By DR. DAVID DAVIS
To say that the Friendswood Mustangs ran over the Clear Creek Wildcats is an understatement.
Friendswood quarterback Tyler Page showed why he is one of the top players in the state as he ran over, around, and through Clear Creek defenders for 387 rushing yards and five touchdowns. His performance was 15 yards short of setting the single-game rushing mark at Friendswood owned by another signal-caller, Jordan Wood, who set the mark in 2012 with 401 yards.
Page became the school’s all-time leading rusher two weeks ago and is now setting his own standard for others to shoot for in the future. The field general now has 4,247 career rushing yards and could very well move past the 5,000 yard mark before his high school career comes to an end.
“Sometimes you block for him and he scores, and sometimes you don’t block for him and he still scores,” Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann said.
Even Clear Creek’s head coach Darrell Warden expressed his amazement regarding Page.
“He just has the it factor,” Warden said. “He’s probably good at anything he does. If I was a college coach, he’d be on my team — some how, some way. He makes whoever he’s playing with win. He’s a winner. That’s the bottom line.”
Page opened up the Friendswood scoring with a sensational 39-yard scoring run that eluded several Clear Creek defenders on the way to the pay station. Cody Williamson booted the PAT making the score 7-0 with 10:32 left in the first quarter.
However, it took only 19 seconds for Clear Creek to answer with their own quarterback burning the Friendswood defense for a spectacular 73-yard scoring jaunt to tie up the game at 7-7 with 10:13 left.
The Mustangs used an eight-play drive to take the lead for good as Connor Stanford rumbled into the end zone on a 2-yard scoring dive giving the Mustangs a 14-7 advantage with 7:16 left in the opening quarter.
With 2:06 left in the opening stanza, Friendswood increase the lead to 17-7 on a 34-yard field goal by Williamson.
The Friendswood scoring parade continued in the second quarter as Page added two more scoring runs of 4 and 71-yards.
Sandwiched in between Page’s two scores came an interception by defensive back Reid Nickerson, Friendswood found pay dirt on just one trick play — a 35-yard TD pass, with receiver Koleman Bell taking the toss and throwing it to a wide-open Reed Roher.to stretch the lead to 38-7.
However, Creek wasn’t going to give up as they pulled out a 2-yard touchdown by Sam Matthews that capped off a 10-play, 66-yard scoring drive with only 9 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 38-13 following a missed PAT.
The Wildcats got back in the game in the third quarter as the ‘Cats scored twice on two scoring runs of 3 and 13-yards by Noah Daniels to pull within 38-27 at the 2:20 mark.
“When they made it 38-27, I told our coaches that Creek hasn’t stopped Tyler Page yet,” Koopmann said. “I said let’s not mess around with this thing. Let’s just let him run the ball.”
Friendswood bounced back with a quick drive and an 8-yard TD run by Page, and then an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped off with an 18-yard Page TD run to boost its lead to 52-27 at the 7:22 mark of the fourth quarter.
Clear Creek was able to score one more time as Daniels caught a 57-yard scoring bomb from Matthews to close out the scoring at 52-34 with 5:05 left in the game.
In addition to Page’s monster game, Roher (five receptions, 70 yards, one TD) and running back Elijah Blackburn (17 carries, 64 yards) had solid outings for Friendswood.
The Mustangs (5-1, 3-1) will now getting ready to host the Clear Lake Falcons (3-4, 2-2) on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium.