By DR. DAVID DAVIS
One of the goals that Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann set for his team was to finish as the No. 1 seed and to host the opening game in the playoffs.
“We set as our goal last January that we wanted to host a playoff game,” Koopmann said. “We achieved that goal, and we’re excited about it.”
Friendswood (7-2, 5-2 in District 24-6A) will host Richmond George Ranch (6-4, 4-2 in District 23-6A) in a 6A Region III, Division II bi-district round playoff game 7 p.m. Friday at Henry Winston Stadium.
The Mustangs were once again led by senior QB Tyler Page to completely dominate the Alvin Yellowjackets.
Page racked up 162 yards rushing on 12 carries and added another 67 yards through the air on 7-of-10 passing before exiting the game midway through the third quarter.
“We’ve been so blessed with him,” Koopmann said of Page. “He’s such a great leader for us, such a great young man, but his numbers have been phenomenal for so long, we don’t even blink an eye at them anymore.”
The Mustangs scored on their first six possessions of the game to build a 34-0 advantage.
Page scored the first touchdown of the game with 8:22 left in the first quarter on a 15-yard scamper to cap a five-play short drive that started at the Alvin 27.
Friendswood was back on the scoreboard again when Cody Williamson booted a 28-yard field goal to make the score 10-0 at the 4:12 mark of the first period.
As he has done almost every game this season, Page got loose on one of his patented dazzling runs. This time, it was a 52-yard scoring jaunt thanks to a great block by fullback Calvin Whitaker to make the score 17-0 for the final score in the opening stanza.
While the Mustangs were running all over the Alvin defense, the Friendswood defenders were holding the Jackets to zero yards in the first eight minutes of the district contest with three consecutive three and outs.
The offensive onslaught continue in the second quarter for Friendswood as they tacked on 17 more points to make the score 34-0.
With 10:13 left in the second quarter, Williamson added his second field goal covering 23-yards to increase the lead to 20-0.
Alvin responded with their best drive of the game, but it stalled on the Friendswood 22 after a fourth down failed to pick up the first down.
Beginning at their own 22, Friendswood Koleman Bell took the ensuing handoff 64 yards before being tackled at the Yellowjackets’ 14. On the next play, Page scored for his third rushing TD of the half, extending the Mustangs’ advantage to 27-0.
Friendswood took a 34-0 lead 41 seconds before halftime as Page found Reed Roher on a 17-yard scoring strike in the back left corner of the end zone.
Williamson added a 26-yard field goal 12 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Mustangs up 37-0.
Alvin’s only score of the game came on a 20-yard touchdown run by Jeran Schiller with 8:24 left in the contest to post the 37-7 final score.
The lopsided victory allowed coach Koopmann to get every senior in the game on Senior Night.
Friendswood finished the game with 355 yards rushing as a team, including Elijah Blackburn’s 91 rushing yards on 15 carries. Roher led the team in receiving with five catches for 42 yards and a score.
Now Friendswood will turn its attention to the Longhorns, who last year captured the Class 5A Division I state title before moving up to 6A this season.
“We’re 1-1 with George Ranch the last two years,” Koopmann said. “We’re one of the few that have beaten them, so we’re excited about the matchup.”
George Ranch finished fourth in the District 23-6A standing behind Alief Taylor, Dawson, and Pearland.
By DR. DAVID DAVIS