Turnovers and mistakes seemed to be the norm for the Friendswood Mustangs when they faced the Terry Rangers. And it appeared that the Rangers would come out victorious as the ‘Stangs struggled for most of the game, especially in the first half.
Neither team moved the ball very well in the first 12 minutes of the first half as the opening period came to a close with the score 0-0.
But Terry took advantage of a wayward pass from Friendswood junior quarterback Jake Blumrick who tossed a screen pass to Terry defender Norris Palmer who gathered in the pass and sprinted 15-yards for the first score of the game giving the Rangers a 7-0 lead at the 9:25 mark of the second quarter.
On the next series, head coach Robert Koopmann turned to junior signal-caller Brandon Sargent to see if he could be more effective which proved to be a wise decision as Sargent took over the offense hitting 16-of-21 passing for 167 yards and one score while tossing a harmless interception.
Terry added another score with 1:51 left in the first half for a 14-0 lead and it appeared that would be the score at intermission.
The Mustangs set up shop at their own 29 with 1:45 left in the first half.
Sargent set the scoring drive in motion when he completed two straight passes for 8 ad 6 yards to move the Mustangs to the 43-yard line. Sam Longbotham burst through the Terry defense for a 40-yard scamper placing the ball at the Terry 16. Longbotham set sail around the left side to pick up seven more yards and then Sargent weaved his way for eight more yards to the Terry one-yard line. That set up a Sargent sneak for the score. Garron Stewart nailed the PAT with :45 seconds left before intermission to close the gap to 14-7.
That completed a six-play, 71-yard drive that took only a minute to complete.
Friendswood received the second half kickoff and it took 2:04 for the Mustangs to knot up the game at 14-14.
Longbotham and Sargent teamed up to lead the scoring charge. Sargent tossed a short pass to Longbotham on the first play and the junior running back turned it into a 25-yard game. Sargent completed another pass and ran for a short game to place the ball at the Terry 33.
On the next play, Longbotham scored a jaw-dropping run that should make a You Tube highlight as he bounced off defenders, ran over a couple of would-be tacklers, broke away from several other defenders before crossing the goal line to complete the unbelievable run to the
delight of the Friendswood fans. Stewart hit the PAT and the game was tied at the 9:56 mark of the third quarter.
Friendswood holds Terry to force a punt, but the Mustangs gave the ball back on a fumble at their own 21.
But James Bauer offset the turnover with a great interception to turn away the scoring threat.
Another turnover cost the Mustangs when a pass was caught and then fumbled giving Terry the ball at their own 35 early in the final period.
It appeared that Terry might take over the lead when the quarterback got loose around the right side of the Friendswood defense for a 44-yard jaunt to place the ball at the Friendswood 26. Two plays later, Friendswood gets a great hit on a Terry runner who coughed up the ball allowing the Mustangs to recover the ball at their own 24.
With 6:54 left in the game, Friendswood began at their own 39 and six plays later, Sargent tossed a perfect pass to Colin Faulk who outraced the defense to score on a 38-yard pass making the score 21-14 with 4:18 remaining in the game.
But Terry wasn’t going to go away as they took over at their own 21 with 4:11 left in the contest trailing 21-14.
Facing third and seven at their own 47, Friendswood was flagged for a personal foul setting up the Rangers at the Friendswood 33. Running back Michael Maxwell got loose around the left side to score with 1:45 left in the game to make the score 21-20.
The Rangers decided to take the gamble and go for the two-point conversion and a possible win. On a sweep left, Friendswood came through on defense with the stop to maintain their 21-20 lead.
The onside kick was recovered by the Mustangs and they ran out the clock for the thrilling victory.
While Sargent was one of the key players in the win, Longbotham certainly did his with 154 yards on 20 carries and one TD. Sargent had four carries for 10 yards and a key touchdown. Faulk snagged five passes for 68 yards and anther critical score.
Friendswood finished with 386 total yards, 14 first downs, but had to over come an interceptions and three lost fumbles.
Terry had 253 total yards, nine first downs, and suffered one interception and the loss of one fumble.
Friendswood has an open week this Friday, but will open up district action on Friday, September 27 when they host Galena Park at 7:00 p.m.