Through four games played the West Orange-Stark Mustangs are undefeated on the season. The Mustangs had an impressive, 36-6, win on the road last week against the Silsbee Tigers.
Coach Cornel Thompson said this was the first game since the season opener against Newton where West Orange-Stark has played hard the full 48 minutes. He encouraged the players that good things happen when a team plays hard.
It was the biggest game of the season thus far for West Orange-Stark according to the coach. Thompson reminded, “Everybody thinks that’s the one that’ll decide the district, but we’ve still got three more games to play.”
Orangefield is the opponent this week for the Mustangs. Thompson talked about stopping the Bobcats’ ball-control Slot-T Offense. They do a good job with what they do in keeping the ball away from the opposing offense. Thompson does not want to kick off to Orangefield to start the game because the Mustangs may not get the ball back until the Bobcats put it in the end zone.
The leading Bobcat rusher is fullback Hunter Ashworth. He ranks fourth in the district with 361 yards on 68 carries and four touchdowns.
Running the offense for Orangefield is three-year starter Gunner Jones at quarterback. He has a trio of other running backs in Dwight Davis, Tyler Washington, and Cameron Dischler to hand the ball. All three have rushed for over 130 yards.
West Orange-Stark will need to start this game against the Bobcats like it did the last contest with Silsbee. “They’re a good football team, they’re up from 3-A where they were 9 and 2 last year, they’ve got some size, and they’re well coached,” Thompson stated.
The Bobcats’ offense may be their best defense, but Coach Thompson pointed out Orangefield has one of the top defenses in their district. They are a 4-3 defense with four downed linemen and three linebackers.
Thompson is impressed with the way the Bobcats run to the ball. They scrap the opposing ball carriers. To this point of the district schedule Orangefield and West Orange-Stark have only yielded 20 points apiece the fewest in the district.
The secondary for the Bobcats have been ball thieves so far this season. Tyler Washington leads the district with four interceptions and Tyler Shearin has a pair of picks.
Orangefield does use a number of players on both offense and defense. Thompson warned, “I’m very impressed with them and very concerned about how we’re going to perform against them.”
Every district game is important for the Mustangs who want to keep their momentum rolling. Thompson is interested to find out what kind of a football team he has this week. The Mustangs were pumped and ready to play last week against Silsbee. He is hoping they will repeat that intensity again this Friday night against Orangefield.
This game has just as much importance if not more than the Silsbee game because it is the next game. Thompson emphasized, “This is one that we’ve got to win.”
Thompson indicated some cases of the Coronavirus at West Orange-Stark have caused distractions and postponed the Homecoming activities that were scheduled for this week. Homecoming will be conducted in conjunction with Senior Night in three weeks during the game at home against Bridge City. “This week we shouldn’t be distracted from anything other than the fact that we’re not in school, and we’ve been disrupted by the COVID,” Thompson concluded.
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs and the Orangefield Bobcats play Friday night with the kickoff at 7:30 PM at Dan R. Hooks Stadium. Gary, John and Allen will broadcast live on KOGT and Texanlive.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-