KATY — College Station head football coach Steve Huff didn’t call the Cougars’ 52-14 loss to No. 3 Richmond Foster to open the season Thursday at Legacy Stadium a wake-up call.
“I think it’s a grow-up call,” Huff said. “We made some pretty crucial mistakes tonight at some really crucial times, especially early on. We didn’t even give ourselves an opportunity to be in the game, but again, that’s a good football team.”
The Falcons racked up 497 yards of total offense while holding the Cougars to 241 in the Week 1 matchup. The Cougars didn’t record a first down until the second half and suffered from miscues on defense and special teams, losing a pair of costly fumbles.
Foster senior quarterback Ryan Stubblefield connected with Sean Kelly for a 17-yard pass on third-and-9 then found the senior receiver again for a 30-yard touchdown to put the Falcons on the scoreboard.
The Cougars managed a defensive stop on Foster’s next drive, but a muffed punt gave the Falcons the ball back on the College Station 31-yard line. Two plays later, Stubblefield connected with junior wide receiver Cody Jackson over the middle for a 27-yard TD pass. Jackson, an Oklahoma recruit, also had a 29-yard TD reception in the second quarter.
Jackson set up the Falcons’ third TD of the first quarter, a 2-yard run by senior running back Mario Simmons, with a 42-yard catch-and-run followed by a 33-yard catch by senior receiver Case Parker. Stubblefield had 214 passing yards by halftime. For the game he completed 15 of 24 passes for 322 yards, his only blemish coming on a Mark Taplette interception late in the second quarter. Jackson caught seven passes for 136 yards.
The Foster defense shut down the Cougars, who didn’t record a first down until the 11:29 mark in the third quarter after moving just 20 total yards in the first half. The Falcons held senior quarterback Austin Sosa to 79 yards on 6-of-19 passing. Sosa also was the Cougars’ leading rusher with nine carries for 41 yards. Backup running back Terry Green added seven carries for 40 yards, all in the fourth quarter. College Station senior receiver Trey Winn had four catches for 65 yards.
“We had a few young ones tonight, and the young ones may not have been sophomores — they may have been seniors,” Huff said. “It’s just guys that are seeing their first varsity experience, so welcome to Friday night. We got it handed to us, but I have no doubt that these guys will continue to strive to get better and better.”
College Station’s misfortune continued into the second half. After gaining their initial first down, the Cougars lost a fumble on a wayward snap, giving Foster the ball at the College Station 15. Intentional grounding backed up the Falcons to the 19, and despite a 12-yard pass, Foster had to settle for a field goal.
College Station finally got on the scoreboard later in the quarter on a 35-yard pass from Sosa to Roderick Brown, who scampered into the end zone around the right end.
Foster’s 55-yard TD pass was called back because of a celebration penalty, but the Falcons still found the end zone on that possession when Stubblefield threw an 8-yard TD pass to Jackson. Jackson made a highlight-reel worthy 43-yard TD catch over the shoulder on Foster’s next possession.
The Cougars added one more TD on a 1-yard run by Kolbe Cashion in the fourth quarter, a score set up by Sosa’s 18-yard pass to Peyton Russ.
The Falcons’ backups added another touchdown on a 4-yard pass from Phillip Amy to Zach Hopper about five minutes later after another fumbled punt by College Station.
College Station has a bye next week then will host Huntsville at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Cougar Stadium.
“Our youth showed up tonight, and that’s no excuse,” Huff said. “But we’ll have plenty of time to get better, and they’ll get better. I don’t have any doubt about that, because they’re not afraid to work. Tonight was execution. We just didn’t get it done.”
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