Friendswood holds off Summer Creek 27-19

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann knew his players were going to need a great game against a much improved Summer Creek Bulldog team.

Even though the Bulldogs didn't make the playoffs last year (4-6), they still proved they were a good team with a victory over the Dawson Eagles. Last week, they defeated the Eagles rather easily once again so Koopmann knew the Mustangs had to play at their best.

"I saw the way they beat Dawson so we are going to be in for a fight," Koopmann said.

But that's what a Mustang team does when presented with a challenge.

Despite some self-inflicted mistakes, the Mustangs still escaped Turner Stadium with a 27-19 non-district win.

"We did so many of our own stupid things, and beat a really good football team," Koopmann said.

The Mustangs scored on their first possession that 4:12 off the clock. Calvin Whitaker capped off a 12-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead.

The key play in the drive was a 51-yard pass from quarterback Garrett Hurst to wide receiver Koleman Bell who turned a short grab into a long play.

After Summer Creek scored and missed the PAT, Friendswood scored again as Hurst hit running back Mason Barnes in the end zone for a 19-yard scoring strike for a 14-6 lead.

The score was set up by a Nick Swaney 55-yard kickoff return setting up the Mustang offense at the Bulldog 35.

The Bulldogs looked like they were going to go down the field and answer with another score, but the Friendswood defense stepped up as defensive back Josh Peterson picked off Summer Creek QB John Holcombe.

The Mustangs drove 76-yards capped off with a Hurst to Swaney 25-yard TD hookup giving Friendswood a 21-6 advantage with 4:26 left before intermission.

Turnovers plagued both teams to start the second half as Summer Creek suffered a fumble and Friendswood gave up the ball on a fumble and interception.

The Bulldogs finally broke the deadlock with a 35-yard scoring pass from Holcombe to standout receiver Jamison Frazier to cut the lead to 21-12 with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

With only 18 seconds left in the third, Whitaker bulled his way across the pay station with a 2-yard run giving the Mustangs some breathing room at 27-12.

The Bulldogs weren't going away as they added another score with only 5:41 left in the game to close the gap at 27-19, but that is as close as they would get.

Summer Creek made a final effort to tie up the game, but a fourth-and-10 play at the Friendswood 32 ended their hopes when safety Reid Nickerson came up with a game-saving pass breakup to seal the win for the Mustangs.

"We battled hard, even though we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and that stupid penalty down there at the end of the game," Koopmann said. "We came out ahead, so I just told them we're going to grow from here."

Hurst finished 13-for-22 passing with 214 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. Barnes was the leading rusher with 71 yards on 19 carries, and Swaney was the leading receiver with 75 yards and a TD on four receptions.

Next for Friendswood (2-1) is a District 24-6A opener on Friday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium against Dickinson (1-0).