Carlos Thomas rushed for an exhausting 226 yards and two touchdowns in Mustang’s 40-21, district-opening win over Owasso Friday at Bronco Stadium.
But as the junior tailback walked towards the locker room after the game, he still had enough energy for high praise. And a joke.
“Man. My brother is a better running back than me,” he said with a grin and a ‘what do I have to do?’ look on his face.
The reason? Older bro, defensive tackle Deontre Thomas (Sr.) made his first-ever appearance in Mustang’s backfield, punching in a touchdown of his own with three carries for nine yards.
“That man is a stud,” Carlos said after his punchline. “He has the same mindset as me in doing whatever it takes to win. Sometimes we need him back there and he got it done. That was a key part in getting the win.”
The Thomas’ helped Mustang (3-1, 1-0) turn things around on both side of the ball after falling to Class 6A-2 Stillwater last week – where they lost the line of scrimmage and time possession battles. This week Mustang ran 72 plays for 412 yards, held Owasso (1-3, 0-1) to 45 for 271 and forced three interceptions, all three to Darion Richards (Sr.), who like Deontre Thomas, returned from a two-game suspension.
“We had a terrible week of practice leading into that Stillwater game,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said. “Different story this week. We probably had the best week I can remember here in a long time. And we came out and we were physical.”
Carlos Thomas carried the load, scoring twice on the ground and once on a nine-yard pass from Brayden Garrett (Sr.). And Mustang’s defense painted a clear picture of what the unit can be at full strength. With Deontre Thomas and Richards in the lineup, the Broncos held Owasso to 37 rushing yards on 23 carries and 36-percent passing with three turnovers.
“I think you could see it tonight,” Dombek said. “It’s obvious. Not only did we get one of our best players back, but one of the best defensive linemen in the country and it showed. You can’t single-block him (Thomas). And Darion had a great game. Three picks, there you go. Both are just really good players and it’s good to see them back.”
After a slow start, including each team combining for four punts, a missed field goal and an interception in the first quarter, Mustang struck on four straight possessions for a 19-0 lead.
Dillon Dean (Sr.) opened the second period with a 30-yard field goal followed by a 21-yard rushing score from Carlos Thomas. After forcing a safety, Mustang capped the scoring run with Deontre Thomas’ one-yard touchdown.
“We knew we had to just keep grinding,” Deontre said. “We knew it was going to be a dog fight, but we knew we had to come out and make it happen. I was pretty happy with scoring that touchdown, but I just wanted to win, honestly.”
Owasso again cut into the lead in the third quarter, trimming it to 19-14 after a 33-yard touchdown pass from Troy Hudson (Sr.) to Jaylen Johnson (Sr.). However, Garrett’s touchdown to Thomas on a swing-pass in the fourth extended the lead to 26-14 and ultimately sealed the win. Garrett would later score after picking up a fumble and returning it 16 yards to the end zone, followed by Carlos Thomas’ third touchdown with 2:05 remaining.
“We’re pretty good on offense and defense right now,” Dombek said. “And we have some talented players. But there are still so many mistakes we’re going to have to clean up because it doesn’t get any easier with Norman North.”
Mustang heads to Norman next week to take on Norman North (4-0, 1-0). The Timberwolves defeated Putnam City North, 48-13 Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Harve Collins Field.