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Late flurry powers Silsbee past WO-S in Regional Final

BEAUMONT – Scoring 18 unanswered points in the last 14 minutes of the game, the Silsbee Tigers turned back the West Orange-Stark Mustangs for the second straight year in the Class 4A Region III Division II Finals Friday night at Beaumont Memorial Stadium 35-28.

The Tigers utilized the legs of tailback Dralyn Taylor on the game-winning possession that ate up 52 yards in just four plays.

Taylor put the Tigers (9-4) ahead to stay when he zipped 23 yards for a touchdown off the left side with 1:45 remaining.

Taylor, who had 143 yards on 22 carries, had another 23-yard run on the series that got down to the Mustang 25.

Despite leading the all-time series against the Tigers 24-5, the Mustangs (10-2) are now 0-3 against Silsbee in postseason play.

Silsbee will now move on to the 4A Division II State Semifinals next week and will face Wimberley.

The Mustangs outgained the Tigers 343-329 on the night but Silsbee gained nearly 200 yards in the final 14 minutes.

The Silsbee win offset another strong performance from Mustang sophomore tailback Elijah Gales. Gales zipped for 157 yards on 22 carries and had a touchdown.

Mustang junior quarterback Jerren Terrell completed 14-of-22 passes for 166 yards. He also had three rushing touchdowns. Receiver Jalen Thompson had four catches for 64 yards and Andre Thomas, Jr. had four catches for 46 yards.

The Mustangs had one last-ditch effort in the final 1:46. Terrell hit Thompson on a huge 40-yard pass play on fourth-and-10 that got the Mustangs down to the Tiger 35. The Mustangs picked up another first down after Terrell hit Patrick Mickey on a six-yard pass to the Tiger 25. Silsbee’s secondary then held firm as the Mustangs had three incompletions that ended the game.

Silsbee quarterback Raymond Foster completed just 3-of-11 passes for 86 yards but the Tigers picked up 73 yards on two more completions off trick plays on a fake punt and a wide receiver pass. K’Drian Cartwright had two huge catches for 75 yards that stung the Mustangs.

The Mustangs jumped on a Silsbee turnover to grab the lead 21-14 early in the third quarter.

Silsbee return man Kyriq fumble to kickoff to open the second half at the Tiger 25 with Mustang Dontrey McClain pouncing on the loose leather.

Gales promptly zipped for a 10-yard gain and Terrell found Thompson along the left side for a 13-yard pass. Terrell would do the “honors” as he zipped two yards around the right side for his third touchdown of the night with 11:37 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers answered with a seven-play, 60-yard drive but they ended up settling for a field goal. Taylor carried five times for 54 yards as Silsbee got all the way to the Mustang 13. The WO-S defense buckled down and the Tigers got a 30-yard field goal from Diego Carreon Gonzalez to make it 21-17 with 7:11 in the third.

Chris Martin picked off a Terrell pass at the Tiger 14 and returned it to the Tiger 33 with 5:26 in the third but the Mustangs quickly forced the Tigers into a three-and-out.

After getting good field position at the Tiger 43 it took the Mustangs just five plays to find the end zone.

Gales had three carries for 41 yards on the drive. He broke loose for a 19-yard scamper thanks to a big pancake block by lineman Quincy Ledet and he capped it with a brilliant 21-yard touchdown run off the right side in which he juked a Silsbee defender for the score to push the WO-S lead back up to 28-17 with 2:28 in the third.

The Tigers stayed alive after a 27-yard fake punt pass from Antonius Arline to K’drian Cartwright that went to the Mustang 31. The WO-S defense held firm and Carreon Gonzalez came through with a booming 48-yard field goal with 6:59 remaining to trim it to 28-20.

After holding WO-S to a three-and-out, the Tigers zipped 59 yards in three plays. They used a trick play when Foster tossed it backwards to receiver Shan Gilder who then threw a 46-yard pass to Martin along the left side that got to the Mustang 13. After the Mustangs were called for pass interference on the next play, Martin bolted into the end zone from two yards out. Foster then connected with Ayden Bell on the two-point conversion pass to tie it at 28-28 with 4:36 remaining.

The first half was a battle for sure as the two teams went back into the locker rooms tied 14-14. The Mustangs outgained the Tigers 179-124 in the first 24 minutes.

The Mustangs drove from their own 25 to the Silsbee 43 on the first series of the night but Silsbee stuffed Gales on a fourth-and-1 rush from the Tiger 43.

Silsbee capitalized on a WO-S miscue to hit paydirt midway through the first quarter.

The Mustangs turned the ball over at their own 26 that Silsbee defensive end Sam Roundtree fell on after a backwards pass was mishandled.

The Tigers found the end zone six plays later. Foster had a big 12-yard pass to Gilder that gave the Tigers a first down at the Mustang 15 on a third-and-11 play. Four plays later Taylor bolted up the middle for a five-yard touchdown dart. Carreon Gonzalez made the extra-point as the Tigers snared a 7-0 lead with 5:58 in the first quarter.

The Mustangs responded nicely on the next series as Terrell led a 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

Gales had a huge 31-yard scamper on the march that got to the Tiger 23. Terrell completed three passes for 22 yards on the drive including a huge 12-yard pass over the middle to Thomas that got to the Tiger 9. Three plays later on third-and-goal from the 8, Terrell took off on a hard-earned eight-yard touchdown keeper up the middle for the touchdown. Angel Ibarra drilled the extra-point to tie the game at 7-7 with 0:44 left in the first quarter.

Silsbee countered with a quick seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive. The big play was a perfectly placed 48-yard pass from Foster to Cartwright that went all the way to the Mustang 27. The Tigers then ran six times for the final 27 yards and Foster capped it with a one-yard touchdown sneak with 9:01 in the half to put Silsbee up 14-7.

Jacob Dominguez returned a punt 39 yards down the right sideline for the Mustangs that got to the Tiger 27 with 2:17 in the half. However, on the next play Terrell was picked off by the Tigers’ Antonius Arline at the Silsbee 10 and he returned it back to the Tiger 42.

Silsbee would promptly return the favor when Foster was picked off by Mustang defensive back Artavious Samuel on the very next play, who made a great leaping interception before it hit the ground at the Mustang 24 with 2:00 left in the half.

After Silsbee failed on trying to hit the big play and turned it over, the Mustangs cashed in on an excellent 10-play, 76-yard scoring drive as the play-calling was excellent and the timeouts the WO-S staff was able to utilize well, worked out nicely.

Gales received a screen pass from Terrell and gained 11 yards on the play plus 15 more yards via a Tiger facemask on the play to give the Mustangs the ball at the Tiger 38.

Gales eventually had a 12-yard bullish run to the Tiger 21 and on third-and-4 from the 15, Gales bruised his way up the middle for a another 12-yard gain to the 3. Two plays later Terrell snuck it in from a yard out for his second touchdown of the night to put the game even at 14-14 with just 0:44 in the half.

Gales rushed for 89 yards on 12 carries in the first half. Terrell completed 8-of-13 passes for 79 yards. Jerrold Brown, Jr. had three catches for 33 yards.

Foster completed 2-of-6 passes for 60 yards in the half for the Tigers. Martin had 30 yards on nine carries while Martin had 25 yards on six totes.