Mustangs snag nice road win over Newton, 40-26

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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NEWTON – Surviving a tough night from the zebras and the yellow hankies, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs snared a solid 40-26 road win over Class 3A power Newton Friday night.

The Mustangs (2-1) could have put the game away much sooner against the Eagles (2-1) but WO-S penalties kept Newton in the hunt most of the night.

The Mustangs were flagged a whopping 17 times for 154 yards.

WO-S outgained Newton 256-211 for the night.

Mustang quarterback Jayson Ziegler, Jr. completed 6-of-13 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 71 yards and a score on nine totes. Running back Elijah Gales zipped for 71 yards on nine totes and two touchdowns and also returned a fumble for a score and had two catches for 43 yards.

Newton standout running back Deanthony Gatson, who had over 200 yards on the ground in each of the first two games this season, led the Eagles with 131 yards on 21 carries and scored twice. Eagle quarterback Maliek Woods completed 3-of-9 passes for 13 yards. The Eagles were flagged seven times for 35 yards.

The Mustangs walked into intermission with a 20-14 lead despite shooting themselves in the foot with nagging penalties. WO-S was flagged 10 times for 90 yards in the first half, which enabled the Eagles to stay in striking distance.

The Mustangs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard on the game’s first series as they zipped 52 yards in five plays to hit paydirt.

Zeigler, Jr. bolted 30 yards on the first rush of the night down to the Newton 22. Four plays later Zeigler took the honor, taking a quarterback draw up the middle for a 11-yard touchdown dart.

Cristian Quiteno Polio booted the extra point as the Mustangs led 7-0 nearly halfway through the first quarter.

The Eagle defense held firm on the next two WO-S possessions after the Mustangs got into the red zone twice.

WO-S took advantage of a Newton miscue to go up 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Eagles had a punt snap go over the punter’s head as WO-S took over at the Newton 16. Three plays later Zeigler tossed a swift pass to Jailen Brown on the left side and Brown broke two tackles and got into the corner of the end zone to make it 14-0 with 6:44 in the half.

The Eagles got excellent field position on the next series at midfield after a personal foul by the Mustangs. Two plays later the Mustangs were called for another personal foul and on the next play Gatson barreled up the middle for a 35-yard touchdown gallop. The two-point conversion run was stuffed as the Eagles trimmed it to 14-6 with 5:08 in the half.

Newton also took advantage of a Mustangs’ special teams snafu after a low snap on a punt enabled the Eagles to take over at the Mustang 27. Newton running back Trinis Wash capped it off with a leaping catch over two Mustang defenders along the left side of the end zone as Woods lofted one up. Gatson bowled into the end zone for the two-point conversion run as the Eagles tied it 14-14 with 1:34 in the half.

The Mustangs responded well though.

Jadon Jones brought back the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Newton 30 on a great run.

Zeigler spotted receiver Darren Anderson wide-open across the middle that would have been a 30-yard touchdown strike. However, the Mustangs were called for holding and it was negated.

Zeigler wasn’t rattled though when he found Dontrey McClain on a 33-yard pass as McClain made a great snag along the right side to stay in bounds that got to the Eagle 2. Gales capped it when he scored on a two-yard blast up the middle. A bad snap hampered the Mustangs on the point-after attempt as they led 20-14 with 0:59 in the half.

The Mustangs outgained the Eagles 161-65 in the half.

Zeigler rushed for 63 yards on six carries and completed 4-of-10 passes for 77 yards. Gales rushed for 21 yards on four totes and hauled in a 37-yard pass.

Gatson had 51 yards on seven carries for the Eagles. Woods completed both of his pass attempts for 17 total yards as Wash had the big one for 17 yards.

Both defenses were outstanding in the third quarter but the Mustangs finally got something going late in the third and early on the fourth.

They went on a eight-play, 53-yard scoring drive. The Mustangs gained 47 of those yards on the ground and Dakarion Judge, who was so big in the return game all night, cashed it in for WO-S he took a reverse and flew around the left side for a 23-yard touchdown, making it 26-14 with 10:57 remaining.

The Eagles pulled to within 26-20 with a six-play, 70-yard drive. Gatson broke loose for a 15-yard gain and another personal foul on the Mustangs on the play set up the Eagles at the WO-S 7. Two plays later Gatson bulled his way in from the one, trimming the Mustang lead to six with 8:10 left.

WO-S answered right back. Judge brought back the ensuing kickoff 49 yards to the Eagle 36 and on the very next play Gales cruised his way to a 36-yard touchdown gallop, pushing it 33-20 with 7:15 remaining.

Gales scored his third touchdown of the night when he scooped up a fumble by Woods after a sack and returned it 42 yards to help seal it for the Mustangs, making it 40-20 with 6:06 left.

The Eagles got a big 53-yard touchdown run by Jaden Hunter with 3:30 left.

The Mustangs will return to Hooks Stadium next week when they crank up District 11-4A Division II action against Hamshire-Fannett.