Mustangs bottle up Bellville; Silsbee on the docket next

Published 10:42 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

NEW CANEY – Chalk up another regional final appearance for the West Orange-Stark Mustangs as they got past the Bellville Brahmas 24-14 in the Class 4A Region III Division II Region III semifinals Friday night at Randall Reed Stadium in New Caney.

The Mustangs (10-1) bottled up the Bellville (9-4) running game for most of the night until the game’s final series.

WO-S outgained Bellville 343-254 even though the Brahmas had a 99-yard scoring drive at the end of the game.

The Mustangs will now advance to the 4A Region III Division II Finals for the ninth straight year under the leadership of head coach Cornel Thompson.

The Mustangs will face District 10-4A rival Silsbee for the second straight year in the Regional Finals. The Tigers (8-3) defeated the Giddings Buffaloes 35-14 Friday after trailing 14-0 in the first half.

Silsbee defeated the Mustangs 19-9 in that round last year. The Mustangs toppled the Tigers 17-9 this season enroute to the 10-4A title.

Mustang sophomore running back Elijah Gales rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to help down Bellville. WO-S quarterback Jerren Terrell completed 10-of-20 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Jalen Thompson had four catches for 47 yards. Tailback Ja Quailon Chaney added 43 yards on four carries for the Mustang offense.

Outstanding Bellville sophomore tailback Richard Reese finished with 150 yards on 27 carries and hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Lischka. Reese had 308 yards and five TDs in Bellville’s 54-35 win over Jasper last week in the area round. Reese had just 75 yards on 22 carries until Bellville’s last series of the night when he finally was able to break through.

Lischka completed 5-of-15 passes for 88 yards with Robert Briggs catching three passes for 30 yards.

It was the third playoff meeting between the two schools and the Mustangs lead the series 3-0 now after a 42-3 win in 2015 and a 49-7 victory in 2016.

WO-S snagged a 17-7 lead by intermission as they held the Brahmas down until Bellville’s last series of the half.

The Mustangs put together a brilliant 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive near the end of the first quarter to go up 7-0.

Gales ripped off a bullish 35-yard scamper all the way to the Bellville 35 then Terrell converted some big pass plays. Terrell connected with Jalen Thompson on a 16-yard dart over the middle on a third-and-9 play that reached the Bellville 17.

Gales eventually had a seven-yard run to the 1 but it was called back due to a holding penalty. Facing a third-and-12 from the 19, Terrell was like “no sweat” as he looked right and found Jerrold Brown, Jr. along the right side near the end zone and Brown finished it for a 19-yard touchdown strike. Angel Ibarra booted the extra-point as WO-S led 7-0 with 1:53 in the first quarter.

The Mustangs outgained Bellville 128-14 in the opening quarter. Mustang defensive back Jadon Jones did step in and picked off a Lischka pass at the WO-S 32 and returned it to the WO-S 46 with about 8:30 left in the first quarter but the Mustangs were called for offsides but the Mustangs were still able to hold off the Brahmas offense on the series.

WO-S moved from its own 14 all the way down to the Bellville 14 with 7:26 in the half but the Brahmas’ defense stiffened and an Ibarra 31-yard field goal attempt was wide-left.

The Mustang defense, however, got yet another three-and-out out of the Bellville offense.

Setting up shop at the Bellville 49 with 5:27 in the half, WO-S relied solely on the legs of Gales. The sophomore carried five straight times with big runs of 11 and 20 and he eventually scored on a seven-yard scoot off the left side, making it 14-0 with 3:30 in the half.

The Brahmas got themselves right back in the contest by finishing the half with a 10-play, 81-yard scoring march.

Reese had a 18-yard run on the series and then came up huge when he hauled in a screen pass from Lischka on third-and-10 from the Mustang 43 and flashed his speed as he cut back across the middle of the field and sprinted in for the touchdown pass. Zach Hood booted the point-after to make it 14-7 with 0:21 left in the half.

The Mustangs, however, were not through. Taking over at the Bellville 49, Terrell completed a 13-yard pass to Gales and a 10-yard completion to Andre Thomas, Jr. WO-S sent out Ibarra with 0:02 remaining and the junior kicker nailed a perfect 43-yard field goal as time expired to put the Mustangs up 17-7.

The Mustangs outgained the Brahmas 250-100 in the first half.

Gales chewed up 129 yards on 15 carries while Terrell completed 7-of-14 passes for 80 yards.

Reese had 12 carries for 46 yards and the one big catch for 43 yards, which was Lischka’s only completion of the half.

The third quarter was a defensive stalemate as Bellville picked up 44 yards in the quarter while the Mustangs had 42 yards.

Gales changed that though when he brought back a Bellville punt 40 yards to the Brahmas’ 42 with 9:56 remaining.

Gales then had a 13-yard run and fellow Mustang back Ja Quailon bolted up the middle for 23 more to get to the 6. Gales did the honors on the next play, bolting over the right side for a six-yard touchdown jaunt and pushing the lead to 24-7 with 9:03 remaining.

Jadon Jones picked off Lischka at the WO-S 47 and returned it all the way to the Bellville 10 with 8:06 left. The Bellville defense rose up and stuffed Terrell on a keeper on fourth-and-goal from the 2.

The Brahmas showed plenty of spunk too as they marched 99 yards in 12 plays to hit paydirt.

Reese finally was able to find some holes in the WO-S defense as he chewed up 81 yards on the drive, including a 51-yard burst that got to the Mustang 20. Reese then had a 17-yard dart to the 8 and two plays later Kyle Peschel scored from two yards out to make it 24-14 with 1:05 remaining.