The game was the first contest in district Friday night between the West Orange-Stark Mustangs and the Silsbee Tigers, but it could represent the game to decide the district title. The Mustangs made a second half rally to defeat the Tigers 17-9 at Tiger Stadium.
West Orange-Stark (4-1, 1-0) struggled offensively but took advantage of good field position to score all of its points. Silsbee (2-3, 0-1) dominated the first half, but failed to score in the second half until the final play of the game.
Trailing 7-0 on its second possession of the second half West Orange-Stark forced a Silsbee punt and took the ball at the Tigers’ 42. Elijah Gales picked up a first down to the 23 and then earned another first with an 18-yard run to the five.
Ja Quailon Chaney scored on the next play. The point after by Angel Ibarra tied the game with 6:45 to go in the third.
Jadon Jones made the first of his two interceptions and added a great return to the Silsbee 17. Gales gave the Mustangs a first-and-goal at the three. Jerren Terrell was sacked back to the 14 before he gained three yards to the 11.
On third and goal Terrell threw a fade rout to Jayson Zeigler, Jr. in the back left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Ibarra’s kick put West Orange-Stark on top for the first time 14-7 just 51 seconds into the final quarter.
The Mustangs got some insurance after the second interception by Jones gave them the ball at the Silsbee 49. Chaney broke loose for 20 yards to give West Orange-Stark a first down at the 32.
Terrell and Zeigler teamed up again for a 23-yard completion that gave the Mustangs a first-and-goal at the ten. That was close enough for West Orange-Stark to call on its all-state kicker Ibarra to boot a 25-yard field goal that gave the Mustangs a two score advantage 17-7 with only 4:56 to play in the game.
Silsbee got a meaningless safety as the game expired. Terrell allowed himself to be tackled in the end zone as the clock ran out.
The West Orange-Stark defense shut down the vaunted running game of the Tigers in the second half. “The Chain Gang” held Silsbee to just 26 yards on the ground in the second half and without a first down in the half until less than five minutes were left in the game.
Silsbee used its running game to take the initial lead. Taking over at their 28 the Tigers used eight running plays to drive for the touchdown. Dralyn Taylor had two first down runs of 16 and 14 yards to move the ball into Mustang territory.
After three more runs the Tigers faced a fourth-and-four at the Mustang 36. Taylor almost broke the next play to the house before being hauled down at the 8 by the Mustangs. Two plays later Taylor scored from the 8 with 42 seconds gone in the second quarter. The point after made it 7-0 in favor of Silsbee. There was no further scoring in the first half.
Taylor rushed for 84 yards in the game, but 79 of those yards were in the first two quarters. Quarterback Raymond Foster of Silsbee had a tough night completing only 4 of 17 for 51 yards with three interceptions.
West Orange-Stark on the hand had no running game in the first half. The Mustangs ran the ball 12 times for only 21 yards. They finished with 98 yards in the game on the ground. Gales was the leading Mustang rusher with 63 yards on 12 carries.
Terrell did throw for 149 yards completing 11 of 19 passes with no interceptions. Zeigler was on the receiving end of six of those passes for 66 yards.
Next week is the bye for West Orange-Stark. The Mustangs play again October 25 for Homecoming against Hardin-Jefferson. The Silsbee Tigers play next Friday at Sour Lake against the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
-photo by Jarrod Brown, KOGT-
WOS 0 0 7 10- 17
SILS 0 7 0 2- 9