Mustangs zip past Bobcats to roll up 60th straight district win

Published 1:04 am Saturday, October 16, 2021

By Van Wade

Orange Leader

ORANGEFIELD – Utilizing the legs of senior standout tailback Elijah Gales, a stout defensive performance and taking advantage of two Orangefield special team mistakes, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs increased their district winning streak to 60 games Friday night as they rolled to a 27-7 District 11-4A Division II victory over the Bobcats at F.L. McLain Stadium.

Gales zipped through the Bobcat defense for 177 yards and three touchdowns along with a two-point conversion as he powered the Mustangs (6-1, 4-0).

WO-S limited a stout Orangefield (5-2, 2-1) rushing attack to 179 total yards. The Bobcats rushed the ball 52 times for 175 yards and had four yards passing.

The Mustangs totaled 295 yards. They had 32 rushes for 297 yards and a minus two yards in the air.

WO-S used a short field to score two of their TDs after bad snaps on Bobcat punts.

Gavin Perry-Koci led the Bobcat ground arsenal with 68 yards on 13 carries. Cameron Dischler had 63 yards on 13 carries and fullback Hunter Ashworth finished with 58 yards on 18 totes. Bobcat quarterback Brayden Parker completed 1-of-9 passes for four yards.

Dakarion Judge had 62 yards on two carries and helped set up WO-S’ first score with a 61-yard run. Mustang quarterback Keyshawn Robinson completed 3-of-9 passes for minus two yards and ran for 30 yards on five carries.

After a one hour and 15-minute lightning delay, the game cranked up at 8:45 p.m.

The Bobcats caught the Mustangs off guard on the opening kickoff when Bobcat Mason Howton pounced on a pooch kick at the Mustang 46.

Orangefield got to the Mustang 32 but WO-S held firm, bringing down Parker for a four-yard loss.

The Mustangs then zipped 64 yards in just four plays to snare the game’s first score.

After suffering a 16-yard loss on a bad snap, WO-S recovered nicely when Dakarion Judge took a short pitch and raced 61 yards down the left side to the Bobcat 19. Two plays later Gales bolted off the left side for a 14-yard touchdown dart. The extra-point kick failed as the Mustangs led 6-0 with 6:16 left in the first quarter.

The Bobcats countered nicely on the ensuing drive to go up 7-6 as they navigated 66 yards in just six plays to hit paydirt.

Dischler, playing at Wildcat Quarterback, broke loose on a 44-yard scamper all the way down to the Mustang 17.

Ashworth finished off the drive with some authority, getting a big eight-yard jaunt up the middle to the 1 and followed that up with a one-yard touchdown blast. Ty Butler nailed the extra-point to make it 7-6 with 2:38 in the first quarter.

The Mustangs were able to cash in on a Bobcat miscue.

Orangefield had a bad snap to Dischler on a punt attempt that ending up losing 16 yards as the Mustangs were able to set up shop at the Bobcat 24 with 10:58 left in the half.

Two plays later Gales popped a 13-yard touchdown run straight up the middle and he also added a two-point conversion run, giving the Mustangs a 14-7 edge with 10:32 in the half.

A couple of light poles went out at the stadium with 5:12 left in the half, causing about a 20-minute delay.

When play resumed, the Bobcats got a big 13-yard run from Ashworth and a 27-yard dart by Perry-Koci and got as far as the Mustang 33. However, the WO-S defense rose up and Judge picked off a Parker pass at the Mustang 16 on a fourth-down attempt with 3:05 in the half.

The Mustangs outgained the Bobcats 152-123 in the half.

Gales had 69 yards on eight carries. Judge had 61 yards on the one big rush. Robinson had 30 yards on five carries. He was 3-for-8 and had negative 2 yards passing.

Dischler had 53 yards on 10 carries. Perry-Koci collected 49 yards on 10 totes while Ashworth had 37 yards on nine carries. Parker was 1-for-6 in the air for 4 yards.

The Mustangs utilized Gales’ legs on their first series of the second half as they marched 89 yards in 11 plays.

Gales bolted off the right side for a 68-yard run down the sideline to the Bobcat 21. Jailen Brown had a nice gain of 8 that got to the 12. Gales had a hard-earned six-yard run to the 6 on fourth and 1. Brown capped it with a six-yard touchdown scamper off the right side. The Mustangs had a bad snap on the extra-point attempt but grabbed a 20-7 edge with six minutes left in the third.

WO-S capitalized on another bad Bobcat punt snap as Dischler was able to fall on the ball at the Bobcat 32, where the Mustangs took over.

WO-S cashed in immediately when Gales sprinted around the right side untouched for a 32-yard touchdown gallop. Cristian Quiteno Polio booted the extra-point, pushing it to 27-7 with 4:05 left in the third.

The Bobcats will make the short trek to Bridge City (3-4, 1-2) next week to face the Cardinals in the Bayou Bowl while the Mustangs return home to face the Liberty Panthers (4-3, 1-2)