The West Orange-Stark Mustangs won the Orange Bowl last week against the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears. The game was close for a half before West Orange-Stark pulled away and won the game 36-14.
Coach Cornel Thompson was not pleased with how the Mustangs began the game, and told them so. West Orange-Stark did not play its game the first half. Thompson mentions the players immaturity as the cause for them not preparing themselves mentally for the game.
After a talk during the halftime the Mustangs came out and played much better for the last two quarters. Fortunately, there were no injuries for West Orange-Stark in the game. Thompson admitted, “Feelings is the only thing that was injured, we got a bunch of feelings hurt is the bottom line, everything else is ready to go.”
The Mustangs will need to be ready early this week as they travel to Newton. The Eagles are riding a 32-game winning streak. Included in those 32 wins are two state championships.
Thompson evaluated the Newton offense which is based out of the Wing-T. That is where it starts, but the coach points out the Eagles will shift their linemen to have three to one side of the center, four to one side, or even five to one side. If opponents do not adjust Newton will keep running it over the opposing defense. They will even run the Spread formation. Newton is extremely versatile on offense.
The Eagles are playing with a whole lot of confidence from their back-to-back state championships. At quarterback is Nate Williams. He was a backup last year. Williams is an abled body scrambler and can throw the football.
Two primary targets for passes from Williams are Dominque Seastrunk and Zach Gulley. Both are dangerous when they get the ball. “A lot of carryover value from a championship season,” Thompson reiterated.
Newton is as strong on defense as it is on offense. Many of the same players that star on offense are key players for the Eagles’ defense. Coach Thompson said the Eagles will be a big test for the Mustangs’ offense.
Two of the stalwarts on defense are the two exceptional receivers from the offense. Seastruck is a blanket in pass coverage at one corner. Gulley is a rover at free safety.
The defensive alignment for Newton is unusual and goes by different names. The Solo or Seven Diamond features a single linebacker behind a seven-man front. The Eagles are a pressure defense, stunting, running all over, to confuse opponents, and penetrate the opponent’s backfield for tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Thompson acknowledges the Eagles have a very good defensive football team that knows what they are doing. They are very difficult to score on or even move the ball against. Thompson advised, “You’re going to have to block them for 48 minutes.”
The keys going into the game are still the same as always for West Orange-Stark. The Mustangs must get themselves ready to play early, be physical, execute the offense, execute the defense, stay in the game for the full 48 minutes, and good things will happen according to Coach Thompson.
Friday’s game will feature two state ranked teams. Eyes will be on Newton, Texas to see this battle featuring a couple of the top high school football programs in Texas.
Great non-district games like this one are not uncommon for the Mustangs. Thompson believes opponents like Newton will get West Orange-Stark ready for the district games and further down the road the playoffs. “Win, lose, or draw we’re going to gain a lot out of this contest because it’s going it will be very special, and that’s why we lineup the non-district schedule that we do because it will prepare us for anything we’ll see down the road,” Thompson concluded.
KOGT will broadcast the game between the West Orange-Stark Mustangs and the Newton Eagles. The game will be aired live on Friday night with the kickoff at 7:30.