The North Texas Mustangs broke onto the developmental football scene in 2016 by finishing their inaugural season with a 12-2 record and a Texas United Football League Championship. With a target on their backs all season, the Mustangs have upheld their reputation as the top team in the TUFL in 2017.
Now, they carry a perfect 10-0 record into their first-round playoff game against the Dallas Trojans.
“They’ve got a real young squad,” Mustangs owner Joel Patterson told Developmental Football USA. “I’m just hoping we come out and play our game. If we come out and play our game, we’ll be good to go. That’s our whole deal, our whole mindset, do what we do best and make them stop that.”
Offensively, North Texas has had to work in a new quarterback into their system, Kent Wingfield, but he’s done his part in running the offense and managing games to keep his team’s record flawless in the middle of May.
“We’ve got a really young quarterback this year,” Patterson said. “We don’t have our veteran we had last year, so we’ve got a pretty young guy leading our team, but he’s doing an excellent job for us.
“To me, the only thing different is our quarterback position. Everybody else came back, plus I think we’ve picked up more talent this year than we had last year.”
Wingfield’s primary target has been wide receiver Deondre Singleton.
“I think on the year he has seven or eight touchdown receptions and probably 800 to 900 yards receiving,” Patterson said. “He’s like 6-foot-3 and he goes up and gets it.”
Running back Eddie Kilgore has carried the load on the ground for the Mustangs this year and has close to 1,000 yards on the year and more than 12 touchdowns, Patterson said.
What makes North Texas so dangerous is their defense, which is led by a formidable front seven.
“Rashad Fields, he plays outside linebacker for us, defensive end Omar James and our middle linebacker Cory Nichols,” Patterson said. “Omar James has roughly right at 18 to 20 sacks on the year, Rashad Fields has nine interceptions and a host of tackles, probably 60 to 70 and Cory Nichols on the inside has I think five picks and right at 100 tackles for the year.”
For the Mustangs to repeat as TUFL Champions and successfully defend their title, they’ll have to get through the rest of the league’s top teams.
“Our biggest threat I would probably say would be the DeSoto Tarantulas and probably the Lightning,” Patterson said. “The Lightning, I coached against them like three years ago with another team. They won the EFL like three years in a row before they came over here. Right now, they’re undefeated, but they’ve had a lot of forfeit wins, that’s why they’re under us.”
Anything can happen in the playoffs, so the Mustangs aren’t overlooking any opponent.
“Our rival would be the North Texas Panthers,” Patterson said. “No matter what goes on they play us tough, real tough. (In the regular season last year), the Diamondbacks beat us 13-6, but we had like 12 turnovers that game and we lost to the Panthers one game last year 34-28.”