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November 30, 2005

Ready for a showdown

Several Texas Longhorn commitments made nice runs through the state playoffs, but only a few have been fortunate enough to have their teams still standing as the races for the championships wind down.

At least one future Longhorn is assured of playing in a state championship game, with West Orange-Stark and Deon Beasley set to square off with Wimberley and future UT offensive lineman Buck Burnette. The winner of that game will move on to the state finals to play either Gainesville or Liberty-Eylau.

"Hopefully (Buck) will take it easy on us and hopefully he'll think I'll take it easy on them," Beasley said with a laugh.

The run to the state semis doesn't come as a shock considering West Orange-Stark was ranked in the top 10 by most polls coming into the season, and with the ultra-talented Beasley running the show from the quarterback position, many felt the Mustangs would have their best chance in a long time to bring home the state championship.

"As far as the playoffs, I've been running the ball pretty well," Beasley said when asked what he's done to help the team advance. "I didn't do a lot of running in district but I've been having to run because a lot of people have been blitzing. But when they blitz, if I get behind them, it's history."

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound speedster nNeeds roughly 250 yards passing to set West Orange-Stark's single season passing mark, and in their three playoff games, Beasley estimated that he's piled up about 550 yards on the ground. And his body is feeling the effects. But, he said, with his team playing an abbreviated regular season schedule due to Hurricane Rita, he's holding up just fine.

"That was the best thing that happened to us," he said. "I'm feeing every ache pain that I can possibly feel now. We've never played this late so my body's not used to it. I've been taking some licks. I've been a running back lined up at quarterback."

Beasley, who has built a very strong relationship with Texas coach Oscar Giles, said he still talks to the regularly to the UT assistant, usually a couple of times each week. In fact, Beasley said he's developed a routine that includes calling Giles late in the week, and it's not a pattern that he's about to break.

"I just call to check in. We've been winning ever since I called him late in the week and I believe in superstition," Beasley said. "So I told him I'm going to call him every week, around Thursday or Friday. So we've got a thing, he says as long as we're winning, they're winning. I talked to him last week and he said 'y'all won? Then we're going to go out and win too.'"

On the recruiting front, Beasley has given Longhorn fans some anxious moments, including an official visit to Texas Tech back in September, but he said he's 100 percent committed to Texas and he hasn't had any contact with other coaching staffs of late.

"Really, I don't know if they've been calling because I've been staying at my grandmother's house for the last month or so," he said.

If West Orange-Stark falls this week, Beasley will be in Austin for his official visit on December 9. If his team wins, the visit will be pushed back until January 20.


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