Mustangs look strong hosting Nederland in Week 1; injured player sent to hospital

Published 12:18 am Saturday, August 27, 2022

WEST ORANGE — The Nederland Bulldogs took their lumps as they fell to West Orange-Stark 32-0 at Dan R. Hooks Stadium Friday.

While the team finished the game, play stopped for a few minutes in the second half when Nederland kick returner Isiah Hernandez went down with an injury after being slung to the ground. After several minutes, Hernandez was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Nederland Head Coach Monte Barrow said trainers believed the returner suffered a head injury and brought him to St. Elizabeth’s for further testing.

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“All the stuff with the neck and everything else was very precautionary,” Barrow said. “They were really more concerned with a head injury. They think he was probably concussed and you want to be safe with all of that.”

The coach said the injury took a toll on his players but he praised the way the Bulldogs kept fighting.

“Told the guys that we can’t simulate what you see on Friday night in practice,” Barrow said. “Sometimes the young guys, or inexperienced guys, have to get in there. We knew going into West Orange what they were about. They have a lot of team speed.”

Nederland quarterback Adam Trosclair throws the ball against WOS. (Mark Pachuca/Special to The News)

The team also had to overcome losing its center on the first possession to injury.

“We had some guys that had to play tonight that probably didn’t plan on getting as many reps as they did,” the coach said.

The Mustangs didn’t waste time as quarterback Keshawn Robinson and running back Jamaal Shaw broke several tackles on key runs to start the game.

The Bulldogs were down 20-0 at the halfway mark. WOS’s Jailen Brown finished off the season’s opening drive with a 1-yard plunge to give the Mustangs a 6-0 lead.

Nederland’s first possession was not fruitful, although they did convert two 3rd down passes. Quarterback Adam Trosclair was under constant pressure from the stunting WOS defense.

The home team scored quickly on their second possession, as Robinson broke free on a draw play 49-yard TD to extend the 1st quarter lead to 12-0. The Mustangs converted the 2-point play.

In the second quarter, Nederland and penalties were able to slow WOS. The Bulldogs recovered a fumble, but Piletere’s 45-yard FG attempt fell short.

Landen Caywood makes a tackle. (Mark Pachuca/Special to The News)

The Mustangs used the short field as a long run by Robinson got his team close enough for Brown to convert once more on the goal line score, giving WOS a 20-0 lead heading into halftime.

The bad breaks continued for the Bulldogs, who drove their way down to the 1-yard line to start the second half before a bad snap on fourth and goal gave the ball back to the Mustangs. A few plays later, Mustangs running back Raymond Mallett scored from 72 yards out to give WOS a 26-0 lead after a missed extra point.

Backup QB Marcus Turner threw a short pass to Dakarion Judge, who scampered 36 yards to end the scoring.

The Mustangs scored one more time and both teams ran out the clock in the fourth quarter.

The play of the game was…

In the third quarter, sophomore running back Mallett broke free for a 72-yard run to dash any hopes of a Bulldog comeback.

The game ball goes to…

The Mustangs rushing attack crushed the Bulldogs. WOS ran for for over 440 yards. Mallett led the charge with 144 yards.

Key stats…

Reeve Barrow had three catches for 57 yards.

Up Next…

The Bulldogs will travel to Memorial Stadium to play the Titans. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

— Charlie Jehlen contributed to this story.