NORMAN – Last season, Mustang featured two horses in one stable. Now they have a thoroughbred.
Running back Carlos Thomas (Jr.) had a breakout performance Friday, rushing for 194 yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos (2-0) cruised to a 44-3 win over Norman (0-2) at Harve Collins Stadium.
On just 11 carries, he zipped through the Tigers’ front-seven, eating up large chunks of yardage, including his first run of 59 yards and a 65-yard touchdown in the first half. His night was over after scoring from 22 yards out on Mustang’s first drive in the third quarter.
“It is what it is,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said of Thomas bursting onto the Class 6A-1 scene. “Obviously a lot of credit goes up front, but he’s a good running back. It would be easy to block for that guy. He goes downhill in a hurry.”
Thomas has rushed for 243 yards on 22 carries in Mustang’s first two games, averaging 11 yards per carry in what amounts to two halves of work in two blowout wins.
“I’m just trying to get back in a rhythm and these first two games are helping me out,” Thomas said after the game. He transitioned to running back after starting at outside linebacker last year. “I definitely feel like more of a workhorse running back, but I can’t take any credit right now. The o-line is giving me wide-open holes and I’m just filling right in.”
Mustang’s offense rolled to 498 total yards, including 161 through the air. Brayden Garrett (Jr.) finished 10-for-16 for 135 yards with two touchdowns to Caden Arthur (Sr.), once in the first half for 16 yards and once in the second half for 23. Garrett shared the ball with five different receivers – including himself –catching a ball batted in the air at the line of scrimmage.
The Bronco defense bent early, but didn’t break. Norman drove to the Mustang 26 yard-line on the game’s opening possession before a turnover on downs. The Tigers continued attacking inside with Nebraska-commit Deontre Thomas (Sr.) serving a suspension, however, Mustang held serve, allowing just 212 total yards, including 106 on 36 carries while pitching a near-shutout.
“I feel like we came out kind of flat,” senior linebacker Case Woodard said. “They were running downhill on us and we weren’t ready. I think we started playing better after the second drive and from there on it was three-and-out and getting them to punt.
“Michael (Bachus) did a good job. They weren’t doubling him as much as they would have Deontre. So we went four-down and just rolled with it.”
The win marked Dombek’s 100th victory as a head coach. He told his team after the game “I’m sorry guys, but I’m going to have to keep this game ball.”
Mustang hosts Stillwater (1-1) next Friday at Bronco Stadium at 7 p.m.
Trey Hunter is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He has covered Mustang High School sports for three years in an editorial role and has covered Oklahoma high school sports for the last five years. He can be reached by phone at (405) 659-9898 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.