When people think of the Friendswood and Clear Springs football teams, they usually think of some eye-popping numbers on offense.
However, in a first-ever meeting between the two squads, the game turned defensive as the Mustangs took advantage of multiple turnovers by the Knights to pull out a 17-0 shutout to collect their third straight District 24-6A victory. Friendswood is now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in league action. The Mustangs now have a share of the league lead with Clear Creek and Dickinson.
Clear Springs had their opportunities, but the Friendswood defense forced seven fumbles, recovering four of them while getting one interception.
“Our defensive line got after them,” Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann said. “Their running backs didn’t have a lot of room to get going.Our whole front four played well. We had two sophomore linebackers out there, and our secondary came up with some big plays.”
The first big turnover was when Sean White picked up a fumble deep in Clear Springs territory. With 1:59 left in the opening quarter, Sam Longbotham capped off the miscue with a 4-yard scoring run giving the Mustangs a 7-0 advantage which held up throughout the first half.
The first half was tainted when sophomore quarterback Tyler Page went down with a shoulder injury. He had just completed a 20-yard run when he was injured at the end of the play.
As he has always done when called on, senior QB Brandon Sargent stepped up in the clutch to lead the Mustangs to victory.
Sargent hit 7-for-14 passing for 92 yards including an 8-yard scoring toss to senior defensive end Eric Langston giving Friendswood a 14-0 lead with :04 seconds left in the third period.
Friendswood got a 25-yard field goal from Blake King with 10:33 left in the final period to clinch the 17-0 shutout.
As he has done all season, Longbotham was the workhorse for the Mustangs offense getting 154 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown. He also had two catches for 38 yards.
Friendswood’s biggest test to date will be when they host Clear Creek (4-2, 3-0) at Henry Winston Stadium on Friday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. This game will keep one team atop the district leaderboard while the other drops to second place.