Mustangs welcome rested H-J for Homecoming

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WEST ORANGE — Getting of to another dominant start in District 12-4A Division II action, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs will look to continue their momentum this Homecoming week when they welcome in the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks to Hooks Stadium Friday night.

The two-time defending 4A Division II state champion Mustangs (5-0, 1-0) easily boosted their state-leading winning streak to 32 games last week as they went on the road and manhandled the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns 57-7.

Meanwhile, the Hawks (1-2) had a bye to start 12-4A play and was probably a much-needed one.

Coach Jared Sloan and the H-J coaching staff and team really went through the “ringer” after Hurricane Harvey truly devastated the Sour Lake area.

The Hawks had several feet of water in their fieldhouse and lost almost all of their equipment as they had to rebuild and adjust quickly as possible.

The Hawks managed to get in three games of what was going to be a six-game non-district slate. H-J defeated Beaumont Kelly (37-6) and suffered losses against La Marque (26-22) and to Jasper (35-17).

The Mustangs continued their dominance over their fellow 12-4A foes with a blowout over the Longhorns last week. In their last nine 12-4A contests, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents 448-17.

WO-S has been solid on both sides of the ball this season and have outscored opponents 214-56 in the process.

The Mustangs have been churning out 331.4 yards a game offensively despite being involved in two games that had running clocks in the second half against KIPP Northeast and H-F. WO-S has meant business on the ground, averaging 253 yards a game.

Quarterback Chaka Watson has been steady in running the ship. He has completed 32-of-57 passes for 329 yards with six touchdowns and just one interception. He has also rushed for 300 yards and nine TDs on 48 carries.

Kavyn Cooper powers the Mustang ground arsenal with 541 yards and six TDs on just 55 totes while Justin Sibley has rumbled for 252 yards and three scores on 31 carries.

Tight end Kaleb Ramsey leads the receiving group with nine catches for 78 yards and a score while Blake Robinson (7-97-0) and Jarron Morris (7-67-2) have seven catches apiece.

The Mustangs have gotten off to fast starts and strong finishes. WO-S has outscored opponents 71-7 in the first quarter and 27-0 in the fourth.

H-J returned seven starters back on both sides of the ball from last year’s 7-4 bidistrict playoff squad.

The Hawks will enter the game with the most productive offense thus far in 12-4A as they’ve averaged 377.7 yards a game, led by quarterback Brayden Pelt.

Pelt has completed 30-of-64 passes for 411 yards with two TDs and no picks. Pelt has also rushed for 329 yards and two TDs on 38 carries.

Sophomore back Dillon Bryant has 128 yards on 20 carries while junior back Blake Cruse has 124 yards on 23 carries.

Receiver Mason Murray is a tremendous all-around player and is a big factor in the return game. He leads 12-4A with nine receptions for 150 yards and a TD. Dillon Bryant (5-70-0) is also someone Pelt can get the ball too.

The Mustangs will have their bye next week before returning Oct. 27 for what looks to be a huge road showdown at Liberty.

The other 12-4A game Friday will pit Hamshire-Fannett (2-4, 0-1) at Liberty (5-1, 1-0). Orangefield (1-3, 0-1) has its bye this week.