By BOB CRAMER
MOORE — Mustang’s defense was given a big-time shock in the second half on a stormy night Sept. 20 at Moore Schools Stadium.
The Broncos weren’t struck by lightning, however, but rather Westmoore’s electrifying 6-foot quarterback, Dayton Wolfe, who threw four touchdowns after intermission as the Jaguars pulled away to win 41-21 before 1,400 fans.
The teams waited out a 50-minute rain delay — lightning was detected within 10 miles of the stadium.
Wolfe then helped Westmoore snap a 14-14 halftime tie as the Jaguars scored touchdowns on four of their next five drives.
“He made a couple plays tonight that you had your eyes wide open like, ‘I can’t believe he just did that,’” Westmoore coach Lorenzo Williams said of Wolfe. “The guy is special.”
Blankenship was impressed with Wolfe and felt Westmoore exploited the Bronco secondary’s young cornerbacks.
“Their quarterback played a great game,” Blankenship said. “They came out in that quad set (four receivers). … Our cornerbacks were put on an island. They did a good job of out-scheming us.”
Wolfe and the Jags (3-0) amassed 544 yards of total offense. The dual-threat junior QB completed 17 of 30 passes for 429 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 16 times for 65 yards and one TD, a 7-yarder on the Jags’ opening drive.
“He’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks we’ve seen,” Mustang safety Krivanek said of Wolfe. “He’s a good athlete, one of the best quarterbacks in the West.”
Krivanek provided a second-quarter highlight for Mustang (2-1), intercepting Wolfe at the Bronco 36 and returning it to the Westmoore 29. Cornerback Wes Haddox’s tight coverage and deflection made the interception possible.
Six plays later, Mustang quarterback Hayden Conrad tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Will Haddox, Wes’ older brother, with 11:50 left in second quarter to forge the tie.
Mustang squandered several chances to go ahead later in the quarter. Among them was Conrad’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Khary Brown that was called back by offensive pass interference.
“We had our opportunities to shift the momentum and win the football game,” Blankenship said. “When you play good teams, you just have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Also, the Broncos continually were undermined by penalties, drawing 12 flags for 90 yards.
“Penalties were a key,” Mustang offensive coordinator Cody McDaniel said. “You can’t play behind the chains.”
Each team missed a field goal late in the second period — Mustang’s Kory Soulinthavong was wide left from 36 yards and Westmoore’s Ashton House had a 25-yarder stray right.
The second-half momentum changed in a hurry. Westmoore muffed the kickoff and started at its 5-yard line, but on next two plays Wolfe ran 16 yards and then found Kabrien Grant running uncovered for a 79-yard touchdown pass. Just 39 seconds into the third period, the Jaguars led 21-14.
“He did a good job,” Mustang defensive coordinator Sam Dollar said of Wolfe, “but we absolutely had mental letdowns. We play assignment football and if you don’t study, you have wide receivers left wide open.”
Wolfe then threw a 40-yard scoring strike to receiver Ja’Quan Richardson, a 43-yard TD pass to receiver Colby Phillips and a 15-yarder to wide open running back Brandon Arnold.
Phillips finished with five receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Westmoore’s coach felt his offensive linemen played a critical role.
“Mustang is tough. They blitz hard,” Williams said. “They play hard to the very last snap. For our guys to keep (Wolfe) upright as much as they did, you’ve got to give credit to our offensive line.”
Mustang’s only touchdown in the second half came on Conrad’s one-yard sneak. It capped a six-play, 69-yard drive with 9:19 left, trimming Westmoore’s lead to 34-21.
Bronco tailback Harvey Phillips performed capably, rushing 23 times for 111 yards, and Conrad was 12 of 29 for 157 yards, one interception and two touchdowns.
“Harvey has a ton of heart,” Blankenship said. “I love his toughness. We know that we can count on him to get us positive yardage anytime we need it.”
Mustang’s first TD came on Conrad’s 38-yard pass to bronco back Andre Dollar in the opening quarter.
Wolfe’s 14-yard strike to Colby Phillips followed in the first period.