Mustangs hold off Battlin’ Bears, 26-13

Published 12:41 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

By Van Wade
WEST ORANGE – After misfiring on a few golden opportunities in the first half, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs were able to hold off the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears 26-13 in a very competitive game for the Orange Bowl Friday night at Hooks Stadium.
The Mustangs (1-0), coming off a trip to the Class 4A Division II State Championship Game last year, sported a lot of new faces in their lineups Friday night but the youngsters rose up and made the plays when they had too to turn back the Bears (0-1), who fought hard for 48 minutes. LC-M is looking to make the playoffs for the third year in a row.
WO-S outgained the Bears 388-186 but was thwarted twice inside the LC-M five in the first half.
Mustang quarterback Jack Dallas completed 18-of-24 passes for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
WO-S receiver Keion Hancock ran for one score and caught one for another and finished with six catches for 90 yards. Running back Malech Edwards rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries and receiver KJ Miller caught three passes for 68 yards and a score.
“It definitely looked like a first football game, especially for a young football team like ours,” said WO-S coach Cornel Thompson. “We made some mistakes, especially in that first half but the kids got better and got into the flow of the game. Give the LC-M kids credit, they hung in there and made some good stops when they had too. I was happy with our offensive line tonight and hopefully those kids will improve from week to week and Jack (Dallas) was solid at quarterback and we showed tonight that we have a pretty good group of receivers.”
For the Bears, running back Chris Winters darted for 90 yards on eight carries, including a breakaway 60-yard gallop. Quarterback Beau Bickum passed for a score and ran for another. Sam King had two catches for 52 yards and a score.
“Defensively, I thought we held pretty good other than that long run by the Winters kid and the pass right before the half,” said Thompson. “We saw some plenty of positives and we have the potential to be a good ballclub before it’s all said and done.”
The Mustangs held a 14-7 lead at the half. The Battlin’ Bear defense rose up twice in stopping the Mustangs on first-and-goals in the first 24 minutes, stopping WO-S on two fourth down attempts and LC-M got a big play from its offense near the end of the half to get on the board after trailing 14-0.
The Mustangs navigated 62 yards in eight plays to hit paydirt on the first series of the game.
Dallas was 5-for-5 on the march, passing for 44 yards to five different receivers. Keion Hancock caped it off when he darted around left tackle and scooted to the end zone from eight yards out. Ryan Baham-Heisser booted the extra-point as WO-S snared a 7-0 lead with 9:25 left in the first quarter.
On their next drive, the Mustangs got all the way to the LC-M 9 and the Battlin’ Bear defense held the Mustangs out of the end zone with nice secondary play on three straight passes.
The Mustangs had 196 yards in the first half while the Bears had 102. Dallas was 12-of-15 for 143 yards. Hancock had four catches for 46 yards.
Chris Winters had seven carries for 30 yards for the LC-M ground attack.
The Mustangs head to The Reservation next week to take on the Port Neches-Groves Indians while the Bears return home to play host to the Barbers Hill Eagles.

West Orange-Stark 26, Little Cypress-Mauriceville 13
LC-M 0 7 6 0-13
WO-S 7 7 6 6-26
Scoring summary
WO-S: Keion Hancock 8 run. Ryan Baham-Heisser kick.
WO-S: Keion Hancock 26 pass from Jack Dallas. Baham-Heisser.
LC-M: Sam King 49 pass from Beau Bickum. Tyler Brown kick.
WO-S: KJ Miller 1 pass from Jack Dallas. Run failed.
LC-M: Beau Bickum 1 run. Kick blocked.
WO-S: Miller 17 pass from Dallas. Run failed.
Team Stats
First downs 21 6
Rushes-yards 34-174 33-134
Passing 214 52
Comp-Att-Int 18-24 2-6-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-45 4-20
Individual Stats
Rushing: WO-S, Malech Edwards 15-108, Jeremiah Shaw 6-28. LC-M, Chris Winters 8-90, J’Lon Douglas 10-31.
Passing: WO-S, Jack Dallas 18-24-0 220; LC-M, Beau Bickham 2-5-1 52, Chris Winters 0-1-0 0.
Receiving: WO-S, Keion Hancock 6-90, Thomas Wallace 4-28. LC-M, Sam King 2-52

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