By Terry Carter
The Taylor Mustangs revealed their championship character several times on Friday as they hosted a talented Cy Woods squad.
The season opener pitted two hungry football teams, and Cy Woods claimed the win, 38-17. Coming off a 6-5 playoff season, the visiting Wildcats are expected to finish third in District 16-6A and reach the playoffs again.
The Mustangs came alive against Cy Woods on both sides of the ball. Junior DE Ashton Coker at 6-5, 270 pounds continues to attract college coaches. As a team captain, he led the defensive play.
Coker was in the Cy Woods backfield, disrupting plays all evening. S Cyrus Reyes logged eight tackles, and DB Josiah Rodriguez hauled in an interception for the Mustangs, according to Taylor defensive coordinator Jim Jolley.
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the game,” Jolley said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids out there, and we just ran out of gas. In the second half, they got a turnover on our 10-yard line, and we bowed up and held them to a field goal. So the effort was there.”
Offensively QB Joe Jefferson Jr. completed 15-of 32 passes for 191 yards, one TD and two interceptions. RB Alexandro Zubia made seven catches for 105 yards, one TD. Alei Sabek caught three passes for 45 yards.
While Cy Woods did keep Jefferson scrambling, G/C Jack Phillips, a 6-0, 260-pound major college prospect, recorded four pancake blocks and allowed no sacks in his performance.
On Thursday Taylor will travel south to Traylor Stadium to test the Mustang mettle in a 7 p.m. contest. Taylor coaches said the game will be a good test.