Sachse junior Brian Okoye had 20 carries for 215 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Mustangs to a 57-13 victory over South Garland on Thursday at Williams Stadium. 

On the opening drive of the game, a Sachse player was striding into the end zone when the ball was punched away at the last moment, allowing South Garland to recover for a touchback.

It might have been viewed as a bad omen, yet it was anything but, as the Mustangs would score on their next five possessions to open a huge halftime lead and coast to a 57-13 victory in a zone playoff game on Thursday at Williams Stadium.

Under the revised format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sachse (3-3 in 9-6A, 3-4 overall) punches its ticket to the playoffs next month.

The Colonels (2-4, 2-5) moved the ball well through the air at times, but had no answers for the Mustangs ground game, which rolled up 479 yards on 49 attempts and scored all eight touchdowns.

Sachse was led by Brian Okoye, who wore the No. 17 in tribute to the three-year anniversary of the passing of his brother, Godfrey, a former Mustang player himself. Okoye shouldered the load, carrying the ball 20 times for 215 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Quarterback Alex Orji also topped the century mark, going 8 times for 113 yards and three scores, Cam Gladney found the end zone twice and Kori Jones added a touchdown run.

The inauspicious start proved nothing more than a hiccup on the night, as after making a defensive stop, the Mustangs marched 80 yards in nine plays, with Orji leaping over a defender to cap a 16-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

On an unusual play, the Colonels lined up to punt, but the snap got away. The punter tracked down the ball and tried to throw the ball away, but was flagged for intentional grounding, resulting in a 32-yard penalty. On the next play, Orji bulled into the end zone on a 21-yard score to make it 14-0 at the end of one quarter.

The barrage continued early in the second, as Gladney and Jones each had 4-yard touchdown runs in a span of 2:03 to push the advantage to 28-0.

South Garland did have its share of highlights, mostly through the passing game. Quarterback Jalil Brown was 18-of-37 for 286 yards, a bulk of which went through Tyreon Key, who had 11 catches for 174 yards. That duo hooked up when Brown hit Key in stride on a 65-yard touchdown strike to get on the scoreboard.

Sachse countered on a 7-yard scoring run by Okoye, but the Colonels hinted at keeping things interesting, as Brown lofted a perfect deep ball to Jacob Crim for a 40-yard touchdown to close to within 36-13 at halftime.

The Mustang defense ramped up during the final two quarters, keeping South Garland off the scoreboard, and the offense added some insurance.

Orji scrambled in for his third score of the night on a 26-yard run to make it 43-13.

Okoye rumbled 55 yards down to the Colonel 2 and then did the rest himself on the next play and early in the fourth quarter, Gladney added an 8-yard touchdown run to provide the final margin.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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