It may have just been a scrimmage, but both the Vidor Pirates and West Orange-Stark Mustangs proved why they combined to play seven playoff games a season ago.
With many starters back on both sides of the ball after deep playoff runs last year, the Pirates and Mustangs were “laying the lumber” to each other at the WO-S Middle School Stadium Thursday night.
Both defenses applied plenty of pop as several highlight hits were made throughout the tussle, which Vidor “won” two touchdowns to one.
“I tell you what, both defenses were flying all over the place,” said Pirate coach Jeff Mathews. “That’s a typical West Orange team. They knocked the fire out of us. When they hit you, you automatically hear the noise of the hit. We had a few sore kids up here Friday morning. The best thing for us along with the Mustangs and Coach (Cornel) Thompson is that I think neither one of us walked away with any serious injuries. We love playing those guys in a scrimmage. Our coaching staffs are good friends and it’s always fun to see those guys.”
Thompson echoed the same sentiments.
“We scrimmage Vidor for a reason every year,” said Thompson. “Coach Mathews and his staff do an excellent job with their kids. They know exactly what they want to do and they do it well. They always like to play physical and so do we. There were a few snot bubbles handed out last night.”
With Vidor having nine defensive starters back on its defense off a team that went 10-3 and advanced to the Class 4A Region III Division 1 Semifinals and the Mustangs having seven back of their defense off a squad that went 10-4 and advanced to the Class 3A Region III Division II Finals, offensive yards were hard to come by.
Vidor standout quarterback Montana Quirante gave the Pirates a 7-0 edge with a short 5-yard scamper in the second quarter.
Mustang quarterback Jimmy Salter and receiver J’Marcus Rhodes quickly tied it on the next series, hooking up on about a 65-yard touchdown bomb down the right sideline.
The Pirates scored their second touchdown with a little less than four minutes in the game when T.J. Novak scored from four yards out.
Of course, for both teams, they is still plenty of room for improvement.
“In the first half, we jumped offsides on offense on about three third-and-1 situations,” said Mathews. “We basically gave them (WO-S) three mores possessions. Then we had the three turnovers, which definitely is a concern. But we knew coming in that West Orange could certainly create some of those. There is always something to work on and there is still plenty of time to correct it.”
“We had more penalties then what we’d like to see,” said Thompson. “But most of all, both teams got what they wanted out of the scrimmage, neither one of us got anyone seriously banged up. We’ve watched some film and we saw some kids that really stepped up and then there were some that we thought would perform better. We’ll work some more today (Friday) and start preparing for LC-M come Monday.”
High school football teams are wrapping up their scrimmage schedules and everything will kick off for real on Friday night.
The Mustangs will play host to LC-M Friday in yet another Orange County collision at Dan Hooks Stadium.
Vidor will open its 2012 campaign at Pirate Stadium Friday against Santa Fe.
LC-M traveled to Sour Lake Thursday, taking on both the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks and the Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs.
In the split scrimmage, the Battlin’ Bears first team offense scored a touchdown against Hardin-Jefferson. The Bears’ first team defense held Kelly scoreless.
The Bridge City Cardinals took on the Woodville Eagles in its last scrimmage in a battle that turned out to be a defensive slugfest.
Bridge City will open its season on the road against the Newton Eagles, ranked No. 4 in the Class 2A state rankings.
The Orangefield Bobcats took on the Hardin Hornets and the Liberty Panthers in a tri-scrimmage in Hardin late Friday night.
The Bobcats will hit the road Friday, opening their season in Winnie against East Chambers.