Scrimmage encounters all set for Friday

Published 10:10 am Monday, August 13, 2018


After getting plenty of conditioning in and getting to hit with pads for the first time on Saturday, area footballers will get to line up and hit a team with a different uniform this week as everyone will be involved in scrimmages.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs, on a quest to win their ninth straight district title and a possible chance at a fifth straight trip to the Class 4A Division II State Championship Game, will visit a strong Port Neches-Groves unit Friday with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the junior varsity (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.).

The Mustangs return just seven starters off last season’s 13-1 state runnerup unit but the cupboard is far from bare as several young Mustangs look to fill up some holes for long-time coach Cornel Thompson, who has led the Mustangs to at least the 4A Region III Division II Regional Finals the last seven years.

The Indians will be a nice test for the Mustangs.

Coach Brandon Faircloth has 11 starters back, six on offense and five on defense off a unit that went 10-2 and advanced to the Class 5A Division II regional semifinals.

No doubt the Indians have perhaps the best player in the Golden Triangle returning in the form of quarterback Roschon Johnson. In both running and throwing the ball last season the University of Texas commit totaled 4,527 total yards and a whopping 63 touchdowns last year. He still has a nice back behind him with the return of Gavin Deslatte, who had 510 yards and three scores a year ago. Defensive back Tyler Jackson returns after making 137 tackles and four picks.

The Mustang fans will get a good look at new starting quarterback Tyrone Wilson, who will have a chance to get the ball to veteran backs Kavyn Cooper and Justin Sibley. Defensive backs Teshaun Teel and Ja’Vonn Ross will look to lead a young WO-S defensive unit.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears have made the postseason four times in the last five campaigns and a big surge in district play last year which almost led to a title before the Bears settled for the third-place playoff berth.

The Bears will play host to Orangefield in its first scrimmage Friday with the varsity squads battling at around 7 p.m.

LC-M would like to end its long drought of not winning a postseason game. The Bears have not picked up a playoff victory dating back to 1997 when they advanced all the way to the regional finals against La Marque.

Coach Randy Crouch and staff return four starters on offense and five on defense as they will also look for some youngsters to step in and fill some vital holes.

The Bears should be solid at quarterback with the return of Orange Leader Newcomer of the Year junior quarterback Ethan McCollum. McCollum passed for 1,130 yards and ran for 785 more in a good sophomore campaign.

Coach Josh Smalley’s Bobcats are looking for a big season after they dropped down into the Class 3A Division I ranks.

The cupboard is certainly not bare in Bobcat Country as Orangefield returns 14 starters, six on offense and eight on defense.

The Bobcats have nice skill weapons returning to the mix as well as quarterback Mason Gonzales is back along with strong fullback Blake Bradley and other backs like Quy Tsan, Kadeon Evans and Kade Grozier.

The Bridge City Cardinals will look to gain some momentum after a injury-filled 2017 campaign as new head coach Allen DeShazo takes over.

The Cardinals will play host to the Buna Cougars in a scrimmage Friday with the varsity teams hitting the field at about 7 p.m.

The Cardinals rolled to a 9-3 record, a district title and went three rounds deep in the postseason in 2016 but dropped off to 1-7 a season ago as injuries and inexperience took its toll.

Bridge City returns nine starters, six on offense.

Cace Skinner will get a gook look at quarterback as he will have some key backs to try to get the ball to including bruising fullback Andy Lara and fellow backs Logan Hamm, Rylan Ply and Jackson Tims.

The Cougars are coming off a 6-3 playoff season.

Veteran coach Bradley Morgan will see seven starters returning on each side of the ball led by experienced quarterback Alex Connell, who accounted for 1,163 yards and 18 TDs a season ago.

Teams will wrap up their scrimmage schedules next week on Thursday.

WO-S will host Vidor, LC-M will visit Newton, Orangefield will welcome in Lumberton and Bridge City will visit Hamshire-Fannett.

WO-S will open up its season at home Aug. 31 against Nederland. Orangefield will entertain Houston KIPP Generation School while LC-M visits Woodville and Bridge City heads to Diboll.