Mustangs Gallop Past Panthers 42-6

By Allan Jamail

Sheldon ISD Stadium ~ September 29, 2023, the #2 UIL State Ranked North Shore Eastside Boys lived up to their reputation of their offense making high scores and their defense shutting down their opponents from scoring. Willie Gaston’s head coaching era is beginning to take form. Reminiscent of past winning Mustang playoff teams, they are in control of their own destiny at this point.

The high octane offense led 28-6 at halftime. The Panthers only points came off a pair of field goals in the 2nd quarter.

The aggressive defense is a mean machine, allowing only 39 points this season against five opponents. They chase quarterbacks from sideline to sideline, never letting them make a good throw to receivers. This pressure led to 2 interceptions.

The offense, led by junior quarterback Kaleb Bailey, scored on the ground and in the air with a balanced pass run game. Bailey has so many weapons to chose from, of runners and receivers. It keeps defenses reeling, never knowing what to expect next. Bailey threw 3 TD’s, completed 80 percent of his passes for 220 yards, and ran for a TD.

Offense scorers were: Christopher Barnes (2 pass-run TD’s), Kaleb Bailey (1 run TD), D’Andre Hardeman (1 run TD), Cameron Smith (1 pass run TD), Chris Thomas (1 pass-run TD). Kicker Jonathan Soto made 6 extra point kicks, keeping his season’s perfect record intact. Coach Gaston continues to keep Bailey deep into games even when the score is lopsided with no chance of losing the game. With the score 42-6 in the third quarter, Bailey was in the game until he got injured midway into the fourth quarter. After a timeout to examine the injured Bailey, Gaston finally took him out. Bailey gingerly walked to the sideline.

In the game 2 weeks ago, Bailey ran the ball excessively when the score was again out of touch from losing the game. In that game, he gave the fans and teammates a scare when he was upended on a running play and was spun airborne into a summersault, landing hard. There’s no doubt the junior quarterback is an aggressive, talented player — a player the team will need to have healthy if they’re to win a sixth consecutive district championship.

I fully understand a coach wanting his starting quarterback to keep sharp and hone his passing game, but there’s a risk involved. One must weigh the benefits versus the injury risks, especially when you’re not deep in the quarterback position. Football is a hard contact sport, and opposing team players want to knock off the past season’s district champion. They’ll play very aggressive in going after a key player like Bailey.

North Shore will host the Summer Creek Bulldogs at the GPISD stadium Thursday October 5th @ 7PM. Both teams along with the Atascocita Eagles are undefeated in district play.

Linda Jamail was the statistician.