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Broncos squander fourth-quarter lead for second-straight week against east-side power

Cole Daniel One

For the second consecutive week, Mustang went into the fourth quarter with a lead against an east-side power, and for the second consecutive week, the Broncos squandered an upset chance.

Fifth-ranked Mustang lost two straight games for the first time this season with a 30-24 loss at home to No.1 ranked Tulsa Union last Friday and fell 6-3 on the year and 4-2 in district play. Union improved to 8-1 on the season and 6-0 in the commentary new.qxd

The Redskins clinched the district title with the win, while the Broncos settle in at the No.3 seed and will have to travel to Broken Arrow in the first round of the 2014 playoffs regardless of what happens this Friday night in the regular season finale against Moore.

“It was like deja vu for us,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said. “We played well, but we just made too many mistakes as a team down the stretch against a really good football team.”

Even though it’s a loss, Mustang can take away several positives from the game with Union. Other than the Redskins’ season opener against South Lake Carrol in Texas, this was the closest game Tulsa Union has played this season.

“There are a lot of positives you can take away from the past two weeks, but it’s also a little alarming because that is two weeks in a row now we have let two-score leads slip away,” Dombek said.

The 12-point hole the ‘Skins found themselves in against the Broncos was the largest deficit they have faced in 2014.

Mustang earned the two-score lead over the state’s No.1 team with strong second and third quarters. The Broncos outscored Union 24-7 in those two frames behind stout defense and powerful offense.

Tulsa Union turned the tables in the fourth quarter, as they outscored Mustang 18-0 in the final 12 minutes of action.

The Broncos were driving in the final minutes of the game after the Redskins had taken a 30-24 lead, but the hope of a game-winning drive came to a screeching halt as Mustang junior quarterback Chandler Garrett had the ball knocked out of his hands, which was recovered by Union to clinch the six-point victory.

The Broncos finished the game with 325 total yards of offense, including 268 passing yards and 57 rushing yards. MHS totaled 20 first downs and had three turnovers.

The Redskins closed out the night with 300 yards of offense, including 186 yards through the air and 114 yards on the ground. Mustang held UHS to just eight first downs in the game and forced two turnovers from the ‘Skins.

The referees made their presence felt in the game as well, as 27 flags were thrown for a total of 249 yards. Mustang had 12 penalties for 104 yards and Union had 15 penalties for 145 yards.

“It’s tough for either team to get a rhythm going when there are so many penalties being called,” Dombek said. “At first, I was a little upset with our team because we shouldn’t be having that many penalties at this point in the season, but when I saw Union actually had more than us, I realized it was just one of those games.”

OU throttles Iowa State, preps for Baylor

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Oklahoma returned to its winning ways last Saturday in Ames, Iowa, with a 59-14 beat-down of Iowa State.

The victory improved the Sooners to 6-2 this season with a Big 12 Conference mark of 3-2. With the 45-point win, OU moved up two spots in the rankings from 18th nationally to 16th.

Oklahoma finished the game with 751 total yards of offense against the Cyclones, while the defense allowed 334 yards to Iowa commentary new.qxd

The Sooners rushed for 500 yards and passed for 241 yards in the game, while ISU threw for 247 yards and rushed for 87 yards.

Oklahoma totaled 41 first downs and committed three turnovers, while Iowa State finished with 17 first downs and one turnover. OU committed five penalties for 60 yards and the Cyclones committed four penalties for 40 yards.

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight led the team on the ground and through the air last Saturday with 150 yards rushing on 16 carries and 230 yards passing on 22 completions out of 35 attempts. Knight rushed for three touchdowns and passed for three touchdowns on the day.

Sooner receiver Michiah Quick was the leading receiver for OU with eight receptions for 56 yards, and OU linebacker was the leading tackler for the defense with seven in the game.

Iowa State running back Tyler Brown had eight rushes for 48 yards in the contest, while quarterback Sam B. Richardson had 239 yards passing on 15 completions out of 40 attempts.

Cyclone receiver Allen Lazard had five receptions for 51 yards and linebacker Kenneth Lynn had 10 tackles in the game.

No.10 Baylor up next for Oklahoma

The No.16 Sooners will play host to Baylor at 11 a.m. Saturday in Norman, as Oklahoma looks for its fourth Big 12 win of the year.

OU comes into the game with a 6-2 overall record and 3-2 mark in conference play, while BU is 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12.

Saturday’s game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports One.

Both teams come into the matchup after blowout wins. The Sooners earned a 59-14 drubbing of Iowa State on the road, while the Bears hammered Kansas 60-14 at home.

Oklahoma is averaging 41.5 points per game this season and averaging 494.6 yards per outing, including 262.9 passing yards and 231.8 rushing yards on average. OU has amassed 198 first downs and has committed 12 turnovers this season.

Samaje Perine is Oklahoma’s leading rusher with 779 yards on 150 carries with 11 touchdowns. Trevor Knight is OU’s leading passer with 2,051 yards on 150 completions out of 252 attempts, with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Sterling Shepard is the Sooners leading receiver with 50 catches for 957 yards and five touchdowns this season, and Dominique Alexander is the team’s leading tackler with 61 this year.

As a defense, OU is allowing an average of 21.8 points per game and an average of 383.6 yards per outing, including 265.8 passing yards and 117.9 rushing yards to their opponents.

The Sooners have allowed 163 first downs and forced 16 turnovers this season.

Baylor comes into the game averaging 50.4 points per game and an average of 590.2 yards per outing, including 349 passing yards and 241.2 rushing yards on average. The Bears have amassed 235 first downs this season and have turned the ball over eight times.

Shock Linwood is the team’s leading rusher with 793 yards on 154 carries with 10 touchdowns. Bryce Petty leads BU through the air with 2,034 passing yards on 132 completions out of 241 attempts, with 20 touchdowns and three interceptions.

K.D. Cannon is the team’s leading receiver with 36 catches for 714 yards and six touchdowns, and Bryce Hager is the defense’s leading tackler with 63 this season.

Defensively as a unit, Baylor is allowing 21.9 points per game and allowing an average of 322.6 yards per outing, including 222.8 passing yards and 99.9 rushing yards on average. They have allowed 139 first downs and have forced 16 turnovers.

K-State drubs OSU, Pokes enter second bye-week at 5-4

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For the third consecutive week, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were defeated by more than three touchdowns with a 48-14 loss at the hands of ninth-ranked Kansas State in Manhattan.

The loss drops OSU to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big 12 Conference, as they enter their second bye week of the season.

The Wildcats held the Cowboys to just 260 total yards of offense, including 148 passing yards and 112 rushing yards. The Pokes amassed 12 first downs in the game and committed three commentary new.qxd

Freshman sensation running back Tyreek Hill was the lone bright spot for Oklahoma State last Saturday, as the speedy running back rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown.

Quarterback Daxx Garman had 148 yards through the air against Kansas State on 12 completions out of 32 attempts. Garman finished the day with no touchdown passes and two interceptions.

Receiver James Washington led Okie State in receptions with three in the game for 33 yards. Mustang native David Glidden totaled 32 yards receiving on three catches as well.

Linebacker Ramon Richards led the OSU defense with seven tackles.

The defensive unit for the Pokes allowed Kansas State to amass 421 yards of offense, including 287 yards through the air and 134 yards on the ground. KSU totaled 21 first downs and committed one turnover in the game.

Running back Charles Jones led the ‘Cats in rushing with 45 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns. Quarterback Jake Waters finished the day with 223 yards through the air on 19 completions out of 28 attempts and two touchdowns.

Receiver Curry Sexton was the leading pass catcher for Kansas State against the Pokes with 159 yards on nine catches and one touchdown.

Cornerback Morgan Burns led the Wildcats in tackles with six on the day.

Oklahoma State enters its second bye week of the regular season with three games remaining on their schedule. The Cowboys have one home game and two road games. The remaining home outing is against Texas, and the two road games are against Baylor and in-state rival Oklahoma.

The Pokes need one more win out of those three games in order to become bowl eligible.

West side closing gap on east side powers

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When I was the ripe young age of 10 years old, I was sitting in the bleachers at then Lewis Field in Stillwater at OSU watching Rocky Calmus’ Jenks Trojans slaughter Yukon 56-8 in the 1997 state championship game.

I remember thinking to myself, there is no way Jenks will ever lose a football game, ever. Obviously, I was young and naïve to actually believe that, but after seeing that kind of domination, it was all I could think.

Fast forward, 17 years later, I still fully believe that 1997 Jenks team is the best high school football team I have ever seen, and I don’t believe that will ever change in my lifetime.

Well, Jenks has lost since that day in ’97, but the east side dominance has been a real thing since 1996. The last 18 state championships have been won by Jenks or Tulsa Union, with the two other east-side powers, Owasso and Broken Arrow on their heels.

Back then, the gap between the east and west side was as big as Texas, as it looked like the east dominance would control the state in Class 6A forever, but 17 years later, the gap has been narrowed heavily.

The proof came in the pudding last Friday night when Mustang took on Owasso on the road in a district matchup between the Broncos and Rams.

Anyone who saw that game in person or watched it on the Internet, saw who clearly was the best team.

Mustang was by far the better team over Owasso. The Rams were considered to be one of the few teams in the state that could realistically challenge Tulsa Union for the 6A-1 state title this season, but after Friday night, Mustang joined that list.

I went into that game thinking if the Broncos could just hold their own on the line of scrimmage, they would have a shot to pull off the upset. Boy was I wrong. Not only did Mustang hold its own against Owasso, they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

In fact, by the second half, the Broncos’ smaller, athletic offensive line was blowing holes in the bigger Ram defensive front that semi-trailers could drive through.

Last year in the quarterfinal round of the postseason, Mustang hosted Broken Arrow in one of the worst weather nights I’ve ever seen a football game played. Amidst below freezing temperatures and freezing rain and ice falling from the sky, the Broncos played the Tigers tough, and would have had a great chance of winning the game had it not been for the weather conditions.

The west side has sent teams in the past like Westmoore, Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Southmoore and Mustang from the mid-2000s to contest Jenks or Union for the state title, but none of those teams have been able to get the job done.

This Bronco team this year can do it. They have an opportunity Friday night at home against No.1 Tulsa Union to make a statement.

The statement doesn’t need to come in a win, but it needs to come on the line of scrimmage against the Redskins.

Yes, a win over the state’s No.1 team would be a win for the ages for the Bronco football program, but if Mustang can play the way it did last Friday night on the line of scrimmage and eliminate the silly mistakes, they will show the Redskins they have more than just Jenks to worry about come playoff time.

This version of Mustang just might be what the doctor ordered for the west side in its hope of pulling the gold ball away from the east side.

Mustang faces scary match up with No. 1 Union on Halloween night

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For the first time in the history of Mustang football, Tulsa Union will take on the Broncos at Bronco Stadium in a meaningful game this Friday.

Union comes into the game with an overall record of 7-1 and a district record of 5-0 and No.1 ranking in Class 6A-1. Mustang enters the prime-time matchup with the Redskins with an overall record of 6-2 and a district mark of 4-1 and a state ranking of No.5. The game will kick off at 7 commentary new.qxd

Union comes into the contest after having an easy time with Moore last Friday night, beating the Lions 66-3, while the Broncos are coming off their first district loss of the season at Owasso, 28-24.

“After a tough loss, it’s not hard getting the players’ attention when you have the No.1 team in the state coming to town,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said. “They are definitely deserving of their No.1 ranking. They have separated themselves to this point as the best team in the state. They are a complete football team. They are impressive to watch on film. What really stands out to me is their overall depth.”

The Redskins opened the year with their only loss of the 2014 season at South Lake Carroll in Texas by a score of 42-41. Union went for two in the third overtime, but was stuffed. Since the opening loss, the ‘Skins have gone 7-0.

UHS defeated rival Jenks 24-13 at the University of Tulsa in week two. In week three, they took down Broken Arrow 31-10. Union beat Putnam City North on the road 63-6 in week four and in week five, they hammered Norman North at home 56-21.Union Logo copy

In week six, the Redskins beat up on Southmoore on the road 51-21 and defeated Owasso in week seven 37-13.

Union quarterback Mason Farquhar has completed 127 passes out of 187 attempts this season for 1,422 sg4xnwos copyyards, with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Running back Tyler Adkins leads the Redskins in rushing with 849 yards on 122 rushes with 10 touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Thomas leads UHS through the air this year with 637 yards on 58 receptions with seven touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Union defender Lorenzo Thomas leads the D in tackles with 56 on the Classic-Jack-o-Lantern1season. Malon Alijiboori leads the Redskins in sacks with 10 on the year. Brandon Golphin leads UHS in interceptions with five on the year, and Seth Mischler leads Union in fumble recoveries with two on the season.

“Their offense is balanced,” Dombek said. “They can beat you with the run and with the pass. They don’t do anything real exotic, they line up and beat you. Their offensive line has the ability to take over a football game whenever they decide to do so, so we are going to have to game-plan well and execute on both sides of the ball.”

The Redskins are coached by Kirk Fridrich.

Mustang comes into the game after beating Yukon on the road 41-14 in week one. They took a loss in week two at home against Stillwater 35-26. In week three, MHS went on the road and hammered Edmond Memorial 57-37.

In week four, the Broncos took care of Edmond North on the road 34-20. Mustang put a beating on Putnam City North 46-0 on homecoming in week five. They came back to get a two-touchdown victory at Norman North 41-27 in week six, and held on to defeat Southmoore 7-3 at home in week seven.

“We have to play a clean football game,” Dombek said. “We can’t make mistakes that will kill us against a really good team. We are going to have to play well all four quarters Friday night.”

Cross country teams qualify for state with strong regional performances

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Mustang News Sports report:

Mustang High School’s cross country teams continued their long-standing tradition of success by qualifying for the 6A State Championship Meet with their performances in regional action last Saturday.

The 6A West Regional took place in Norman, with the boys squad taking fourth place overall, while the girls team placed sixth overall, as both qualified to compete at state this Saturday in Edmond.

The 6A girls will begin at noon and the 6A boys will start their race at 12:45 p.m. Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe High School.

In the regional meet in Norman, the boys finished fourth behind Norman, which took first place, Norman North at second place and Westmoore at third place.

The Bronco boys finished in front of fifth-place Yukon, sixth-place U.S. Grant, Choctaw at seventh place, eighth-place Edmond North, Putnam City in ninth place, Putnam City North with 10th place and Moore, finishing 11th overall.

Mustang senior harrier Lance Frost had the best time on the day for the Broncos and second place overall in the individual competition with a time of 16:42 in the three-mile race.

Skyler Wade took 24th overall for the Broncos with a time of 17:53. Mark Drexel placed 27th overall with a time of 18:06 and Alex Fischer placed 30th overall with a time of 18:08.

Josh Griffin finished in 40th place with a time of 18:31 on the day. Martin Gonzalez placed 42nd overall with a time of 18:39 and Ashleigh Ruttman took 57th place overall with a time of 19:18 in the regional race.

Ben Barrett of Norman North took first overall in the individual meet with a time of 16:17.

On the girls side of the course, the Lady Broncos took sixth place overall in the team standings. MHS finished behind first-place Norman North, second-place Westmoore, third-place Edmond North, fourth-place Norman and fifth-place Yukon.

The Bronco girls finished in front of seventh-place Putnam City North, eighth-place Edmond Santa Fe, ninth-place U.S. Grant, 10th-place Choctaw and 11th-place Lawton.

Mustang senior Kyra Fuller took the top overall time for the MHS girls and took fifth place overall with a time of 20:15.

Jaci Jones took 23rd place overall with a time of 21:38. Kaylyn Brooks finished 37th overall with a time of 22:23 and Lauren Grisham placed 39th overall with a time of 22:42.

Aubrey Ruttman finished in 41st place with a time of 22:57. Savannah Basco took 49th place overall with a time of 23:44 and Tyler Schwermley took 53rd place with a time of 24:21.

Isabella Rose of Norman North took first place overall on the girls side with a time of 18:48.

Mistakes upend Broncos’ upset bid at Owasso

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Mustang saw its five-game winning streak and undefeated district record come to an end last Friday night at the hands of Owasso.

The No.5 Broncos held a 10-point advantage over the No.2 Rams with just a little over six minutes to play, when Owasso got a deep pass play that took them from midfield all the way down inside the Mustang 5-yard line.

The Rams punched it in over the goal line two plays later, cutting the Broncos lead to three points after the extra commentary new.qxd

Mustang got the ball back and facing a third-and-six deep inside its own territory, junior quarterback Chandler Garrett scrambled for the first down, but then had the ball knocked out of his hands trying to get extra yards.

Owasso recovered the fumble with roughly three and a half minutes remaining in the contest. The Rams took their final possession down the short field and got the ball into the end zone, retaking the lead 28-24 after the point after attempt was good, leaving the Broncos 58 seconds on the clock.

Mustang couldn’t get anything going offensively in the final seconds, as the clock hit zero and gave the Broncos their second loss of the season.

The loss drops MHS to 6-2 on the year and 4-1 in district play. Mustang now sits in third place in the district behind Tulsa Union, which is 5-0, and Owasso, which is 4-1 but now holds the tiebreaker over the Broncos.

“I thought we played really well throughout the game, but we made a few mistakes throughout the game that you can’t make against a good opponent and expect to win,” Mustang coach Jeremy Dombek said. “There isn’t one play or player that you can point to and say this cost us the game. There are plays throughout the game that we didn’t execute as a team, and that’s the reason we lost the game.”

Mustang started the game on a high note, as the Broncos took their opening possession of the game down the field against one of the top defenses in the state. The opening drive was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run from Garrett, giving the Broncos the 7-0 lead following the successful PAT from senior place-kicker Josh Vannoy.

The Rams didn’t wait long to strike back, as Wallace Clay returned the following kickoff to the house for a touchdown and a successful extra point, making the score 7-7.

Both teams traded punts in the next several possessions. But at the end of the first quarter, Owasso QB Gabe Neph broke free from Mustang defenders on fourth and long from midfield to find wide open receiver Demond Sampson for a Ram touchdown, making the score 14-7 OHS at the end of the first frame.

Mustang’s offense got inside the Owasso 10-yard line twice in the second quarter, but on the first attempt, came away with zero points, as Garrett was intercepted in the end zone on third down. On the second trip inside the Rams 10-yard line, the Broncos failed to get into the end zone. However, they were not completely scoreless as Vannoy split the uprights on a 34-yard field goal from the left hash, making the score 14-10.

Neither team did much more offensively in the half, as the defenses were starting to flex their muscles. The score remained 14-10 Owasso heading into halftime.

The next quarter and a half belonged to the Broncos, as they scored two touchdowns and held the Rams scoreless.

The first touchdown came on a 62-yard scamper from senior running back Chase Brown and the second came on a 32-yard touchdown toss from Garrett to junior wide receiver Mason Brown. Vannoy was good on both PATs, making the score 24-14 Mustang halfway through the fourth quarter before Owasso began its comeback.

“Everyone is always going to talk about east vs. west,” Dombek said. “I don’t think beating Owasso would have changed anything regarding that. People will always bring that up until someone from the west wins the gold ball. I thought we played well for the most part, and played with a lot of energy and intensity throughout the night, but we made mistakes down the stretch that we can’t make.”

Mustang outplayed the Rams in nearly every statistical category. The Broncos totaled 18 first downs to Owasso’s 13. MHS had 438 total offensive yards, while OHS had 260.

Mustang had 171 rushing yards on 36 rushes and 267 passing yards in the game, while Owasso had 76 rushing yards on 33 rushes and 184 passing yards.

The two categories in which the Broncos were defeated by the Rams were turnovers and penalties. MHS had three turnovers compared to OHS with one. Mustang was penalized 11 times for 91 yards and Owasso was penalized seven times for 57 yards.

“We are starting to really come together defensively,” Dombek said. “When we first came here as a staff, we didn’t change a whole lot to the offense, but we made wholesale changes to the defense. It was going to take some time to get the players used to the scheme and the way we like doing things on that side of the ball. We are starting to click and it’s good to see.”

Howard, the final piece to the puzzle in the Lady Broncos state title chase

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When it comes to team sports, a dominant athlete can’t win a championship by themselves. He or she needs help both from their teammates and/or a great coach to get them over the hump of being the last one standing when all the dust settles.

Just look at LeBron James. He’s the best basketball player in the entire world and possibly the top overall athlete, but even he couldn’t get over the hump of winning an NBA Championship without the help from fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

In the football scene, look at John Elway. The longtime Denver Bronco is arguably one of, if not the best, quarterbacks to ever play the game, but he wasn’t able to get that coveted ring until Mike Shanahan took over as the head coach in the mile-high city.Trophy One

Mustang High School senior Jayden Chestnut has been one of the best high school softball players, not only in the state of Oklahoma but in the entire country, for the past four years, but she had not been able to get over that seemingly unconquerable mountain of winning the state championship in her first three years on the job as the Lady Broncos ace pitcher.

Chestnut entered her final year of high school softball eligibility with one goal in mind, and that was to win the state championship as a senior and go out on top.

Sure, that is every senior athlete’s goal, but being a part of the Mustang softball program, winning the state crown is a reality every year.

The Lady Broncos are not just one of the top high school softball programs in the state, but they are one of the best overall high school athletic programs in Oklahoma.

Year-in and year-out, Mustang softball is one of the top teams in Class 6A. They always win their regional, home or away, and qualify for the state tournament. However, that elusive state championship has slipped out of their fingers time and time again.

Going into the 2014 season, it had been 26 years since the Lady Broncos won the state title on the diamond.

Great softball teams, players and coaches have walked through the halls of Mustang High School since 1988, but none have been able to bring back the gold.

Chestnut had gotten close in her first three years, as she had two semifinal appearances and one quarterfinal appearance in the state tournament, but something was missing from the softball program at Mustang.

It wasn’t the players. The Lady Broncos are loaded with a talented roster every time they take the field to open a season in August, a roster that is more than capable of bringing home the crown.

The one piece to the puzzle that was missing was the head coach to push them over the top.

Think of the Mustang softball program as a Rolls Royce. As the head coach of the Lady Broncos, it’s like being handed the keys to a brand new Rolls Royce and told not to screw it up.

Well, the coach in Chestnut’s first three years found ways to screw it up. The Lady Broncos found ways to get to the state tournament despite their coach, but in order to win a state championship, you need both players AND the coach.

The previous coach decided it was time to hit the road and find another coaching position elsewhere, so it was time for Mustang’s athletic department to step up and find the coach that would finally give Chestnut and her teammates a chance to bring home a title.

Mustang struck gold when they hired Bryan Howard out of Washington, Okla. Howard had the credentials and the charisma it was going to take to get the job done in Mustang.

Howard took over the softball program during the spring semester of last year, and the attitude within the program immediately changed.

Howard had won several state championships while being the head coach at Washington High School, but he had never been a head coach at the 6A level.

Howard brought a level of intensity to the Lady Broncos softball program they had never seen before. It was what the doctor ordered for Mustang, as the players all latched on for the ride and bought into what Howard was selling.

Chestnut led the way, as she and the rest of the players in the program liked Howard’s style so much, they said they would run through a wall for their new coach.

The new season got under way in late August and Howard made a bold move to open the year. The first-year coach at Mustang was starting multiple freshmen around Chestnut and the other players who had been on the varsity for multiple seasons.

Well, big risks come with big rewards, and this was a big reward. The Lady Broncos consistently started five freshmen throughout the entire season, and those freshmen played like they were seasoned veterans.

Mustang was again at the forefront of the 6A softball scene in Oklahoma, led by Chestnut and a crop of young freshmen headed up by Howard and a coaching staff that demanded perfection.

The combination was perfect as the Lady Broncos went on to win the 2014 Class 6A softball state championship with a record of 36-4 and an unblemished postseason mark of 6-0.

Chestnut finished the 2014 season with a record of 24-3 and an ERA of .92 in 159 innings pitched, with 242 strikeouts, 38 walks, 15 shutouts and eight no-hitters.

In her four years at Mustang, Chestnut had a record of 80-21, an ERA of 1.39, pitched 613 innings, had 744 strikeouts, walked 160 batters, had 40 shutouts, had 10 no-hitters and four perfect games.

Chestnut saw her team win 117 games in four years, in which she won 68 percent of those in the circle for the Lady Broncos.

The hard-throwing University of Oklahoma commit is no doubt one of the best high school softball players to ever come through the state of Oklahoma, but just like other dominant athletes in team sports, you need more than just yourself to bring home a title, you need the coach.

Mustang got it right, as Howard was the piece of the puzzle that Chestnut needed to bring the gold back to her hometown.

Lady Broncos bring home Class 6A softball state championship

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When first-year softball coach Bryan Howard took the Mustang job last year, he had one goal in mind for the Lady Broncos softball program – to win a state championship.

Less than a year after taking the head coaching job, Howard and the Mustang softball team realized that goal as the Lady Broncos won the Class 6A softball state championship by beating east-side power Broken Arrow 4-3 in eight innings last Saturday evening at the Ball Fields at Firelake in commentary new.qxd

“This is what Mr. (Chuck) Bailey and I talked about when we met in Norman last year and talked about this job,” Howard said. “I knew this was a special group the moment I started working with them. I knew we had what it took to win a state championship. It’s really a testament to the girls that they accepted me and accepted what I wanted them to do.”

The 2014 state title was the first state crown the Bronco softball program has won since 1988. Mustang won three games in the state tournament, starting with Tulsa Union on Oct. 16 in the quarterfinals.

The Lady Broncos beat the Lady Redskins 2-1 behind a stellar pitching performance from senior pitcher Jayden Chestnut. Last Friday, MHS took on defending state champion Southmoore in the semifinal round of the state tournament, and Chestnut was once again dominant, as the hard-throwing right-hander shut out the Lady Sabercats 2-0.Celebration Six

Chestnut took the circle for the Lady Broncos in the state championship game and was again stout as she held a Lady Tigers offense that was on fire to three runs in eight innings that led to Mustang’s one-run win in the state finals.

Chestnut finished her senior year with an overall record of 24-3. The University of Oklahoma commit and the rest of the Lady Broncos softball senior class finished their four years of high school eligibility with an overall record of 117-34 and four appearances in the state tournament, including a state championship, two state semifinal appearances and one quarterfinal appearance.

“It’s such a great feeling, especially with it being my senior year,” Chestnut said. “We all worked really hard to get to this point. It’s just a really awesome feeling. Coach Howard pushed us from the time he got here. He believed in us from day one, and once we all bought in, we started to believe we could do this.”

In the championship game against Broken Arrow, the Lady Broncos didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard as Chestnut helped herself out in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI-single, driving in freshman Kaitlyn Thomas and making the score 1-0 MHS after one.

Chestnut held the Lady Tigers scoreless in the second and third innings, and in the bottom of the third inning, it was Chestnut again helping her cause by driving in fellow senior Caisey Jones to give Mustang a 2-0 lead after three innings against BA.

Both teams were scoreless in the fourth inning, but in the top of the fifth, the Tigers bit back with a three-run home run over the left field wall, giving Broken Arrow the 3-2 lead. MHS didn’t score in the bottom half of the inning, making it 3-2 BA after five.

Chestnut shut down the Broken Arrow offense in the top of the sixth inning, and in the bottom of the sixth, freshman Zoe Jones tied the game with one swing of the bat with a solo home run that sailed over the left-field wall, making the score 3-3 heading into the seventh inning.

Both BA and Mustang got runners on base in the seventh inning but were unable to get them across the plate, so the game was sent into extra innings.

The Lady Tigers got a runner on base in the top of the eighth inning but Chestnut closed the door on BA, holding them scoreless in the inning.

Mustang got its first three runners on base in the bottom half of the inning. After a ground-out, where BA got the force out at home, freshman Karis Clark hit a towering shot over the center fielder’s head that scored junior Lexi Vargas from third base. That was all the Lady Broncos needed as they captured the state championship.

“Coach Howard was telling me to tag up,” Vargas said. “I knew the ball was going to go over her head, I wanted to just run home, it was crazy. This is such an awesome feeling.”

The Bronco girls finished with a record of 36-4 on the year and did not lose a game in the postseason, as they won all three games in their regional and all three games in the state tournament.

Six Lady Bronco seniors played their final game for Mustang softball in the state title game last Saturday night. Chestnut, Jones, Hailey Milburn, Jackie Kelm, Ashley Martin and Aubrea Martinsorrels ended their high school softball careers with a state title.

“I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now,” Howard said. “We knew we could go win a state championship and we accomplished that goal. It’s the expectation, we expect to go win it next year too.”

Opportunity knocks at Mustang’s door with trip to Owasso

Team One

Mustang football will try to accomplish something no other west-side team has been able to accomplish this season Friday night when the Broncos travel to Owasso for a district showdown with the Rams.

So far in 2014, the four east-side schools that are in the Class 6A-1 division have not been beaten by a west-side school.

The Broncos will be the west side’s next chance at a win over the “big four” from the east side when they take on Owasso at 7 p.m. Friday on the Rams home commentary new.qxd

Mustang and Owasso come into the game with identical overall records of 6-1, but the Broncos hold the edge over the Rams in district play, coming in at 4-0 and Owasso sitting at 3-1.

Owasso is coached by Bill Patterson.

MHS is currently tied with Tulsa Union at the top of the district, as both sit 4-0 with three games to play.

“We just have to go up there and play our game,” Mustang senior safety Zach Davis said. “We can’t get caught up in the east side vs. west side stuff. We have to worry about what we can control, and that is how we play.”

The Broncos enter Friday’s game after beating Yukon 41-14 in week one, falling at home to Stillwater 35-26 in week two, taking out Edmond Memorial 57-37 in week three, beating Edmond North 34-20 in week four, hammering Putnam City North 46-0 in week five, coming back to defeat Norman North 41-27 in week six and hanging on to beat Southmoore 7-3 last Friday night.

Owasso comes into the district showdown with Mustang after taking down Broken Arrow 14-7 in week one, throttling Muskogee 34-0 in week two, upsetting Jenks 7-6 in week three, hammering Norman North 45-20 in week four, surviving Southmoore 13-9 in week five, smashing Moore 66-9 in week six and dropping its first game of the season at Tulsa Union 37-13 in week seven.

Mustang is averaging 31.2 points per game coming into the contest with Owasso and is averaging 408.6 total yards, including 196.8 rush yards and 211.9 pass yards per outing.

The Broncos defense is allowing opponents 17.2 points per game and an average of 257.4 total yards per game, including 102.8 rush yards and 154.8 pass yards per contest.

Owasso’s offense is averaging 27.5 points per game, while its defense is one of the top scoring defenses in the state, giving up just 12.6 points per game.

Rams quarterback Gabe Neph has completed 60 passes out of 106 attempts this season for 863 yards, with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Neph also leads Owasso on the ground this year with 74 carries for 318 yards and six touchdowns. Wide receiver Demond Sampson has caught 20 passes this season for 245 yards and three touchdowns.

Rams defender Gunner Green is the leading tackler this season with 56 on the year.

“We know we are going to have to play really well up there,” Davis said. “We will have a great week of practice and be ready to go Friday night.”