Friendswood pulls out 2OT win over Dickinson

FRIENDSWOOD — The game between Friendswood and Dickinson came down to two field goal kickers. One would make their attempt and the other would miss leaving one team jumping and leaping with joy while the other would return home with a loss.

It was the District 24-6A opener between both teams and Dickinson was looking to defend their league title in 2017.

For the last two weeks, the Mustangs have entered the game as the underdogs, but that only means that Friendswood is going to increase their intensity and effort which has always characterized a Friendswood team.

The Mustangs knocked off Summer Creek (27-19) and now Dickinson to begin the district season.

"That's Friendswood football right there," Mustangs head coach Robert Koopmann said. "It may not be pretty, but we got after it tonight."

The play that won it for Friendswood was a 40-yard field goal by senior Sam Wittman in the second overtime.

However, the Mustangs and their faithful followers couldn't fully celebrate as the Gators had their opportunity to pull out a win.

Dickinson moved to the Friendswood eight-yard line in the second OT with a first-and-goal. After the aggressive Friendswood defense got a 4-yard loss on running back Myles Lewis and two incomplete passes to follow setting up a game-tying 28-yard field goal.

However, the field goal attempt went wide and the celebration began as the Mustangs pulled out a 27-24 double-overtime come-from-behind victory.

"I think we're an ugly football team that plays really hard and makes things happen," Koopmann said. "It's not how far we've come since last week because I thought we played well last week (versus Summer Creek) minus the mistakes.

"It's how far these guys have come since the Barbers Hill game. We're not even the same team that we got off the bus with at Barbers Hill."

The opening quarter was a back-and-forth affair with Friendswood getting on the scoreboard first on a 1-yard Calvin Whitaker scoring plunge. Wittman nailed the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 36 seconds left in the first period that capped a 12-play 56-yard drive with running back Mason Barnes contributing 29 rushing yards to drive.

Dickinson answered with 9:52 left in the second quarter as Lewis scored on an 8-yard run to tie up the game 7-7. The score was aided by an interception by the Gator defense.

The Gators took the lead at the 5:23 mark when Lewis got loose for a 69-yard scoring jaunt for a 14-7 lead.

But the Mustangs were going away as they put together a 13-play, 83-yard scoring drive that took almost five minutes off the clock before intermission.

Once again, Barnes was a workhorse in the drive with four totes for 38 yards while Whitaker scored on another 1-yard plunge to tie up the game 14-14 at halftime.

The Gators scored on their first possession of the second half driving 71-yards in 9-plays which was topped off by a 6-yard run by Lewis for a 21-14 advantage.

After Friendswood couldn't answer on their next possession, the Mustangs defense stepped up as sophomore Dane Roenne recovered a Gator fumble which was returned to the Dickinson 37.

The Mustangs ended up settling for a 25-yard field goal by Wittman to cut the lead to 21-17 with 11:19 left in the game.

Friendswood re-took the lead with 1:03 left in the game as back-up quarterback sophomore Christian Lee hit Ben Redding who turned it into a 31-yard scoring strike and a 24-21 lead.

Dickinson wasn't going away as they moved from their 36-yard line to the Friendswood 13. With 4 seconds left in the game, the Gators got a game-tying 30-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbar to tie up the game 24-24 sending the game into an extra period.

The first overtime was a scoreless stalemate, as Friendswood's defense forced a turnover on downs, and a 31-yard field goal try by the Mustangs sailed wide left.

A 40-yard field goal by Mustangs kicker Sam Wittman in the second overtime, however, was put through the uprights, and proved to be the game winner when a 28-yard Dickinson field goal try was not converted on the ensuing OT possession.

"I'm proud of the way our defense played; I'm proud of the way our offense battled against that doggone defense over there with as fast and as long as they are," Koopmann said. "That's a really good football team, and we went toe to toe with them."

Friendswood quarterbacks, Christian Lee (5-of-13, 76 yards, 1 TD) and Garrett Hurst (5-of-16, 34 yards) combined for 10-of-29 passing for 110 yards and one TD.

Barnes was the workhorse for the Mustangs as he had 42 carries for 187 yards that set up the scoring for Friendswood.

Redding had four catches for 57 yards and one touchdown.

Friendswood will travel to Veteran's Memorial Stadium in League City to face the Clear Falls Knights on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m.