WEST ORANGE —
West Orange-Stark’s salty non-district season is over and the Mustangs completed Phase I of their season unscathed.
Mustang quarterback Jimmy Salter hooked up with receiver J’Marcus Rhodes on two touchdowns passes in the first half and WO-S held Jasper scoreless until 58 seconds remained in the game as the Mustangs went on to post a 17-7 victory Friday night at Hooks Stadium.
Salter completed 12-of-24 passes for a season-high 219 yards and found Rhodes on scoring strikes of 49 and 13 yards. Both scoring plays came after the Mustang defense forced two turnovers.
Rhodes finished with three catches for 118 yards.
“We’re proud of the kids for going through a tough non-district schedule,” said Thompson. “We beat a pretty darn good Jasper bunch tonight and they’ll be in the playoffs down the road. Offensively and defensively, I thought we played an excellent first half. Getting the ball in the end zone quick there to start the game gave us some momentum.”
The Mustangs (4-0), ranked No. 10 in the state in Class 3A, finished with 272 yards of total offense. They managed just 53 yards on the ground on 25 carries. Salter finished as the leading rusher with 25 yards on 12 carries.
WO-S did give up a season-high 228 yards, 147 of it coming in the second half.
Jasper (3-1) quarterback Steven Walker completed 12-of-21 passes for 135 yards. Bulldog receiver Demarcus Collins hauled in six catches for 74 yards. Bulldog tailback Donovan Middleton finished with 62 yards on 14 totes. The Mustangs did get to Walker in the backfield, sacking him six times.
It was a penalty-filled affair. Jasper was flagged 13 times for 100 yards while the Mustangs picked up eight penalties for 95 yards.
“My biggest concern was the way we played the second half,” said Thompson. “We played some undisciplined football and that’s something we don’t like to do here. I told the kids after the game that we’ve got to learn how to finish. We should’ve had a shutout there, if it wasn’t for some silly mistakes. We’ll go to work on that Monday with Hamshire rolling in here next week.”
The Mustangs will host Hamshire-Fannett next Friday to open up District 21-3A. The Longhorns (2-2) roughed up Liberty 41-3 Friday night.
“A new whole phase starts up next week and we’ve got to be ready for it,” said Thompson. “We want the kids to fear no one and respect everyone. Our goal is to win another district championship and its going to be a week-to-week process. There will be no looking ahead.”
WO-S jumped ahead 17-0 with 2:51 left in the third quarter, getting a 22-yard field goal by kicker Rodrikson Cano.
The score was set up earlier when Salter and Rhodes teamed up on a 56-yard strike down the right sideline that got all the way down to the Bulldog 12.
The Mustangs cashed in on a pair of Bulldog turnovers in the first half to cruise into intermission with a 14-0 advantage.
On Jasper’s first series, Walker coughed up the ball to Mustang defensive lineman Jhayllien Monette at the Bulldog 49.
The Mustangs made the Bulldogs pay in a hurry.
WO-S’ first offensive play of the night was a beauty as Salter hit a streaking Rhodes on a deep route along the right side. Salter hit the speedy receiver in stride for a perfectly executed 49-yard bomb for a touchdown. Cano booted the extra-point as WO-S led 7-0 with 11:35 still left in the first period.
The Bulldogs were able to move 31 yards down to the Mustang 32 on their next series but Walker got sacked again.
Walker gave the Mustangs the ball back again with 8:59 left in the half thanks to the tandem of defensive end Colin Janice and Monette. Janice stormed through to sack Walker at the Bulldog 30 and Monette scooped it up and returned it to the 16.
Two plays later, Salter found a wide-open Rhodes in the right corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown strike.
The Mustangs had 136 total yards in the first half. Salter completed 6-of-13 passes for 91 yards with Rhodes hauling in two catches for 62 yards and the two scores while fellow receiver Chase Rutledge had four grabs for 29 yards. Salter also led the Mustangs with 30 yards on the ground.
Jasper managed just 81 yards in the half. Walker was 6-of-9 for 61 yards. Zachary Craig had three catches for 23 yards. The Bulldogs, however, managed just 20 yards rushing on 23 carries.
WO-S 7 7 3 0— 17
Jas 0 0 0 7 — 7
WO-S: J’Marcus Rhodes 49 pass from Jimmy Salter. Rodrikson Cano kick.
WO-S: Rhodes 13 pass from Salter. Cano kick.
WO-S: Cano 22 field goal.
First downs 12 16
Rushes-yards 25-53 41-93
Passing 219 135
Comp-Att-Int 12-24-0 12-21-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 5-2
Penalties-yards 8-95 13-100
Rushing: WO-S, Jimmy Salter, 12-25, Ar’Tevin McDonald 4-13, Abear Simien 2-5, Kane Tezeno 1-1 John Scott 4-11, Maurice Morris 1-0, Quinton Tezeno 1-(-2); Jasper, Donovan Middleton 14-62, Deroderick Hadnot 12-11, Terrence Cuney 5-42, Steven Walker 10-(-22).
Passing: WO-S, Jimmy Salter, 12-24-0 219; Jasper, Steven Walker, 12-21-0 135.
Receiving: WO-S, J’Marcus Rhodes, 3-118, Chase Rutledge 4-29, Will Johnson 1-23, Ra’shon McDonald 1-17, Dwain Boullard 2-24, Maurice Morris 1-8, Jasper, Demarcus Collins 6-74, Zachary Craig 3-23, Jonavan Limbrick 2-35, Shawn Jones 1-3.