Mustangs run win streak to 31 by escaping Kennedale in OT, 23-20

Published 11:50 pm Friday, October 6, 2017

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent

NACOGDOCHES — In perhaps the biggest game in the state of Texas Friday night, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs got all they could handle from the Kennedale Wildcats before prevailing 23-20 in overtime at Nacogdoches High School’s Dragon Stadium.

The Mustangs (4-0) ran the state’s longest win streak to 31 games when senior quarterback Chaka Watson went 23 yards on a keeper in overtime to seal it.

Watson scored all three WO-S touchdowns and finished with 116 yards on 18 carries.

The Wildcats outgained the Mustangs 336-159 on the night but the Mustang defense came up with four turnovers.

WO-S, back-to-back Class 4A Division II state champions, defeated Kennedale (4-1) 45-21 last year en route to a state title while Kennedale advanced to the 4A Division I semifinals.

“We are not going to play a team as tough as them all season,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson about Kennedale.

Thompson was proud of the Mustangs’ performance against a very experienced Wildcat unit.

“We didn’t need to say anything much this week,” said Thompson. “The kids knew what they had to do. We prepared all week and we came away with the victory.”

The Mustangs failed to make anything of their first drive of the game, but their defense had something to add as they forced and recovered a fumble at the Kennedale 20.

Watson, with quick cuts, scored from 18 yards out to put the Mustangs up 7-0 in the first quarter.

The Wildcats found success with a good drive that started at their own 32 as they had eight runs and a 34-yard pass from quarterback Evan Jowers to running back DJ Kirven. Kirven also had 89 yards on 22 rushes. The Mustang defense hunkered down and the Wildcats settled for a 17-yard field goal from kicker Kevin Tiero early in the second quarter.

Jowers finished with 78 yards on 12 rushes.

Kennedale found some running room against the Mustang defense as Jowers would score on a 31-yard touchdown gallop to put the Wildcats up 9-7 with 1:29 remaining in the first half.

The Mustangs took advantage of a Wildcat turnover, taking over at the Kennedale 8 in the third quarter but the Wildcat defense held firm and WO-S had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by kicker Chad Dallas.

The Wildcats answered right back though when back Jaden Knowles broke it wide open, going 81 yards. Knowles finished with 127 yards on 12 carries. Kirven punched in a two-point conversion run as the Wildcats snared a 17-10 edge with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter.

The Mustangs stepped up to the challenge on the next drive behind the running of Watson. Watson broke a long 40-yard run that set up his four-yard touchdown run. Dallas booted the extra-point and the game was tied 17-17 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Mustangs drove down as far as the Wildcat 25 with 1:19 left in regulation but the Wildcat defense held firm and blocked a Dallas 44-yard field goal attempt.

The Mustang defense held firm when the Wildcats had the ball for the first overtime series and Kennedale settled for a 33-yard field goal by Tiero.

Mustang running back Kavyn Cooper finished with 58 yards on 13 rushes.

The Mustangs will open up defense of their District 12-4A Division II title next week when they travel to Hamshire-Fannett to take on the Longhorns.


WO-S 23,

Kennedale 20

WO-S            7       0      3       13— 23
Ken              0       9      8       3 —20

WO- S         Ken
First downs             14              13
Rushes-yards    39-132 48-301
Passing         27            35
Total yards             159             336
Comp-Att-Int    5-15-0         2-4-1
Fumbles-Lost    0-0   3-3
Penalties-yards         4-25 5-6-72
Rushing:  WO-S, Chaka Watson 18-116, Kavyn Cooper 13-58, Jarron Morris 3-38, Justin Sibley 2-(-4), Team 3-(-76); Kennedale, Jaden Knowles 12-127, DJ Kirven 22-89, Evan Jowers 12-78, David Roper 2-7.
Passing, WO-S, Chaka Watson 5-15-0 27; Kennedale, Evan Jowers 2-4-1 35.
Receiving: WO-S, Jarron Morris 2-15, Blake Robinson 1-16, Kaleb Ramsey 1-1, Kavyn Cooper 1-(-5); Kennedale. DJ Kirven 2-35.