Friendswood edges Baytown Sterling 14-7 for first win

FRIENDSWOOD — It wasn't pretty, but the Friendswood Mustangs finally got their first win of the 2020 season by edging the Baytown Sterling Rangers 14-7.

The first half was played mostly on the Mustangs side of the field and Sterling had some golden opportunities to score thanks to two lost fumbles on the first two Friendswood possessions. But the Mustangs stepped up to protect their turf and turned the Rangers away from crossing their goal line.

Both teams spent the first half exchanging possessions until Friendswood finally scored with 2:53 left before intermission on a 3-yard keeper by quarterback Noah Palitz for a 7-0 halftime lead.

Matthew Dupuis stepped in at quarterback for Friendswood in the second half and engineered a nice drive to the Rangers 18-yard line where the drive stalled forcing the Mustangs to attempt a 25-yard field goal with six minutes left in the third period, but the play failed leaving the score at 7-0 in favor of the 'Stangs.

With 2:12 left in the third quarter, Palitz returned to lead the team to another touchdown as he scored on a 7-yard run. The PAT was good and the Mustangs had a 14-0 cushion over the Rangers.

Sterling finally mounted a drive late in the fourth frame as Sterling quarterback Irmonte Givens hit Maddox Wilkinson with a 9-yard scoring pass to cut the Friendswood lead to 14-7 with 2:30 left in the game.

The Rangers recovered the ensuing kickoff giving them new life and a chance to tie up the game, but they couldn't capitalize as the drive bogged down at midfield allowing the Mustangs to prevail 14-7 to get their first win of the season.

Friendswood's defense held Sterling to just 80 total yards of offense and five first downs in the game. Meanwhile, the Mustangs totaled 248 yards of offense with all but 15 of those yards coming from a four-pronged rushing attack.

Palitz (18 carries, 78 yards), Isaiah Daniels (18 carries, 66 yards), Aidan Stokes (nine carries, 54 yards) and Caleb Corkran (five carries, 33 yards) led the Mustangs' offense.

Friendswood will host Beaumont United on Friday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium.