical offensive line. They have a couple other backs that can get you if you’re not careful and their quarterback can tuck it and run it too.”
WO-S is allowing a mere 115 yards a game with eight shutouts this season, including just 79.6 yards on the ground.
Briscoe, however, is not a one-man show.
Quarterback Connor McIntyre can throw, completing 38-of-80 passes for 735 yards and four TDs and has rushed for 272 yards and seven TDs on 45 carries.
Back Tylin Bryant has zipped for 657 yards and six TDs on just 67 carries while Clayton Stallones has 571 yards and six TDs on 95 totes.
Tristen Williamson leads the Brahmas with 10 catches for 248 yards and two scores.
The Mustangs had a superb offensive outing in the win over Robinson, churning out 459 yards.
In the win over Bellville last season, WO-S rolled up 462 total yards. Quarterback Jack Dallas completed 19-of-28 passes for 270 yards and passed for a score and ran for two more.
The Mustangs are averaging 383.5 yards a game entering Friday’s tilt.
Dallas has completed 101-of-165 passes for 1,691 yards with 28 TDs. He also has six TDs on the ground.
Tailback Jeremiah Shaw broke the 1,000-yard barrier last week and now has 1,075 yards and 16 TDs on just 122 carries.
Kavyn Cooper has zipped for 529 yards and six TDs on 58 carries. Keion Hancock and Justin Sibley have combined for 476 yards and four scores on just 40 carries.
KJ Miller (29-560-10) and Hancock (22-402-5) lead a balanced receiving group.
Bellville’s losses came at the hands of Cameron Yoe (33-10) in their season opener and to Wharton (28-23). They did fall to Stafford (42-0) in non-district but Stafford had to forfeit due to an ineligible player.
The WO-S-Bellville winner will face either Giddings (10-2) or Liberty (10-2) in the 4A Division II Region III Finals next week.
WO-S 42, Nederland 0
WO-S 45, LC-M 0
WO-S 55, Bridge City 0
WO-S 61, KIPP Northeast 0
WO-S 51, Silsbee 2
WO-S 45, Kennedale 21
WO-S 68, Hamshire-Fannett 0
WO-S 62, Hardin-Jefferson 0
WO-S 32, Liberty 7
WO-S 60, Orangefield 0
WO-S 73, Tarkington 0
WO-S 47, Robinson 14
Cameron Yoe 33, Bellville 10
Bellville 14, Bay City 6
Bellville 42, Stafford 0
Bellville 35, Sealy 7
Wharton 28, Bellville 23
Bellville 41, Taylor 14
Bellville 55, Royal 0
Bellville 58, Tarkington 8
Bellville 63, Madisonville 14
Bellville 41, Shepherd 19
Bellville 45, Orangefield 21
Bellville 34, Salado 14
Bellville 461, Opponents 164