Delta Charter Storm shuts out Tensas with big plays, 44-0

Published 1:47 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

An interception, a fumble and a kickoff all returned for touchdowns highlighted the Delta Charter Storm’s 44-0 win over the Tensas Panthers Friday night.

The Storm surged off big plays on homecoming night, as first-year head coach Blake Wheeler’s team put together one of its best performances of the season.

Junior Freddie Mango rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts. Mango’s second touchdown run was especially impressive, as he broke tackles and turned a play that should have been a five-yard loss into a 35-yard score.

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And as it turns out, Mango had extra reason to celebrate Friday.

“It was his birthday tonight, actually,” Wheeler said. “I told him, ‘Nothing would be sweeter for your birthday than a homecoming victory.’

“Whenever he touches the football, man, I tell you what, you’ve got to hold your breath if you’re the other team because great things can happen.”

Aside from his strong game on the ground, Mango scored the first defensive touchdown of the game. Just a minute into the second quarter, Mango read a pass by the Panthers quarterback perfectly, jumping the route and sprinting unimpeded into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown off the interception.

Just more than a minute of game time later, the Storm struck again on defense. This time, senior Jalen Williams stripped the ball from a Panthers running back, then scooped up the ball and ran the remaining 34 yards for a touchdown.

Williams nearly had two fumbles returned for touchdowns. Earlier in the game, he also stripped the ball from a Tensas running back, but the officials ruled the player’s knee was down just before Williams took the ball away.

“Jalen’s one of those guys that he’s going to go in and he’s going to look for the turnover because he knows how important that is for us,” Wheeler said.

Williams was not done — he kept the Storm’s momentum going in the second half, returning the opening kickoff of the third quarter 90 yards for a touchdown. He also added an 8-yard rushing score late in the game for his third touchdown of the night.

Williams attributed his performance to a total team effort, lauding his teammates’ blocking throughout the game.

“We’re supposed to lift each other up, and that’s what we did,” Williams said.

As a team, Delta Charter ran for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns on 27 attempts.

“Our offensive line — I can’t say enough about those guys tonight,” Wheeler said. “They were facing blitzes all night long, and they executed, did their job and opened up running lanes for those backs all night long.”