Sachse’s game plan heading into its 10-6A tilt with South Garland was not overly complicated.
The Mustangs felt they could establish their presence on the ground and impose their will against the Colonel defense.
Sachse did just that, rushing for 365 yards as they proved too much for South Garland in a 41-20 victory on Thursday at Homer B. Johnson Stadium.
The Mustangs (7-2 overall, 5-1 in 10-6A) remain tied for first place with Wylie, who defeated North Garland, 38-28, on Thursday.
Sachse attempted only two passes on the night—a rarity in the era of the spread—but they simply did not need to go to the air.
They averaged nearly 10 yards per carry (37-365) and it was not a one-man show.
Brian Okoye had eight carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a 80-yard score, while Shon Coleman had eight carries for 99 yards and also found the end zone twice.
“We felt like we could run the ball and we were able to do that,” Sachse head coach Mark “Red” Behrens said. “I’m proud of the kids. It is hard to come off an emotional game like we did last week (17-14 win over Lakeview) and then turn right around with a short week, that’s always an ingredient for an upset, but the kids played hard and a lot of them made some big plays.”
South Garland did some damage of its own on the ground, led by sophomore quarterback Jalil Brown, who had 25 carries for 175 yards. He had several big plays to convert third downs early on and crossed the 100-yard mark on the first play of the second quarter.
But while he was still able to break a handful of good runs, the Mustangs did a better job of corralling him from that point, holding him to three yards or less on nine of his last 14 carries.
“They have a couple of really good skill kids. That No. 9 (Brown) is tough,” Behrens said. “We didn’t do a whole lot adjustment-wise. We felt like we had a good plan coming in, it was just a matter of executing it. We had some people going in the wrong places at the wrong time and he took advantage of that. But there were some plays made in the second half that we felt pretty good about.”
Sachse led 20-7 at halftime and kept the Colonels at arm’s length the rest of the way.
They scored on the opening drive of the third quarter with Coleman’s 18-yard touchdown run to make it a three-score game.
South Garland, which had three drives of more than seven minutes, responded with a 75-yard march that concluded with a 2-yard scoring run by Brandon Wyatt to close to within 27-13.
The Colonels were pumped up, but the Mustangs snuffed out any hopes of an upset. Okoye carried the ball seven times on a nine-play drive, capping it with a 4-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter.
After forcing a punt, they put it away early in the fourth, chewing up more than five minutes off the clock and finding the end zone again on a 27-yard quarterback keeper by Xavier Forman that pushed the lead to 41-13 with 4:01 left.
The first half was unorthodox to say the least.
Sachse ran three offensive plays in the first quarter and had a 13-0 lead.
In the first half, South Garland ran 37 plays compared with 12 for the Mustangs and held the ball for 19:47 of the 24 minutes, yet Sachse was still in control.
On the first play from scrimmage, Scotty Jesmer sacked the quarterback and the ball came loose, with Quinton Williams recovering at the Colonel 8.
Two plays later Coleman was in the end zone on a 7-yard run and they had a 6-0 lead just 53 seconds into the game.
South Garland chewed up more than seven minutes on its next drive but came away empty after Sachse blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt.
The Mustangs took no time capitalizing, as Okoye busted free for a 80-yard touchdown run to push it to 13-0.
The Colonels again went on the march, going 75 yards in 14 plays and taking another 7:06 off the clock.
This time, they took advantage of the chance as Brown found Ty Key on a 5-yard touchdown to cut it to 13-7 with 8:40 left in the half.
Sachse continued to strike and strike quickly, though.
They needed only six plays to move 75 yards, with Parker Wells hitting Jay Fair on a 7-yard slant to push the lead back to 20-7 and it would maintain a double-digit lead from that point.
Sachse now turns its attention to rival Rowlett in the regular season next Friday. This season has featured its share of drama, with five games having been decided by three points or less, but they are in position to win at least a share of the 10-6A title for the fourth year in a row.
“I felt like this year was going to be a challenging year just for the fact that we had so many new guys and a lot of inexperience and a lot of times” Behrens said. “At times, we look pretty good and pretty salty and at times we look like we are inexperienced. So we feel pretty good going into next week, we have an extra day to prepare and heal up and we’ll be ready to go.”