It’s finally here.
The final two weeks of Mustang’s season has been circled on the calendar since September. The Broncos face the first of two familiar foes with Southmoore coming to town Friday before a regular season finale against Tulsa Union next week.
The Broncos have unofficially sewn up a playoff spot with three straight wins in district. However, with a win over Southmoore or Union, they could avoid a first-round matchup with Jenks in three weeks.
Southmoore is in the same boat. With a win, the SaberCats could bump Mustang to the four-seed out of the division and avoid the two east-side powers as well.
Here’s what to watch for Friday night at Bronco Stadium:
Containing Casey Thompson
There’s no doubt Thompson is one of the best, most versatile quarterbacks in the state. And the Broncos know it will be imperative for Mustang to keep him in the pocket after he rushed for 146 yards and four touchdowns in last year’s matchup. Mustang’s defensive line, including Nebraska-commit Deontre Thomas (Sr.), and linebackers will have a battle on their hands, especially on the left side with Oklahoma-commit, offensive tackle Brey Walker. But if the Broncos can keep Thompson inside the pocket and force him to throw, they have a chance to pull of the win.
Garrett, Thomas in the read-option
Mustang’s offensive attack is based around junior tandem Brayden Garrett and Carlos Thomas. Garrett got off to a hot start against Putnam City North last week, going 6-for-7 in the first quarter for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas has become one of the top tailbacks in the state with over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. The duo has found a rhythm in the run-game over the last three weeks, but in order for the attack to work against Southmoore’s athletes, they need to pitch a perfect game with reads. Also, Garrett has to be consistent in the pass-game, something that has plagued him throughout the year.
Richards & Venegas
Cornerbacks Darion Richards (Sr.) and Dominik Venegas (So.) must step up big, especially in one-on-one coverage. With linebackers likely spying Thompson, Mustang’s secondary will be tasked with keeping two-way starters Gevarrius Owens and Quindon Lewis in check. Against Norman North, the Broncos were burnt numerous times in man-coverage. If Richards, Venegas, Carter Rees (Sr.) and Garrett Kilpatrick (Sr.) are tasked to do the same, they must have a different outcome.
Clean, mistake-free football
The Broncos have to play clean game in order to defeat Southmoore. They must limit penalties, turnovers and win time of possession. Holding calls, off-sides and pass interference penalties could doom either team in a close game.
Prediction: Mustang 35, Southmoore 34
This game means a lot although the Broncos are surely already in the playoffs. The win could seal up third in the district, leaving Mustang something to fight for. Southmoore is beatable, but strong when given opportunities. If the Broncos play a clean game and limit big-chunk plays by Thompson, they win a close one.