Mustangs stampede over Highlanders 38-17

By Allan Jamail
North Channel Star

August 25, 2023 – At the Conroe ISD Woodforest Bank Stadium located in Shenandoah, Texas, the North Shore Mustang’s new head coach Willie Gaston unveiled his inaugural football game program. The visiting Eastside Boys handily won 38 to 17 over the hosting Highlanders in the season’s opening non-district game.

Coach Gaston has been the Mustangs’ offensive coordinator under former head coach Jon Kay, who retired at the end of last season and went to coach the Rice University Owls linebackers. Kay’s team last season went 15-1 with a lone loss in the state title game.

Allan Jamail, NC Star writer, said, “I remember watching Gaston as a player, then as an assistant coach (offensive coordinator) and now head coach. He’s played an important role in Mustangs history, including numerous state titles. If he can command the same discipline as former coach Jon Kay did with the players, I expect him to continue the winning tradition of the program. They have 5 state titles. His inaugural head coaching program has just started.”

Kaleb Bailey, the 6’2”, 210-pound Mustang junior starting quarterback, starred in his comeback performance after his last season-ending injury on September 29, 2022. Wearing a knee brace, he passed for three touchdowns and ran for another. (See photo.) After watching from the sidelines most of last year, you could see Bailey was back to his true form and anxious to play, being very elusive in the pocket and using his dual run/pass threat to open-up receivers.

The Mustangs took the opening kickoff, and with just 1 minute and 51 seconds off the clock, Bailey led the offense to the game’s first TD. The scoring drive took just 3 plays; one was a 65 yard pass from Bailey to Terrence Guillory, and two plays later, an 8 yard scoring pass to Cameron Smith. (See photo.)

Eastside Boys’ Six Scores: Bailey TD pass to Cameron Smith (2), Bailey TD pass to Kaleb Thomas (1), D’Andre Hardeman run (1), Kaleb Bailey run (1), and Jonathan Soto 21 yard field goal. Extra point kicker Soto was perfect, 5-5. Bailey totaled 266 passing yards, completing 20 of 29 passes for 68 percent. Leading the running game was D’Andre Hardeman, with over 150 yards, putting the offense over 500 total yards without any turnovers.

The Mustangs’ swarming defense was stingy stopping the run-and-pass by sacking the Highlanders quarterback #7 four-star senior quarterback Mabrey Mettauer, 6’-6”, 225 lbs, a Wisconsin commit, numerous times. (See photo.) This defense is fast and never let the Highlanders become a threat.

The Mustangs next play Friday, September 1 @ 7:30PM in their home opener a non-district game with the Spring Lions.

Linda Jamail, statistician