The Mustang Broncos officially kick off the 2023 season tonight at Bronco Stadium, hosting the Southmoore Sabercats in the season opener for the second straight season.
Check out the action tonight at www.MHSBroncoSports.TV and on the MSR Facebook page. Owner and writer Trey Hunter will be doing color commentary along with play-by-play host Ryan Booth for the livestream on Mustang’s YouTube page.
- WHO: Mustang Broncos (0-0) vs Southmoore Sabercats (0-0)
- WHEN: Tonight at 7 p.m.
- WHERE: Bronco Stadium in Mustang
- LAST MATCHUP: Mustang 57, Southmoore 26 (2022)
- 2022 RECORDS: Mustang (8-3), Southmoore (1-9)
- HOW TO WATCH: www.MHSBroncoSports.TV
Now let’s take a look at some headlines and what to watch for leading up to tonight’s matchup.
MUSTANG QB BATTLE
Mustang’s quarterback room is stacked. So much so that four players all have a chance to win the starting job, and all are talented enough to lead a state playoff run.
Who comes out on top? Trajan Williamson (Jr.), Jake Blice (Sr.), Mikey Gow (Jr.), or Tyson Pogi (Fr.)? Williamson has already been named the starter in the team’s ‘Draft’ package, but it has still yet to be revealed who will take the very first snap. Find out tonight at 7 p.m.
RETOOLED MUSTANG OFFENSE
It’s no secret, the Broncos are a tad inexperienced on the offensive side of the ball entering 2023. They graduated a three-year starter at quarterback, two Division-1 receivers, three college running backs, and three offensive linemen.
However, Lee Blankenship’s squad has retooled. The team is still littered with talent, including the Johnson twins – Jaden and Jaytee, who saw playing time last year as freshmen. Each is capable of producing the same caliber career as older brother Jacobe, who now plays for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Bryance Sanders (Sr.) will step into the lead back role while L.B. Hayes (Sr.) takes the next step and becomes more of a primary target at receiver. Austin Reed (Sr.) and Sam Pritz (Sr.) lead the charge up front. But who else steps up? Who makes a name for themselves and their squad this fall? Find out, starting tonight.
GAINES’ BLACK CLOUD DEFENSE
Waleed Gaines takes over as Mustang’s new defensive coordinator this season and is excited about the ‘Black Cloud’ mentality his unit has played with this spring and summer.
Russell Zolicoffer (Sr.) will be an anchor on Mustang’s defensive line this fall. He finished with 66 total tackles in 2022 and is looking to add to that number this year. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
With returners such as linebacker Caston “Bear” Meadows (Sr.), safety Zach Warren (Sr.), and corner Waleed Gaines Jr. (Jr.), Mustang’s defense has much more experience to fall back on than its offensive counterpart.
There are roles to fill, however, and the Broncos have plenty of talent ready to jump at the opportunity. Who will step up and help lead the Bronco defense? Stay tuned.
When Southmoore coach Jake Monden took over the Sabercats program last year, he wanted to create a culture and brand the school district and community could rally around.
“The culture is changing with some of the things we are doing,” Monden said. “I believe in relationships, and I want our guys to know everyone in the program from the peewee ranks to the varsity. That’s a big deal for us something we want to build around.”
The Sabercats won just one game last year, but Monden can already see the trajectory of his program shifting. Expect a much more improved squad this season with more players and an established core to help lead the way.
Caston “Bear” Meadows (Sr.) is back at linebacker after finishing second on the team in total tackles in 2022. He leads a talented defense looking to be the catalyst for another playoff run.
L.B. Hayes (Sr.) racked up over 500 receiving yards for the Broncos in 2022 and is ready to become more of a primary threat.
Bryance Sanders (Sr.) has turned himself into starting varsity running back over the last two seasons and is ready to have a breakout campaign to cap his career.
Cruz Campbell (So.) is back at quarterback for Southmoore and is ready to take the next step in his career. He passed for over 2,400 yards last season with 29 touchdowns.
Xavier Terrell (Jr.) is a player Southmoore’s coaching staff says to keep an eye on. He hits the gridiron for the first time after not playing last season. He is a track star for the Sabercats in the spring.
Last year, the Broncos put up 478 total yards at Moore Schools Stadium in a 57-26 win over the Sabercats. Although Southmoore has improved and the Broncos have retooled up and down the roster, this year’s result shouldn’t change.
Watch for a dominant rushing attack as Mustang looks to establish the line of scrimmage. Possibly 150-plus rushing yards for the Broncos. Also, the ‘Black Cloud’ defense comes away with two turnovers.
MUSTANG 42, SOUTHMOORE 17