There was a clear goal for two of the three undefeated District 8-5A Division I teams on Friday night – don’t lose. College Station rose to the challenge and kept its record clean with a dominating 35-6 victory over New Caney (3-1, 1-1) at Cougar Field.
A crucial penalty just before halftime cost the Eagles momentum after College Station (5-0, 3-0) took a 21-6 lead on sophomore Nate Palmer’s 27-yard run. New Caney responded with an 11-play, 60-yard drive to reach College Station’s 7-yard line.
Eagles quarterback Cornelius Banks threw to the end zone with 15 seconds left in the half, but the Cougars were called for pass interference, giving New Caney first-and-goal at the 2. But instead of handing off to star running back Kedrick Reescano, New Caney opted for another pass and was called for intentional grounding, which ran out the first-half clock.
“They’re definitely scary [on offense],” Cougar head coach Steve Huff said. “[That was] a huge play before halftime to get out of that situation because we’re up 21-6 and they score there and then get the ball to start the second half. That [stop] changed a lot of the thought process of the ball game.”
The Cougars shut down the Eagle’s run game and held Resscano to 54 yards on 15 carries – a big feat considering the junior had 188 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns before Friday’s game.
“I would hate to be in a tight ball game and he’s carrying the ball 50 times. I would definitely hate that,” Huff said.
College Station’s secondary did a good job pressuring New Caney’s receivers. The Eagles had 264 yards of offense, but had averaged 461 yards in its first three games. New Caney’s only touchdown came in the second quarter when Banks found Cameron Thomas for a 13-yard score.
Huff said things changed early in the third quarter when MJ Hinson intercepted Banks’ pass in the end zone on second-and-goal. The Cougars took advantage of the turnover and scored on a 3-yard run from Marquise Collins, who ran 49 yards to get into New Caney territory following the interception.
Collins also scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter and finished with 162 yards on 27 carries. Palmer had 51 yards on 10 carries.
“That was a good football team we just beat, I know that for sure,” Huff said. “I thought offensively we played very physical up front.”
New Caney punted on its final three possessions and College Station sealed the win on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jett Huff to Houston Thomas, who caught a 30-yard pass moments before to get inside the red zone.
Huff also connected with Traylen Suel for a 13-yard score with 10:18 left in the second quarter. The Cougars racked up 422 total yards on offense.
“They’re hardly giving up any points so we knew we were going to have to be good up front and get the running game going tonight,” Steve Huff said. “They’re too athletic in the secondary just to think you can go out there and spread the ball around the field.”
College Station will be off next week before traveling to face Lufkin on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.
“I think this was a really big test but we have a lot of ball left to play. We do have a week off and [can] get healed up,” Steve Huff said. “What I like about having the fifth week off of the season is it allows us to go back and do some conditioning next week.”
NOTES: The only other team that’s undefeated in 8-5A is Magnolia West (5-0, 3-0), which beat Caney Creek 42-6 on Friday. ... College Station offensive lineman Cory Hendrix and wide receiver Kash Richter where unavailable for the second straight game due to injuries. Senior linebacker Mason Cashion was suited up, but saw limited action.