By Allan Jamail North Channel Star
September 8, 2023 the nationally ranked North Shore Mustangs traveled to Planet Ford Stadium and romped on the Spring Westfield Mustangs, 45 to 9. Both team’s mascot is the Mustangs but that’s all they had in common while on the football field.
Again the Eastside Boys proved to be overpowering against their opponents in their first three games. Fans are wondering and asking, is North Shore that good, or are the other teams that bad? Time will tell once they get into the playoffs, which I think they will.
North Shore (3 wins-0) had 23 first downs to Westfield’s (1win-2) 7 first downs. North Shore offense had a total of 499 yards and Westfield had 102. They scored on their first five possessions in the first half. The Eastside Boys led in penalties too with eleven which shows a lack of self discipline. They cannot give up that many penalty yards in a close game without resulting in a loss.
This game provided a good look at NS quarterback (QB) Kaleb Bailey (see TD photo). This was Bailey’s third game after ending his season early last year (Sept. 29, 2022) with an injury from running.
Bailey ran well and actually in my opinion he ran too often considering the score was so far out of reach for Westfield early in the game, thus providing no reason for his running so much.
The QB is the key offensive player and the most valuable player on the team. Risking an injury in a non-district game with a lopsided leading score doesn’t make good sense to me. I’m not the coach, Willie Gaston is, I just report on what I see and hear to form my opinion. Some of his runs were on designed pass plays and with open receivers, maybe he failed to see the open receivers, I’m not sure.
At one point in the game the aggressive playing Bailey scampered alone without any of his blockers and tried to high-jump over a defender. Bailey’s jump was too low and the defender came up hitting him which caused him to flip airborne upside down landing hard on his shoulder (see #1 photo). This silenced the crowd as everyone waited to see if he was injured. Fortunately he was okay. Gaston took him out eventually and used his backup QB’s to finish the game.
North Shore’s scorers: Kaleb Bailey, (1) D’Andre Hardeman (3), 7 Christopher Barnes (1), kicker Jonathan Soto continues a perfect record with 2 field goals 5 extra points, backup kicker Daniel Cruz made 1. Linda Jamail was the statistician.
North Shore will have a Bye this next week before opening up 6A Region III District 21 district plays on Friday, Sept. 22. @ 7:00 PM at GPISD Stadium, the homecoming game against Beaumont United Timberwolves.