The Mustang Broncos open the 2023 Class 6A-1 playoffs tonight with a first-round matchup against the Westmoore Jaguars at Moore Schools Stadium.
The Broncos (6-4, 3-4) are riding the momentum of a two-game win streak to end the regular season, which included a Week 9 victory over Edmond North and a 36-30 win over Edmond Memorial in Week 10.
Both wins helped lock up the fifth seed from District 2.
Westmoore (6-4, 5-2) rebounded from a Week 9 loss to Norman North with a 42-13 win over Southmoore in Week 10. The Jaguars put together a four-game win streak in the middle part of the season before losing two of their final three.
Let’s dive into the matchup.
- WHO: Mustang Broncos (6-4, 3-4 D2) vs Westmoore Jaguars (6-4, 5-2 D1)
- WHEN: Tonight at 7 p.m.
- WHERE: Moore Schools Stadium at 911 E. Main St. in Moore, OK
- LAST MATCHUP: Westmoore 41, Mustang 21 (2019)
- WATCH LIVE: Watch live at www.MHSBroncoSports.TV as play-by-play host Ryan Booth and the MSR’s Trey Hunter bring you the action from the press box.
- LISTEN LIVE: Listen to Chris Needham’s call at 99.7 The Wolf FM.
The Broncos have faced their share of adversity this season, including losing starting quarterback Trajan Williamson (Jr.) and starting safety Zach Warren (Sr.) to season-ending injuries.
They suffered through four straight losses after starting the season with four straight wins and still found a way to cap the season with two victories to ensure a playoff spot.
Not to mention a freshman signal caller – Tyson Pogi – gets thrown into the mix. Mustang was already a tad young and inexperienced entering the season.
Talk about growth. Coach Lee Blankenship praised his squad’s no-quit attitude after its Week 10 over Edmond Memorial as it was much deserved.
Pogi and the offense came together over the second half of the season and, at times, the Broncos have flashed firepower all defenses in Class 6A-1 would have trouble stopping.
Charles Rangel-Lucio (Sr.) breaks up a pass during Mustang’s 36-30 win over Edmond Memorial last week at Bronco Stadium. Rangel-Lucio is one of many Mustang defensive backs set to take on a speedy Westmoore offense tonight at Moore Schools Stadium. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Bryance Sanders (Sr.) and Jack Vaughn (Sr.) have dazzled as a 1-2 punch out of the backfield while Jaden Johnson (So.) and L.B. Hayes (Sr.) have provided experience and playmaking ability at receiver.
The offensive line has arguably played its best football late in the season.
Defensive coordinator Waleed Gaines has done a nice job adjusting this season, especially after losing Warren out of the secondary.
The Mustang defense seems to make stops when the team needs it most. Caston “Bear” Meadows has been the catalyst for the unit at middle linebacker, helping lead a young corps littered with sophomore talent.
The team’s defensive line is led by Louie Jones (Jr.), Russell Zolicoffer (Sr.), and Michael Johnson (Sr.), a trio that rarely leaves the field. They make their impact felt when they’re able to pressure the passer, especially with three or four rushers.
Waleed Gaines Jr. (Jr.) leads a young, but talented secondary into a tough matchup against the Jags. Tayten Duncan (So.), Kobe Moss (Sr.), Charles Rangel-Lucio (Sr.), Blaine Fulmer (Jr.), and Alan Lopez (Sr.) have all mixed in the rotation this season and have made impact plays along the way.
The Jaguars are led offensively by senior quarterback and University of Houston-commit MJ Graham.
He has put up outstanding performances all season, including a five-touchdown game against Enid where he passed for 168 yards with four scores while rushing for 114 yards with one touchdown.
Graham also showed his dual threat ability with four scores against Yukon early in the season, racking up 373 total yards in a blowout win. He is also one of the best defensive backs in the state and his brothers, Mishaun and Courtney, are also dynamic playmakers.
Also, watch out for Mykel Patterson-McDonald in Westmoore’s secondary.
The Jaguars, led by head coach Lorenzo Williams, averaged just over 29 points per game during the regular season, topping out at 54 points against Yukon. They scored 42 three times vs Broken Arrow, Enid, and Southmoore.
The team’s defense is allowing over 32 points per game, but played well against Southmoore in Week 10, allowing just 13. The Jags gave up 78 to the high-powered Bixby Spartans on Oct. 20 and 49 to Union in Week 1.
PREDICTION: MUSTANG 35, WESTMOORE 29
I’m feeling good about this one.
Mustang’s offense has really come together over the last three weeks and has consistently put together well-balanced drives that lead to scoring opportunities. The problem has been taking advantage of those chances, avoiding penalties, and scoring touchdowns rather than field goals.
However, I predict offensive coordinator Cody McDaniel will have a great game plan drawn up not only for driving the field, but also for the red zone and situations deep in Westmoore territory.
I also predict Mustang’s defense to have its best performance of the season. Caston Meadows said after last week’s win that he wasn’t ready for his season to be over. Watch for him to have a big game as well as sophomore receiver Jaden Johnson.