The age old quandary of what would happen if an unstoppable force met an immovable object was answered when undefeated West Orange-Stark collided with unbeaten Geronimo Navarro in the 4A Division II State Semi-Finals Friday night at NRG Stadium. The results of the experiment were overwhelmingly in favor of the immovable object as West Orange-Stark’s defense stonewalled Navarro on their way to a 49-7 landslide victory.
The Mustangs “Chain Gang” defense was so dominant that West Orange-Stark actually had more points (35) than Navarro had yards (32) in the first half. The Panthers were caged for a total of two yards in the second quarter. Anticipation by the Mustangs secondary paid off as they came away with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. West Orange-Stark head coach Cornel Thompson attributed his defense’s wild success to their familiarity with Navarro’s brand of offense.
“We’ve worked against it all year and we’ve played ten football games against that particular set” Thompson said. “Everybody’s got something that they do special and we knew what we had to do to stop their offense. Our kids have a lot of experience. I don’t think you can throw anything at them offensively that they haven’t seen. We may not make every play, but we weren’t surprised with some of the stuff we saw.”
The Mustang that made nearly every play never left the field. Offensive, defensive and special teams juggernaut KJ Miller inflicted serious damage regardless of how he got the ball. The all-around athlete electrified NRG Stadium with a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 72-yard pick six. West Orange-Stark head coach Cornel Thompson is still amazed by what Miller is able to do week in and week out.
“I see him everyday and I’m impressed with it” Thompson said. “He can dance. He’s dangerous. Recruiters talk about how he’s too short…bullcrap. The ball weighs 13 ounces. If you punt it to him, he’ll carry that son of a gun back to the end zone.”
Sharing the dance floor with Miller was his quarterback Jack Dallas. Dallas lead the Mustangs air raid with 163 yards passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His favorite target was wide receiver Keion Hancock, who hauled in 71 yards and and two touchdowns.
Navarro was able to surpass the four points opposing offenses had been averaging against West Orange-Stark this season, but not by much. The Panthers’ lone score came on a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Will Eveld to running back Tanner Law. Without much noise on the scoreboard, Navarro’s extraordinary season comes to a quiet end.
West Orange-Stark roars onto 15-0 and will look to capture their second straight 4A Division II State Championship against the 13-1 Sweetwater Mustangs Friday, December 16th at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.