LUFKIN — For the last three games, the Palestine offense had no turnovers which resulted in big numbers on the scoreboard.

Friday night, Palestine found out what happens when turnovers occur.

Five Palestine turnovers, combined with the athletic ability of West Orange-Stark quarterback Kenneth Beasley resulted in Palestine’s season coming to an end, 42-13, in the Class 3A-Region III, Division I, semifinals at Abe Martin Stadium.

“When you make mistakes against a good football team, it is going to go against you,” Palestine head coach Glen Tunstall said.

That good team was No. 2 ranked West Orange-Stark and its quarterback, Beasley, who rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns while passing for another score.

“He is a tremendous athlete,” Tunstall said of Beasley. “He probably is the best player in 3A.”

Palestine finishes the season with an 8-3 record.

West Orange-Stark (11-0) started the game with an 11-play drive that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Beasley to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.

On the opening drive, Palestine had the Mustangs in a fourth-down situation but Beasley found Jacoby Franks for a 19-yard pass down to the 1-yard line, setting up the touchdown run.

After the West Orange-Stark score, the rest of the quarter belonged to the Wildcats.

In their second possession, the Wildcats converted on third-and-2 and got inside Mustang territory when quarterback Devin Stephens faked the handoff and then picked up 21 yards for the first down.

Then on third-and-9, Stephens pitched the ball to Paul Kennedy, who went untouched for a 30-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7.

Palestine got the first turnover of the game when Jeremy Bailey intercepted Beasley on the West Orange-Stark 32-yard line.

Palestine quickly went for the end zone as Leon Mickens put a double move on the defensive back and got open for a 32-yard touchdown pass from Devin Stephens and the Wildcats had a 13-7 lead.

But then the turnovers started.

After the Palestine defense stopped the Mustangs on three plays, the West Orange-Stark punt was fumbled by Mickens and the Mustangs recovered on the Palestine 30-yard line.

“That play changed the momentum of the game,” Tunstall said. “If we do not fumble the punt and are able to take it in to score, we could have been up by two scores.”

But instead, it was West Orange-Stark who took it in to score on 10 plays as Beasley took it in himself from 3 yards out on third-and-goal to give the Mustangs a 14-13 lead. That would start a string a 35 unanswered points by West Orange-Stark.

Palestine looked to retake the lead when on fourth down and 2 from the Wildcat 46-yard line, Kevin Swanson took an end around and got inside the West Orange-Stark 10-yard line, but a block in the back penalty brought the ball back to the Mustang 34-yard line, but gave Palestine a first down.

However, on the next play, Stephens was picked off at the 11-yard line by Earl Thomas.

Then Beasley took over, running for 22 yards and 40 yards on consecutive plays to get deep inside Palestine territory. Three plays later Beasley found the end zone for the third time in the half as he scored on another 1-yard run, giving the Mustangs a 21-13 lead.

Thomas again came up with an interception on Palestine’s next possession, as the Wildcats committed their third turnover of the half and went into halftime trailing by eight points.

“I thought we outplayed them on every snap of the first half,” Tunstall said. “You just can’t make those mistakes.”

The second half belonged to West Orange-Stark, as the Palestine offense disappeared in the third quarter, running only six plays in the first eight minutes of the half.

During that time span, Beasley connected with LaDarius White on third down for a 48-yard touchdown. Beasley then scored on a 34-yard scamper to give the Mustangs a 34-13 lead.

Palestine’s last effort came late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats converted on fourth down when Stephens found Justin Mosley for an 8-yard pass.

Then on third-and-12, Stephens found Mickens, who picked up 18 yards on the catch-and-run play.

Palestine got down to the West Orange-Stark 6-yard line, but the drive would stall there as the Wildcats managed only 1 more yard and turned the ball over on downs.

West Orange-Stark put the game away on the following possession as Beasley picked up 46 yards and then Thomas capped off the night with a 59-yard touchdown run.

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