Friendswood entered the game against undefeated Dickinson without their starting quarterback and running back. Despite being short-handed, the Mustangs still fought until the bitter end before the Gators pulled out a 17-9 victory to remain tie atop the league leaderboard with Clear Creek.
Two big plays proved to be the difference in the game.
Leading 3-0 on a Jaime Valdez 25-yard field goal in the first quarter, the Gators used a 62-yard scoring jaunt by Brad Woodard to put Dickinson up 10-0 with 9:57 left in the second quarter.
Friendswood’s defense stiffened and didn’t allow another score in the first half.
The Mustangs finally got on the board with :13 ticks on the clock before halftime when Blake King nailed a 39-yard field goal to close the gap to 10-3.
Friendswood continued to battle on defense while the offense tried to get into the end zone.
With 4:17 left in the third quarter, the Mustangs drove the ball to the Dickinson 27 before turning to King again for a 44-yard field goal to tighten up the game at 10-6.
The Friendswood defense continue to hold the Dickinson offense to keep the Mustangs in the game.
The Mustangs continued to move toward the Dickinson goal line, but once again were stymied at the Gators 23 with :055 left in the third.
King was called on again and he came through with a 40-yard field goal to bring the Mustangs even closer at 10-9.
With the Gators clinging to a one-point lead, Dickinson was facing a third-and-20 late in the fourth quarter when Gator QB Cameron Martin escaped a Friendswood blitz, flipped the ball to Woodward on a screen pass, and the senior running back did the rest as he raced 62-yards to the Friendswood 3-yard line with only 3:48 left in the game.
Facing fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, Woodward powered his way across the goal line giving the Gators a 17-9 lead at the 2:24 mark.
Dickinson’s defense came up with the big play in the waning minutes. Facing a fourth-and-5 at their own 39, Friendswood QB Brandon Sargent was sacked to put the game on ice for the Gators with less than a minute left in the game.
“Ninety-five percent of my offense was over there sitting on the sidelines, but, I’m going to tell you, I’m proud of our offense because we battled and put some drives together and squeezed about as much as we could out of there,” Mustangs head coach Robert Koopmann said.
Sargent completed 18-of-29 passes for 179 yards. Running back Jonah Vandersypen had 52 yards on 20 carries. Receiver Joey Crespo was Sargent’s favorite target with eight catches for 85 yards.
Friendswood (5-3, 3-2) will host the Clear Lake Falcons on Friday, October 31 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium.