Mustangs grind by Mexia

Published 10:45 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

By Van Wade

The Orange Leader

CONROE – Sometimes you just simply have to grind one out and move on.

That’s what the two-time defending Class 4A Division II state champion West Orange-Stark Mustangs had to do Friday night in their 4A Region III area round affair against the Mexia Blackcats.

The Mustangs stubbed their toes on offense at times, especially in the red zone, but the “Chain Gang Defense” rose up once again as WO-S toppled Mexia 17-3 at Moorhead Stadium. The win pushes the Mustangs’ state-leading win streak to 37 games and they have won 14 straight playoff contests in a row.

The Mustangs (10-0) limited the Blackcats (6-6) to a mere six first downs and 117 yards of total offense.

“Defensively, we bowed up pretty good, but we bogged down on offense way too much,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson. “We didn’t cash in when we had some opportunities and that was disappointing. This game reminds me a lot of the way we played against Hardin-Jefferson. We were lethargic at times and we can’t do that anymore, certainly not next week.”

The Mustangs will face a red-hot Madisonville (11-1) team next week in the Region III semifinals at 7 p.m. at Texan Drive Stadium in Porter.

Madisonville toppled Lorena 45-35 in the area round Friday.

“We got a win, and that’s what counts more than anything else,” said Thompson. “Credit the Mexia kids for playing hard, but I know we can play better than we did and I think the kids know that too. We can’t play like we did tonight and expect to win next week. The road just gets tougher from here on out. We’re going to get after it in practice starting Monday and go from there. We’re looking forward to another week and there are plenty of areas to improve upon.”

WO-S struggled to capitalize on superb field position as they set up shop in Mexia territory most of the night but were held at bay by a determined Mexia defense.

The Mustangs were held to 211 total yards, 112 less then they average on the season.

Mustang quarterback Chaka Watson scored the game’s first touchdown in the first quarter but suffered a hip pointer and did not return until the second half.

Mustang tailback Kayven Cooper pounded out 85 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown while fellow back Justin Sibley had 42 yards on 11 carries.

Mexia’s spread offense simply had no answer for the WO-S defense.

Quarterback Travion Carter completed just 5-of-15 passes for nine yards and was picked off once and he ran for just four yards on six carries.

Blackcat tailback Jadarian Smith led the offense with 44 yards on 12 totes while fullback Dre’vaun Cooper had 25 yards on five carries, all in the second half.

The Blackcats pulled within 10-3 midway through the third quarter as they were able to march from their own 29 all the way to the Mustang 18. The WO-S defense rose up and Mexia settled for a booming 35-yard field goal by kicker Lalo Ortiz with 6:41 in the third. The drive was sparked by fullback Cooper, who carried five times for 25 yards on the 12-play, 52-yard drive.

The Mustangs countered nicely though.

After Jarron Morris brought the ensuing short kickoff back 31 yards to the Blackcat 47, the Mustangs chewed up all 47 yards in nine plays.

Cooper capped it with a 12-yard touchdown dart off left tackle as the Mustangs snatched a 17-3 lead with 1:55 in the third. Watson had a nice five-yard completion to tight end Kaleb Ramsey that gave the

Mustangs a big first down at the Mexia 12.

WO-S went into intermission with a 10-0 cushion after both defenses were stingy in the first 24 minutes, especially the Mustangs.

The Mustangs limited the Blackcats to just 49 yards and a first down in the half. WO-S had 110 yards in the half but couldn’t quite cash in on a couple golden opportunities after most of the half was played on Mexia’s side of the field.

The Mustangs cashed in on a Mexia turnover to go up early in the first quarter.

Carter mishandled the ball on a handoff and the Mustangs pounced on the fumble at the Mexia 16 with 9:37 left in the first quarter.

On the very next snap, Watson took it in with a nifty quarterback keeper around the right side, getting into the end zone by the pylon for the 16-yard score. Chad Dallas booted the extra-point, giving the

Mustangs a 7-0 edge with 9:25 in the first quarter.

The Watson run was the biggest play of the first quarter as both teams struggled offensively.

The Mustangs had 26 total yards in the quarter while Mexia had 17.

Mustang standout defensive back Morris picked off Carter at the Mustang with 4:48 in the first quarter. The Mustangs moved the ball to midfield before stalling.

The Mustangs would get on the board again early in the second quarter.

After pinning the Blackcats deep, Mexia was able to get off just a 24-yard punt as the Mustangs took over at the Mexia 31 with 11:38 in the half.

The Mustangs were able to chew off 4:36 off the clock, sticking mainly with the running prowess of Cooper and Sibley. However, the Blackcat defense held firm eventually at the Mexia 1. The Mustangs elected to go for a field goal and Dallas calmly drilled a 18-yarder to put the Mustangs up 10-0 with 7:02 in the half.

After getting good field position again after the defense held the Blackcats to yet another three-and-out Mustangs got all the way down to the Mexia 3 but the Blackcats would cash in on a turnover when backup quarterback Tyrone Wilson and Cooper had a bad exchange and Mexia pounced on a fumble at the 4. The Mustangs were able to get as far as the 3 when tight end Kaleb Ramsey took a handoff from Wilson and tossed a 36-yard pass to receiver Morris, who made an excellent grab at the 3.

Cooper led the WO-S ground game in the half with 29 yards on 10 carries while Sibley had 18 yards on five carries.

Carter was just 3-for-6 passing for Mexia for eight yards and an interception and ran for just five yards on four carries while Smith had 18 yards on six carries.


WO-S 17

Mexia 3



WO-S           7       3       7       0— 17

Mexia          0       0       3       0 —3


Scoring summary

WO-S: Chaka Watson 16 run. Chad Dallas kick.

WO-S: Chad Dallas 18 field goal.

WO-S: Kayven Cooper 12 run. Dallas kick.



WO-S   Mex

First downs             13             6

Rushes-yards   42-160 27-108

Passing         51             9

Total yards             211             117

Comp-Att-Int   4-8-0           5-15-1

Fumbles-Lost   5-2             1-1

Penalties-yards         3-25           4-43


Rushing: WO-S, Kayven Cooper 22-85, Justin Sibley 11-42, Jarron Morris 3-25, Chaka Watson 2-11, Renaldo Rose 1-3, Tyrone Wilson 3-(-6); Mexia, Jadrian Smith 12-44, Dre’vaun Cooper 5-25, Demarcus McQurter 1-18, Josh Beachum 3-17, 6-4.

Receiving: WO-S, Chaka Watson 1-3-0 5, Tyrone Wilson 1-3-0 3, Kaleb Ramsey 1-1-0 36, Chad Dallas 1-1-0 8; Mexia, Travion Carter 5-15-1 9

Receiving: WO-S, Jarron Morris 1-36, Kayven Cooper 1-8, Kaleb Ramsey 2-8; Mexia, Josh Beachum 4-10, Demarcus McQurter 1-(-1).