A&M Consolidated will try to continue its postseason run at 7 p.m. Friday against Crosby in the Class 5A Division II regional football playoffs at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium in Cypress.
Consol is seeking its first state quarterfinal appearance since 2013, and the Tigers will have to handle the Cougars’ powerful offense to get there.
Crosby (10-2), last season’s state runner-up, has won 10 straight games after dropping its first two of the season to Carthage and Manvel, which ended the regular season state-ranked in 4A-I and 5A-I, respectively. The Cougars got hot after the two losses, won District 12-5A-II and raced through the first two rounds of the playoffs to set up Friday’s matchup with the Tigers.
“Of course at this time, everybody that’s still in it is a good football team,” Consol head coach Lee Fedora said. “What’s great is we always talk about you want to be practicing when it’s Thanksgiving break, and our guys are doing a great job preparing. Right now, there’s 16 teams left in our division, and we want to be one of the teams left with eight in there, so it’s all about us, how we practice and how we perform.”
Consol earned its chance to practice on Thanksgiving with a fourth-quarter comeback against Barbers Hill last week in area, winning 41-35. Defensive end Jaden Thomas said the Tigers remained resilient during the rally, and his coach agreed.
“The big thing is they showed what they’re all about,” Fedora said. “They kept their heads up. They kept fighting and battling all the way through. Some people would’ve lain down as it went on.”
Wrapping up on tackles and maintaining good pass coverage have been points of emphasis this week for the Tigers. Quarterback Cyrin Myles and running back Quincy Jones led Crosby’s potent offense. Both have rushed for 16 touchdowns this season as Jones leads the team with 1,009 rushing yards and Myles is close behind with 977.
“They can run the football well,” Fedora said. “But like we always tell our guys, it’s not about our opponent. It’s about how we play, and we’ve got to go out and perform.”
Myles also has thrown 30 touchdown passes with just two interceptions. The Cougars’ top receiver Kameren Kirkwood has caught 49 passes for 931 yards and 16 touchdowns. With both a solid ground and aerial game, Crosby’s offense has proven tough to stop.
“They have a really good, athletic quarterback, and they have four players on offense in particular that can take it to the house at any time,” Thomas said. “We have to key on their offense and what they’re trying to do, and we’ve got to do what we do, which is get stops and get our offense the ball, so they can put points on the board. We just have to go out there, wrap up and take them to the ground.”
On offense, Fedora said Consol must handle its blocking assignments well against Crosby’s shifting defensive line. In the Tigers’ win over Barbers Hill, Consol turned to sophomore running back Keshun Thomas to help mount the comeback. He scored two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes, 32 seconds and finished the night with 146 yards on 24 carries.
Friday’s Consol vs. Crosby winner will face either Texarkana Texas or Port Neches-Groves in next week’s state quarterfinals.