Mustangs facing Silsbee road test

Published 8:22 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

WEST ORANGE — Old rivals will battle it out again Friday night when the West Orange-Stark Mustangs head to Silsbee to take on the Silsbee Tigers.

Both teams came away victorious last week as the two-time defending state champion Mustangs (2-0) blew away the Houston KIPP Northeast Gators 61-6 while the Tigers (1-1) rallied to topple the Jasper Bulldogs 30-23.

This will be Silsbee’s first home game after their original home opener was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. The Tigers dropped their season opener on the road against 3A state power Newton 41-17.

The Mustangs will be looking to extend their winning streak to a whopping 30 games Friday night in hostile territory.

Despite battling the woes of Hurricane Harvey recovery, the Mustangs have seemed not to miss a beat. Opening with a 39-6 win over Bridge City, WO-S has outscored opponents 100-12.

The defense has once again been stifling, holding opponents to just 93.5 yards a game, 62.5 in the air and just 31 on the ground.

Offensively, the Mustangs have put up solid numbers as well, averaging 374.5 yards a game, 282 on the ground and 92.5 in the air.

Quarterback Chaka Watson has completed 14-of-24 passes for 154 yards and has rushed for 62 yards.

Running backs Kavyn Cooper and Justin Sibley have been piling up yards behind solid play from the offensive front.

Cooper has gobbled up 224 yards on just 15 carries. Sibley has accounted for 141 yards on just 14 carries. The two combined for 219 yards in the rout over KIPP.

2016 was a year of change for the Silsbee Tigers as for the first time in several years a new head coach, Randy Smith, was along the sidelines for the Tigers.  The Tigers took a while to adjust to changes made by Smith dropping three of their first four games.  But by the time district rolled around, the adjustment took hold as Tigers took four of their five district contests and again qualified for the playoffs, pushing eventual state champion Carthage to the limit before bowing out in bi-district play.

Six starters return to the Silsbee offense in 2017.  Taking over at quarterback will be senior Jacob Collins.  Running back Adonis Thomas will join him in the backfield along with fullback Josh Buse.   The Tiger receivers will are explosive as senior Kalon Barnes (1st team all-district, 100 and 200 meter state champion) will team with Tre’ Lowe will team on the outside.