Mustangs lose late to Jasper
Last updated 10/23/2023 at 1:58pm
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs lost another heartbreaker at Dan R. Hooks Stadium on Friday night. The Mustangs failed to hold a seventeen-point lead in the second half and lost 41-38 to the Jasper Bulldogs.
With the loss West Orange-Stark (4-5, 2-3) will be able to finish no better than fourth place in the district and will be forced to play the first place team in District 10-4A Division II which will most likely be Bellville which eliminated the Mustangs in last year's playoffs. Jasper (5-3, 3-1) could still make some noise in the district as the Bulldogs close the regular season at Silsbee (8-0, 4-0).
The game did not start well for the Mustangs as they fumbled the ball on their second play from scrimmage which was recovered by the Bulldogs. Jasper needed six plays to take the initial lead on a four-yard run by Ja'Keman Harris. A bad snap resulted in Harris trying a pass for the conversion which failed leaving the Bulldogs up 6-0 with a little over three minutes played.
The lead was extended to fourteen points when the Mustangs were forced to attempt a punt on their next possession and a low snap got away from punter Ja'Mikael Davis. After scooping the ball up Davis started to run and then threw a pass which was picked off by Jasper linebacker TyAnthony Smith who returned it for a touchdown. ZyKeelan Hadnot ran in the two point conversion making it 14-0 for the Bulldogs just six minutes into the game.
West Orange-Stark mounted a nice comeback scoring the next thirteen points. Jalen Gilmore broke off a 27-yard run for the first score and after a snap over the head of the Jasper punter gave the Mustangs the ball at the two Tahj Amerson used great second and third effort on a one-yard run to make the score 14-13 with 1:20 left in the initial quarter.
That was not all the scoring in the quarter as the Mustangs pooched kicked to their right where Jakharyn Parks fielded the ball at the 21. Parks put on a burst of speed splitting the WOS defenders and only needed to outrun their kicker which he did easily for a 79-yard touchdown. The point-after gave the Bulldogs a 21-13 lead with 69 seconds remaining in the first period.
Their next two possessions the Mustangs would drive about sixty yards both times to score. Marcus Turner completed a screen pass to Khelvy Jefferson who ran it 45 yards for a touchdown but the try for two failed and West Orange-Stark trailed 21-19 at 10:22 of the second quarter.
Nicholas Crosson intercepted a Jasper pass returning it to the Mustang 40. Jamarr O'Neal had runs of 14 and 12 yards sandwiched around a 24-yard burst by Gilmore that moved the ball to first and goal at the Jasper 10.
Two plays later Turner scored on a 3-yard run. The try for two failed but West Orange-Stark had its first lead of the game 25-21 with just over six minutes before the half.
The Mustang offense was rolling having scored on four straight possessions, but a holding penalty wiped out what would have been the fifth straight on a pass to Crosson. Another penalty on the Mustangs foiled the drive and Jasper got the ball back to close out the half with West Orange-Stark on top by four points.
The second half began with Jasper receiving the kickoff. A facemask penalty gave the Bulldogs a first down but two plays later Amerson stripped the Jasper runner of the ball and took off with it finally being corralled at the Bulldog 9.
Turner passed to William Pitre for a 9-yard touchdown. The kick by Alfonso Balderas increased the WOS advantage to 32-21 with 9:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Jasper fumbled the line drive kickoff from Davis which the Mustangs recovered at the Bulldog 46. Turner and Pitre teamed up again for a first down completion to the 34 of Jasper.
Two penalties on the Mustangs appeared to have stymied the drive and Davis setup in punt formation. Instead Ja'Mikael lofted a pass to Amyrian Scott who took it to the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown. The point after was blocked but West Orange-Stark had a comfortable seventeen point lead with just over five minutes left in the third period.
Jasper had only managed four first downs against the Mustang defense to that point in the game. Bulldog quarterback Isaiah Coleman started finding open receivers hitting Harris for 20 yards before connecting with Britain Simmons for a 59-yard catch and run for a touchdown just over a minute after the Mustangs long pass play for a score.
The momentum shifted and West Orange-Stark which had scored on six of its last seven possessions would not move the ball again until the closing seconds. Jasper would score on its first two drives in the fourth quarter on 8-yard pass from Coleman to Simmons and a 3-yard run by Payton Brooks after Coleman completed a 39-yard pass on fourth-and-twelve to Raja Garza-Adams.
West Orange-Stark had one last chance with about three and a half minutes left. A desperation pass from Turner was miraculously caught by Crosson inside the Jasper ten.
With no time outs left the Mustangs spiked the ball to stop the clock. It eventually came down to a final play from the Jasper 14 on which Turner was sacked by Tylon Garrett of the Bulldogs to end the game.
The Mustangs outgained the Bulldogs 329 total yards to 221 yards in the game. Jasper turned the ball over five times and West Orange-Stark lost two fumbles and the one pick six.
The two quarterbacks both threw for over a hundred yards. Marcus Turner of WOS was 13 of 25 for 165 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Isaiah Coleman of the Bulldogs completed 9 of his 22 passes for 156 yards with two touchdowns.
The leading rusher in the game was Jalen Gilmore of the Mustangs with 68 yards on 5 carries. Turner had the most carries with 19 good for 22 yards. Jasper got 31 yards on 9 carries from Payton Brooks, and Zykeelon Hadnot rushed ten times for 26 yards.
West Orange-Stark has its bye next week and will close out the regular season against Hardin-Jefferson in Sour Lake on Friday November 3. Jasper plays at home against Hardin-Jefferson next Friday before traveling to Silsbee on November 3.