Teams set for final scrimmage battles Thursday

Published 9:51 am Monday, August 20, 2018


After getting in some action against teams in a different uniform for the first time last week, area football teams will get in one more scrimmage this Thursday before the real season kicks off.

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 play host to Vidor Thursday with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the junior varsity (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.).

The Mustangs were quite impressive in their first scrimmage, especially on the defensive side of the ball as they went on to outscore Port Neches-Groves on the road two touchdowns to one.

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 were a nice test for the Mustangs.

The Mustang fans got a 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 Mustangs will play host to Nederland in their season opener Aug. 31.

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 to Class 3A Division II defending state champion Newton Thursday. LC-M and Orangefield battled in a nice scrimmage last Saturday. Both first team offenses moved the ball well. LC-M showed well in its spread offense, moving the ball well in the air and on the land. Meanwhile, the Bobcats showed they could still get it done with their pounding running game.

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.

The Bears will open up their season on the road at Woodville Aug. 31.

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 Bobcats will play host to Houston KIPP Generational School at home Aug. 31.

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 had some shining moments against Buna in their first scrimmage tilt last Friday.

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 Cardinals will crank up their season Aug. 31 on the road at Diboll.