Mustangs gearing up for Red Devils in bidistrict round

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WEST ORANGE — One team is on a quest for a fifth straight appearance in the Class 4A Division II State Championship Game while the other is thrilled to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.

That will be the case Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. when the District 10-4A Division II champion West Orange-Stark Mustangs tangle with the Huntington Red Devils in the Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoffs at Texan Drive Stadium in New Caney.

The Mustangs (6-4, 4-0) found their groove in 10-4A play as they strolled to yet another district title and once again were unscathed.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils (3-7, 1-3), a struggling program for years and years, punched in their first-ever playoff ticket by defeating the Tarkington Longhorns 21-14 in 9-4A play.

The Red Devils were outscored by Jasper, Center and Shepherd 133-31 in their other 9-4A contests. They lost to Shepherd 27-7 in their last outing.

For the season, the Red Devils have been outscored 365-131. There three wins were against Warren (0-10) 24-14, Livingston (0-10) and Tarkington (2-8).

Second-year head coach Jim Kerbow did see the Red Devils improve this season after a 1-9 mark last year in which they went winless in district play.

The Red Devils run a power spread offense, led by senior quarterback Tyler Harris. The running backs featured will be junior Andrew Faulk and sophomore John Flood. H-back Devin Luker is also a threat.

Harris will also look to get the ball to senior receivers Hayden Flynt and Carson Hopper.

The Red Devils and Mustangs have had three common opponents in Hamshire-Fannett, Jasper and Liberty.

The Mustangs defeated H-F 34-10 last week while the Red Devils fell to the Longhorns 47-0. WO-S toppled Liberty 33-24 while the Red Devils lost to the Panthers 45-7. The Mustangs dropped a 34-24 road decision at Jasper while the Red Devils lost to the Bulldogs at home 64-0.

While the Red Devils are seeking their first-ever playoff victory, the Mustangs are on a much more major quest.

Since head coach Cornel Thompson (97-16), who is three wins away from his 100th victory at WO-S, took over the program in 2011, the Mustangs have at least made the Region III Finals in the last seven years. The Mustangs are 31-5 in the postseason during that span, including the four straight trips to the State Finals.

WO-S will be seeking its 70th playoff win in school history Thursday night as the Mustangs own a 69-25 all-time playoff record.

The Mustangs will check into the game averaging 298.1 yards a game on offense, 156.5 on the ground and 141.6 in the air. The WO-S defense is allowing just 249.3 yards a contest, 179.7 on the ground and 69.6 in the air.

Mustang quarterback Tyrone Wilson went over the 1,000-yard mark in passing the ball last week. He has completed 71-of-134 passes for 1,012 yards and five touchdowns.

Senior tailback Kavyn Cooper, despite battling a nagging ankle injury all season, has 540 yards and five TDs on 97 carries. Wilson has 290 yards and six TDs on 71 totes. Justin Sibley and Jamarcus Ross have combined for 521 yards and five TDs on 94 carries.

Jay’zn Robinson paces the Mustangs with 23 receptions for 324 yards and a TD. Brettlin Wiley has been a big-play wideout with 20 receptions for 429 yards and four scores while Deiondre Hawthorne has 12 grabs for 200 yards and two TDs.

The WO-S-Huntington winner will face either Sweeny (9-1) or La Grange (6-3) in the area round next week.

All tickets for the WO-S-Huntington game have to be purchased at the stadium gate on the evening of the game. Tickets are $7.