NEDERLAND — Using a good old-fashioned running game, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, behind a monstrous effort by senior running back Quintavious Garrett and a nice performance by the offensive line, manhandled Nederland 33-13 at Bulldog Stadium in the season opener.
Garrett not only set a WO-S school record in the rushing department, he put one of the best Orange County performances off all-time as he dashed through the Nederland defense for an astonishing 317 yards on 26 carries and scored four touchdowns.
"Quintavious, what a performance," said Mustang head coach Dan Hooks. "It's one of those moments when you just want to sit back, eat some popcorn and watch the show."
Hooks was thrilled with the performance of the offensive line as well.
"Those kids did a super job," Hooks said. "They opened up some daylight and then Quintavious did the rest, running through tackles."
Garrett was proud of the accomplishment.
"Our offensive line deserves a lot of credit," Garrett said. "They opened up a lot of holes and once I got through them, I'm pretty hard to bring down."
The Mustangs piled up 455 yards of total offense and WO-S slowed down a Bulldog offense that could muster just 199.
Mustang quarterback Ortavious Hypolite rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries and scored on a sneak. He completed 7-of-14 passes for 77 yards.
Nederland quarterback Kirby Bellow completed 11-of-29 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Asa Cardenas hauled in five receptions for 135 yards.
"Defensively, we did a great job against a darn good offense," said Hooks. "We had one big mistake on one play in the first half but everything else was outstanding.
With the exception of one big play in the first half, the Mustang "Chain Gang" defense stifled the Bulldogs and Garrett ran wild, carrying the leather 10 times for 131 yards and two touchdowns as the Mustangs snared a 12-7 lead after the first 24 minutes.
It would be the Bulldogs that hit pay dirt first.
Nederland junior quarterback Kirby Bellow, who was just 5-for-14 in the first half, hit receiver Asa Cardenas, an all-district 22-4A selection a year ago, on a 51-yard scoring strike down the left sideline after Cardenas isolated a WO-S defender and broke free wide open as the Bulldogs snatched a 7-0 lead with 3:34 remaining in the first period.
The Mustangs, behind the legs of Garrett, utilized a 10-play, 75-yard scoring march that started with 3:34 left in the first and ended in the end zone with 11:22 left in the half. Garrett carried four times for 51 yards on the series and capped it with a beautiful 36-yard touchdown run along the right sideline after breaking two Nederland tackles prior to the line of scrimmage. The Mustangs missed the extra-point kick and trailed 7-6.
WO-S took advantage of a Nederland turnover when the Mustangs sniffed out a draw and forced Bulldog running back Wareall Grogan to cough up the ball at the Nederland 32 with 10:21 left in the half as Mustang defensive back Curtis Rose plopped on the loose ball.
It took just two plays for the Mustangs to find the end zone again as Garrett electrified the crowd even more than he did on his first TD gallop when he crushed his way up the middle, broke away from three would-be Bulldog tacklers and barreled into the end zone from 29 yards out. After a failed two-point conversion run, the Mustangs held a 12-7 cushion with 9:28 left in the half.
WO-S took its first possession of the contest from their own 31 to the Bulldog 28 but Hypolite was hit hard and Bulldog linebacker Nick Cardenas snagged the fumble at the 28.
The Mustangs outgained the Bulldogs 171-80 in the first half behind the effort of Garrett and Hypolite, who had nine carries for 34 yards. Hypolite was 1-of-7 and passed for five yards.
The Bulldogs had a negative six yards rushing in the half and could only accumulate two first downs.
The Mustangs took the opening kickoff in the second half and zipped 86 yards in eight plays to go up 19-7.
Hypolite hit receiver Josh Gloston on a nice 21-yard pass that got down to the Nederland 12 and Garrett, who had 39 yards on five totes in the series, finished things off with with a 12-yard touchdown run around left end. And Justin Sparrow's extra point was good to give the Mustangs a 19-7 edge with 8:34 left in the third.
The Mustangs burned the Bulldogs with a nine-play, 91-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth period with Garrett hauling the ball five times for 60 yards, including a 51 yard burst down the right side. Hypolite hit receiver James Haynes with a 17-yard pass to the Bulldog 7 and Hypolite capped it with a 1-yard sneak to make it 26-7 with 8:04 remaining.
Nederland marched the ball 76 yards in five plays to draw to within 26-13 as Bellow threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jude Vidrine.
The Mustangs answered right back, motoring 80 yards in six plays and Garrett thrilled the crowd again with a 49-yard scoring burst off right tackle to make it 33-13 with 3:41 left.
The Mustangs will host Orange County rival Little Cypress-Mauriceville next week.
Ned7 0 0 6 — 13
WO-S 0 12 7 14 — 33
Nederland - Asa Cardenas 51 pass from Kirby Bellow. Taylor Trahan kick.
WO-S - Quintavious Garrett 36 run. Kick failed.
WO-S - Garrett 29 run. Run failed.
WO-S - Garrett 12 run. Justin Sparrow kick.
WO-S - Ortavious Hypolite 1 run. Sparrow kick.
Nederland - Jude Vidrine 7 pass from Bellow. Pass failed.
WO-S - Garrett 47 run. Sparrow kick.
First downs 9 20
Rushes-yards 15-9 46-388
Passing 190 77
Comp-Att-Int 11-29-0 7-14-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 2-15 3-35
RUSHING—WO-S, Garrett 26-317; Hypolite 15-53, Darius Robinson 1-9, Kevin Robinson 1-8, James Haynes 3-1; Nederland, Wareall Grogan8-14, Bellow 8-(-5).
PASSING— WO-S, Hypolite 7-14-77; Nederland, Bellow 11-29-190
RECEIVING—WO-S, Josh Gloston 3-39, Trey Franks 3-21, Haynes 1-17; Nederland, Cardenas 5-135, Vidrine 2-13, Brent Salenga 2-6, Jimmy Swain 1-23, Carlton Robinson 1-13.