MOORE – Much like how they played all season, the Mustang Broncos wouldn’t go down without a fight.
The Broncos dug out of a 29-10 first-half deficit against the 6A-1 District 1 fourth seed Westmoore Jaguars on Friday night at Moore Schools Stadium, eventually cutting the lead to one score with 1:47 remaining.
Quarterback Jake Blice (Sr.), who helped guide the team’s offense against his former school, found L.B. Hayes (Sr.) for one of the senior wideout’s school-record 16 receptions in the game.
The 24-yard strike cut the deficit to five points, however, the Jags recovered Mustang’s ensuing onside kick try and later converted on fourth down to hand the Broncos a 43-38 playoff-ending loss.
Hayes’ career performance included 167 yards and the one score. He consistently found himself open against a secondary that included Houston-commit MJ Graham and Oklahoma-commit Mykel Patterson-McDonald, and provided a reliable safety net for both Blice and Tyson Pogi (Fr.).
Mustang linebacker/defensive end Michael Johnson (Sr.) looks for a play during the Broncos’ 43-38 loss to Westmoore last Friday night at Moore Schools Stadium. Johnson and the Broncos held the Jags to 439 total yards in the loss. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Blice entered the game in the first half but took over the offense in the second.
He went 14-for-20 for 197 yards with two touchdown passes, including the final play to Hayes and a 37-yard TD strike to Derek Straughn (So.) with 7:06 remaining. The Blice-to-Straughn score cut Westmoore’s lead to 43-31.
Bryance Sanders also helped lead Mustang’s late surge.
Bryance Sanders (Sr.) looks for a hole during Mustang’s 43-38 playoff loss to Westmoore last Friday at Moore Publics School Stadium. Sanders rushed for 140 yards with two touchdowns in his final high school game. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
The senior running back rumbled his way to 140 yards on 29 carries, including two touchdowns that helped Mustang stay within striking distance midway through the game.
He punched in a two-yarder in the second quarter and a three-yarder early in the third. Sanders broke the century mark with his performance, ending his senior campaign with 1,057 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Graham, who accounted for the bulk of Westmoore’s offensive production, rushed for the team’s first two touchdowns before hitting Zane Zielny and Jaden Hunter for a pair of TD strikes in the first half.
The future Cougar found Zielny again in the second half for a 10-yard TD before a kickoff return touchdown by Colton Bennett made it 43-24 early in the fourth.
The Broncos did a nice job containing Patterson-McDonald offensively, but the future Sooner did prove a problem defensively. He intercepted Blice in the end zone with 5:38 remaining, ending a promising drive for Mustang which could have tilted the final score.
Mustang scored its first points early in the second quarter on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Pogi to make it 15-7. Aiden Jordan (Jr.) drilled a 22-yard field goal as the first-half buzzer sounded.
Pogi went 10-for-13 for 126 yards in the first 24 minutes. Patkowski finished his career night with four catches for 91 yards.
Mustang wideout L.B. Hayes (Sr.) breaks through Westmoore’s defense during the Broncos’ 43-38 loss to the Jags last Friday night at Moore Schools Stadium. Hayes reeled in a school-record 16 receptions in the loss. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
- The Broncos moved the ball tremendously well, outgaining the Jags 503 to 439 in total yards. They were also stellar in stopping Westmoore’s speedy and explosive run game.
- The Jags rushed for 4.6 yards per play on 38 attempts and only completed 18 passes. Hayes nearly had more receptions himself.
- Mustang had opportunities to strike early and often, but costly mistakes and penalties helped determine the outcome. They were hit with eight flags for 70 yards with two turnovers, including an interception and a fumble. Although that wasn’t quite as bad as Westmoore’s 14 penalties for 137 yards.
- Both Blice and Pogi combined to go 24-for-33 for 323 with three touchdowns. Blice added 45 yards on the ground. It was a great performance by each signal caller.
Mustang quarterback Tyson Pogi (Fr.) delivers a pass during the first half of the Broncos’ 43-38 loss to Westmoore last Friday night at Moore Schools Stadium. Pogi passed for 126 yards with one touchdown in the loss. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
- The Broncos converted 11 of 16 attempts on third down while Westmoore went 8-for-15. Mustang tallied 28 first downs while the Jags totaled 22.
- Mustang had its best game of the season returning kicks. Waleed Gaines Jr. (Jr.) returned four kicks for 74 yards while Jayden Reyes returned one for 41 yards. Latin Everheart (Jr.) finished with a 21-yard return.