FORNEY – When head coach Lance Angel returned to Palestine in May his main goal was to restore a playoff tradition in the Wildcat community. Palestine reached that goal and added in a second-place finish in the dreaded “District of Doom.”
At the end of last week's 28-21 victory over Chapel Hill, the Palestine community celebrated as they had another week of football to look forward to. However, down on the field, senior Quinton Cook stood in the middle of the team's huddle and told them “we have a lot of work left to do.”
“It's great to get a few pats on the back, but we're 0-0 now,” Angel said. “We like to keep rolling. If players want people to keep being excited then we have to keep playing.”
Palestine will travel to Forney's City Bank Stadium tonight for a bi-district round matchup against Life Waxachie (7-3, 3-2).
The Mustangs are fresh off a 71-39 win over the Ford Mustangs in their district finale, which was a school record for points. It's their third game of at least 50 points this season, which solidifies coach Angel's statement about them being “different” then what they've played this year.
The Mustangs run a triple-option offense centered around quarterback Gage Mayfield and running back SirMichael Veasley. Mayfield ran for 218 yards last week while going 7-of-10 from the pocket for 170 yards.
Veasley tacked on another 148 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 14 touches.
“Our biggest deal is if our kids are confident in what they're doing,” Angel said altering the defensive scheme. “We want them to play loose and fly to the football. Be physical like we've been all year.”
Palestine plans on matching the Mustang's triple-read option with aggression and speed on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Quinton Cook finished the season with 104 tackles and his instincts will be needed against the Mustangs potent rushing attack.
On the opposite end, in Waxahachie Life's past two outings teams have gone for 160 and 200 yards on the ground collectively. A win for Palestine would mark their first three-game winning streak since 2016.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Forney's City Bank Stadium.