CONROE — The second-ranked College Station football team gave head coach Steve Huff a perfectly-wrapped gift for his birthday in the form of a 70-0 victory over Caney Creek in District 8-5A Division I play Thursday night.
It was a warm, familiar feeling at halftime for the Cougars (8-0, 6-0), who used a dominating first half to build a 49-0 lead at Buddy Moorhead Stadium. It’s the third straight week College Station has entered halftime leading by 40 or more points.
The Cougars scored on each of their seven possessions and racked up more than 400 yards of offense in a picture-perfect first half. College Station’s defense also took care of business and didn’t give up a first down, while allowing the Panthers (1-7, 0-6) just 22 total yards in the opening two quarters.
“The effort was good,” Huff said. “I really like the way the kids played and for the most part kept the game clean. That’s one thing that’s very big for us.”
Running back Marquise Collins and quarterback Jett Huff led the Cougar offense as the duo accounted for 351 yards of offense and six touchdowns in the first half. Collins scored on runs of 15 and 4 yards to open the scoring, and Huff found Traylen Suel on a 3-yard touchdown pass with three minutes left in the first quarter for a 21-0 lead.
Collins capped off a five-play, 66-yard drive in the second quarter with a 9-yard TD run. The drive included two back-to-back 25-yard completions from Huff. The Cougars kept things rolling with two more TDs in just seven minutes as Huff threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Dalton Carnes and a 13-yarder to Suel.
Sophomore running back Nate Palmer finished the first-half scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run after finding room up the Caney Creek sideline and getting a key block from Houston Thomas at the goal line with 28 seconds left in the second quarter.
Steve Huff said perimeter blocking is a big part of the Cougars’ offensive success.
“That group of kids is so unselfish,” Steve Huff said. “They block for each other, and they don’t really care about who gets the credit. That’s one mark of a really good group of kids ... working hard for each other on the outside is always good to see.”
College Station started its second-team unit in the second half and squeezed out 21 points thanks to backup running backs Palmer, Bradley Jones and Rafael Yanez.
Palmer scored on the first play of the second half with an explosive 75-yard touchdown run for a 56-0 lead. Jones added a 3-yard TD run after Caney Creek fumbled on its own 25-yard line, and Yanez wrapped up the night with a 23-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.
“We’re going to come out and make some changes and let some kids get some playing time,” Steve Huff said of the game plan at halftime. “You turn around and that group put together two nice drives. One was quick, but [they were] moving the ball, being functional, no penalties and nothing silly for the most part.”
The Cougar defense earned its second straight shutout after beating Cleveland 76-0 last week. This time College Station held Caney Creek to one first down, which the Panthers earned in their final possession on a 6-yard run from John Milo.
“The one key there is the kids are really geared in on the game plan,” Steve Huff said of College Station’s defense. “I think our defensive coaches do a great job of putting them in positions to have success. They ran to the ball [and] chased the ball well.”
On special teams, Cougar kicker Dawson Schremp went 13-for-13 kicking extra points, and kickoff specialist Sam Trimble nailed 10 touchbacks.