Friendswood gets first win of the season 24-7

FRIENDWOOD — It has been a frustrating year for the Friendswood players, coaches, and fans, but the Mustangs finally got their first win of the 2021 football season with a 24-7 victory over Baytown Sterling.

“The weight of the world has been on these kids and these coaches. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but it sure felt good when we got in that victory formation,” said Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann, whose club snapped a four-game losing skid and handed the Rangers their first District 9-5A-I loss.

The Mustangs and Rangers were scoreless in the first quarter and they almost went into the dressing room without anyone scoring in the first until Friendswood finally found the pay station with :58 seconds left before intermission for a 7-0 lead.

Friendswood QB Matthew Dupuis led the offensive charge with five straight completions that set up the Mustangs at the Sterling 10. Running back Caleb Corkran got the call and he responded with a 10-yard scoring run.

Early in the second half, Michael Stafford recovered a Ranger fumble and the Mustangs took advantage with a 63-yard, six play drive capped off with a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Corkran for a 14-0 lead.

The scoring drive was highlighted by a Dupuis to Kale Koopmann pass play covering 32 yards that put the Mustangs inside the red zone at the 17.

But Sterling got back in the game when Ranger QB Reece Sylvester burned the Mustang defense for an 85-yard scoring jaunt to cut the lead to 14-7 with 6:01 left in the third period.

With 3:51 still left in the third, Friendswood got a 30-yard field goal from Pietro Pasqualli to bump the Mustang lead to 17-7.

Friendswood secured the win in the fourth quarter behind the running of Corkran and Jackson Rhodes to complete an 80-yard drive topped off by a 15-yard scoring run by Rhodes making the final score 24-7.

“You can see it on their faces. You can see the relief,” Koopmann said. “We live in a small community, and they hear it in the hallways. They’re relieved, the coaches are relieved, and we’re excited about this win.”

The Mustangs will be looking to get their second win against Beaumont United on Friday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium.