COLLEGE STATION —
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs battled all the way to the Sweet 16 in the State 7-on-7 Tournament Friday before falling.
WO-S, which had its best showing in a long time at the State Tournament, going 4-1, fell to Celina 33-26 to bow out of the tourney.
The Mustangs defeated Cameron Yoe 34-15 earlier Friday morning.
“Our kids competed and tried so hard throughout the competition,” said WO-S athletic director and head football coach Cornel Thompson. “We were tied at the half but had a couple miscues in the second half that we couldn’t quite overcome. It was a great two days for us though. This is the best we’ve done in quite awhile up there. Now it will be all about some real football coming up here pretty soon and the kids are all chomping at the bit for that to start up.”
The Mustangs were busy picking up some victories on Thursday, winning Pool I by defeating everyone in their pool and piling up more than 40 points twice.
WO-S took down Burnet 41-29 in their first tilt Friday. The Mustangs tightened up their defensive effort in their second game, downing Aubrey 22-12. They then held off Alpine 40-32 in their late game.
Both senior Jimmy Salter, who has started more than 20 games for the Mustangs, and sophomore Chase Rutledge shared time at the quarterback spot Thursday.
Salter directed the Mustangs in the first two victories while Rutledge passed it around in the win over Alpine.
“Jimmy (Salter) had a really good day throwing the ball around and hitting the receivers well,” said Thompson. “We thought that JaMarucs Rhodes and Deionte Thompson had excellent days at the receiver spots. This time of the summer, you find out real quick what kind of shape the kids are in. It’s really been a good thing for us.”
As later as the day wore on, it got tougher on the players, especially the defense.
“It’s a run-and-gun deal and defenses start getting on their toes and they press a little more, which creates more big plays,” said Thompson. “Defensively, we played really well, especially against Aubrey, but then we struggled a little bit and the offense made big plays for us to keep us in front.”
The Mustangs advanced to the State Tournament after winning their regional tournament held in Anahuac in late May.
The Mustangs defeated Liberty, who also advances to the State Tournament, 27-18 in the regional championship game.
The Mustangs also defeated Huffman 41-39 in their opener. They also defeated Jasper 36-12, Liberty 35-12 and Anahuac 26-2.