Mustangs crush LaGrange, get Bellville next

Published 11:45 pm Friday, November 22, 2019

CONROE – Scoring 28 unanswered points to start the game, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs cruised past the LaGrange Leopards 42-14 in Class 4A Division II Region III area playoff round action at Conroe’s Moorhead Stadium Friday night.

The Mustangs (9-1) utilized a strong passing attack in the first half and their running game in the second half to turn back the Leopards.

The Mustangs will now move on to play the Bellville Brahmas (9-3), who stunned Jasper 54-35 Friday night, next week in the Region III semifinals.

The Mustangs will face Bellville at Texan Drive Stadium next Friday in New Caney. The schools will be flipping for the time of the game Saturday morning.

The Mustangs outgained the Leopards 388-206 as LaGrange got most of its yardage late in the game.

Mustang quarterback Jerren Terrell completed 12-of-17 passes for 185 yards and three scores. Tailback Elijah Gales rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns while Mustang receiver Jalen Thompson hauled in a pair of TD passes and caught three passes for 93 yards. Gales went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season as he now has 1,066 yards on 125 carries to go along with 22 TDs.

LaGrange quarterback Caden Cooper completed 5-of-10 passes for 96 yards as the Leopards had 145 yards in the air on the night. They never could get their running game going as the Mustangs held them to 61 yards on 41 carries and sacked Cooper seven times. LaGrange back D.J. Taylor had 68 yards on 15 totes.

WO-S jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the Leopards by intermission with the Mustangs outgaining the Leopards 194-63 in the first half.

Terrell was spot-on in the half, completing 10-of-12 passes for 172 yards and three TDs, two of them going to Jalen Thompson, who had two catches for 80 yards in the half.

The “Chain Gang” defense limited LaGrange to just 32 rushing yards on 23 carries in the first 24 minutes and 2-of-8 passing for 31 yards.

The Mustangs marched 58 yards in just four plays to hit paydirt on their first series of the game.

Terrell was a perfect 3-for-3 for 51 yards on the drive. He connected with Jerrold Brown, Jr. for a 13-yard gain to the Leopard 13 and then hit Jayson Zeigler, Jr. on a 14-yard dart over the middle to the 24. On the next play, Terrell teamed up with Gales on a little flip pass forward to Gales and the sophomore back did the rest, zipping 24 yards down the right sideline for the score. Angel Ibarra booted the extra-point to put the Mustangs up 7-0 with 7:28 in the first quarter.

The Mustangs put some more points on the board the second time they had the leather as they zipped 55 yards to the end zone on just four plays again.

Terrell hit Zeigler on a 10-yard strike and Zeigler had a 11-yard scamper. Terrell then floated a beautiful pass to receiver Jalen Thompson on the left side of the end zone and Thompson did a great job holding on the ball and staying in bounds to finish off a 24-yard touchdown pass as WO-S made it 14-0 with 4:41 in the first quarter.

Gales did have a 60-yard touchdown gallop down the left sideline called back due to a holding penalty later in the first period.

WO-S outgained LaGrange 146-35 in the first quarter. Terrell completed 8-of-9 passes for 102 yards in the quarter.

Terrell try to retrieve a bad snap that got past him but LaGrange was able to plop on the loose ball at the WO-S 40 with 10:29 in the half.

The Leopards drove to the Mustang 18 and Ryder Imoff went off the right side for an 18-yard touchdown. However, it was called back due to a holding penalty. The Mustang defense rose up and stuffed the Leopards on four straight plays to thwart the scoring threat.

The Mustangs wasted no time getting their groove back the next time they had it, going 72-yards in six plays. Terrell hit Brown on a big 14-yard pass to their own 45 on third down to keep the drive alive and on third-and-11 from the WO-S 48 Terrell spotted a wide-open Thompson, who was all by himself along the left side at about the Leopard 30. Thompson hauled it in and sprinted the rest of the way to complete a 56-yard touchdown reception and pushing the lead to 21-0 with 3:16 in the half.

Matthew Johnson had seven carries for 29 yards in the half for the Leopards while D.J. Taylor carried seven times for 23 yards. Caden Cooper completed 2-of-4 passes for 31 yards.

Zeigler had three catches for 30 yards and 16 yards on three carries for the Mustangs while Gales had five carries for 27 yards and two catches for 28 yards.

The Mustangs picked things right back up again on their first possession of the third quarter, zipping 55-yards in four plays to find the end zone again. Terrell found Thompson for a big 13-yard gain on a third-and-11 play that got to the Leopard 43 and Gales swiftly made LaGrange pay as he cruised around the right side for a 43-yard touchdown gallop, making it 28-0 with 11:06 in the third.

The Leopards were able to get on the scoreboard with a nice eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The big play came when Cooper connected with receiver Bravion Rogers on a perfect 39-yard strike over the middle to the Mustang 33. Taylor then carried three times for 29 yards and Cooper ended up completing a four-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone to receiver Dayton Jarvis to cut it to 28-7 with 6:51 left in the third.

The Mustangs countered right back with a quick 53-yard drive. Jamaal Shaw had two big carries for 26 yards on the series, finishing it with 18-yard touchdown dart up the middle to make it 35-7 with 2:08 in the third.

After both teams exchanged turnover inside the Leopard 10, the Mustangs added another score when back Terry Harris scooted into the end zone with a four-yard jaunt off left tackle to up the lead to 42-7 with 8:38 remaining.

The Leopards continued to battle and got on the board again with a nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive. LaGrange surprised the Mustangs with a double reverse pass as receiver Dayton Jarvis hooked up with quarterback Cooper on a 49-yard pass to the Mustang 20. Cooper hit Brock Gardiner on a 22-yard strike to the WO-S 7 on a fourth-and-19 play and three plays later Ryder Imoff scored from a yard out to trim it to 42-14 with 3:49 left.

The Mustangs had eight different ball carriers in the second half and had 181 yards rushing in the half.