Friendswood scalps Indians 34-16

In News, Sports by Reporter News

Friendswood traveled to face Santa Fe at the reservation and returned home with a 34-16 win to keep them undefeated in the District 24-4A standings.

The Mustangs (4-1, 2-0) are tied with No. 7 state-ranked Texas City (5-0, 2-0), who took out No. 9 state-ranked Dawson (4-1, 1-1) 44-14 in their league showdown.

Friendswood made sure they took care of business against Santa Fe who has proven in the past to be very fiesty against the Mustangs including a 21-20 loss to the Indians in 2010. Friendswood finished the season with a 13-2 mark and a loss in the 4A Div. I state-semifinals. The other loss was to Santa Fe which was their only loss in district that season.

Head coach Robert Koopmann was the offensive coordinator while serving with former head coach Steve Van Meter during that season. There is no question that Koopmann motivated his players to not take the Indians for granted this season.

Every coach cringes when a turnover takes place at the start of the game giving the home team additional motivation with their fans.

On the Mustangs second possession of the game, quarterback Brandon Sargent, who has been a real star for the Mustangs since taking over the offense in the Terry game, made a rare mistake when he mishandled a snap that rolled into the end zone and was recovered by a Santa Fe defender for a touchdown with 9:44 left in the opening period and a 6-0 lead.

However, that one miscue became a rallying point for Sargent and his running partner Sam Longbotham as the pair led the Mustangs to a 34-16 victory.

Less than two minutes later, Longbotham scored on a 9-yard run as Garron Stewart booted the PAT giving the Mustangs a 7-6 lead.

Midway in the second quarter, Sargent led the Mustangs offense on a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off with a 7-yard scoring run by the signal-caller and a 14-6 advantage with 3:12 remaining before intermission.

But Santa Fe made a last minute charge and settled for a 37-yard field goal by Tripp Halstead, who scored on the fumble recovery at the start of the game, to cut the lead to 14-9 at halftime.

The second half belonged to the Mustangs as they scored 20 unanswered points to increase the lead to 34-9 with 8:34 left in the fourth quarter.

Longbotham scored twice in the third period when he gathered in a short pass from Sargent for a 7-yard scoring toss and then the pair hooked up again with 6:27 left in the third on a 47-yard scoring strike.

Sargent completed the scoring for the Mustangs when he hit Slade Holle for a 55-yard scoring bomb that put the game out of reach. Holle was instrumental in the victory over Galena Park when he scored on a 95-yard kickoff return in the district opener against the Yellowjackets. for a 24-7 win.

Santa Fe scored on a Ryan Skufca keeper with only :27 seconds remaining in the game to make the final score 34-16 respectable.

Friendswood ran all over Santa Fe with 462 total yards of offense while the Friendswood defense limited the Indians to only 147 total yards.

Sargent completed 12-of-17 passing for 203 yards and three scores while picking up 61 yards on 12 carries and another TD.

Longbotham had 140 yards rushing on 19 carries and one score while grabbing two passes for 54 yards and to TDs.

Holle had four grabs for 98 yards and one score while Ryan Bertelsman had two catches for 22 yards.

Friendswood suffered four fumbles and lost two while Santa Fe lost both of their fumbles.

The Mustangs toughest game of the season will Friday, October 11 when they host district rival Texas City at Henry Winston Stadium at 7:00 p.m. This will more than likely be for the 24-4A championship. Mustang fans need to be out in full force to support the team.

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