Mustangs pick up first playoff win since 1995

K.J. Luster has been through ups-and-downs in four years of playing at Overton. He experienced an all-time high Thursday when he helped the Mustangs to their first playoff win since 1995.

Luster threw for three touchdowns, Jamal Kelly added two rushing scores and Overton blasted Wortham 34-7 in a Class A Division II Region III bi-district game at Wildcats Stadium.

“How else can you describe this other than saying it’s a huge win for us,” said Luster, who has played for three coaches in four years and had gone through three sub-.500 seasons while at Overton. “This win is for the community, the players, everybody. We’re a very small, uncommon group, but we made a stand and won a game for this program.”

Luster connected with Julian Herndon on a 40-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Overton added to its lead a few minutes later on a 10-yard pass from Luster to Alex Yancey. Luster hit Jesse Roach with the 2-point conversion as Overton jumped out 14-0 going into the second.

Wortham scored on a blocked punt return to make it 14-7 before the Mustangs closed the half with a 17-yard Kelly run and a 60-yard Luster-to-Damion Dennis touchdown pass.

Luster completed 13 of 20 passes for 212 yards and the three scores while Kelly had 18 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns. His 3-yard plunge with 6:24 left in the third was the final score of the night. Kelly just missed a third touchdown when he fumbled at the goal line at the end of an 88-yard run in the third quarter.

“Getting Jamal back on offense has helped a great deal,” Overton first-year coach Josh Barton said. “It gives us some much-needed depth in the backfield and a tremendous offensive weapon.”

Overton’s defense held Wortham to 174 yards. Bulldogs quarterback Brandon Campbell threw for 93 yards and ran for 70 more.

“It’s a great win and these kids deserve it,” said Barton. “They’ve continued to buy into what the coaching staff is telling them and they just gave a tremendous effort tonight. I’m really proud of them.”

Overton (7-4) advances to meet Tenaha in next week’s area round of the playoffs. The game will  be played at 2 p.m. Friday in Beckville.

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