Mustang Defense cages Bobcats 45-9; head to state quarterfinals vs Atascocita

By Allan Jamail

HOUSTON – The Mustangs earned their ninth straight trip to the state’s semi-final game with a 45-9 win over the Cy-Fair Bobcats (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD) at the neutral site of Houston’s NRG Stadium, on Friday, November 24th at 2pm.

The #1 State ranked North Shore Mustangs (NS) (13-0) varsity football team has a neutral site playoff game vs. the Humble ISD Atascocita Eagles (11-2) on Saturday, December 2 @ 2pm at the Pasadena Memorial Stadium. At the start of the playoffs there were 80 Houston area teams competing; now it’s down to five: North Shore, Atascocita, Westfield, Summer Creek and Hightower.

This semi-final game is a part of the 2023 UIL Texas Football State Championships – 2023 Football Conference 6A D1 tournament. This is a rematch game; NS won 61 to 35 earlier in October. Last season they met twice and NS won both games. They’ve dominated the Eagles in their seven matchups.

Atascocita also won their game Friday at NRG over the Houston Lamar Texans 34 -14. After the game an Eagle player when asked how he felt about playing NS again this season since they lost to them earlier confidently stated, they’re ready for them this time because before they had several injured players who will now be playing.

Coach Willie Gaston’s Eastside Boys all-out scrambling defense shutout the Bobcats for three of the four quarters, allowing only one touchdown and a field goal in the second quarter. The defense sacked the quarterback and running back (see photos) numerous times. At the game’s end, the Bobcats running game was a minus 4 yards (yds).

North Shore’s (NS) Special Team player Christopher Barnes took the opening kickoff and ran 94 yds making the score 7-0 with only 6 seconds off the clock. Gaston and the coaches, after having the team fall behind in their last two games in the first quarter, told the team they needed to start faster. Barnes complied with their request. After this game, a NS player said those 2 games they fell behind was not the normal Mustangs, “We’re back on track now.”

Offense Scorers: Cameron Smith 2 TD’s, QB Kaleb Bailey 1 TD, D’Andre Hardeman 1 TD, Christopher Barnes 1 TD & Deion Deblanc 1 TD. Bailey passed for four TD’s with 83 percent completions, and ran for another. Jonathan Soto continued his perfect kicking record making 6 PAT’s (point after touchdown) and one 3 point field goal. He’s not missed this season, making 93 consecutive kicks.

NS made 475 total yards to CF 219; NS ran 169 yds to CF minus 4 yds; NS passed 307 yds to CF 223 yds; and NS made 24 first downs to CF 14. Year to date points: NS offense made 610 points, the defense allowed only 184.

Linda Jamail, statistician and photographer