Clear Lake surprises Friendswood 14-10

FRIENDSWOOD — For the past few years, the Clear Lake Falcons have been in the bottom half of the district standings with no threat to make the playoffs. But this year is a different season and any team that has taken the Falcons for granted has regretted it and that includes the Friendswood Mustangs.

The Mustangs entered the district clash with the Falcons undefeated in District 24-6A action, but that all changed as Clear Lake handed Friendswood their first district loss of the season. Now there is a three-way tie atop the 24-6A leaderboard with Friendswood, Clear Lake, and Clear Springs at 4-1.

While the Mustangs should make the post-season, they still have to face Clear Springs and Alvin.

Clear Lake still has to face Clear Creek and Clear Springs in their final two games so the district title is still up for grabs.

The one strong suit that Clear Lake showed against the Mustangs was their defense that thwarted Friendswood's offense.

"Mustangs head coach Robert Koopmann was disappointed his offense couldn't produce more fireworks.

"I think holding Lake to 14 should have been enough to win the game, but we had some issues, offensively, of our own doing," Koopmann said. "We'll clean it up. I told the kids I'm done with (the loss) already. The best way we can erase this is go beat Clear Springs next week.

"They made the plays and we didn't," Koopmann said. "Our goals are still there. If we win the next two, we're district champs and we're good."

The only scoring in the first half came on Clear Lake's final drive of the second quarter when the Falcons scored with only 43 seconds left before intermission.

Clear Lake went on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped with an 3-yard scoring toss from QB Shae Suiaunoa to Kris Mason for a 7-0 halftime lead.

The drive was sparked by a 48-yard run to the Friendswood 17 by running back Brendon Holmes. On the next play, Holmes picked up another 13 yards being stopped at the Mustangs four-yard line before the scoring pass.

The Falcons increased the lead to 14-0 on their first possession of the second half when they covered 72-yards in six plays with Holmes scoring on a 1-yard plunge with 7:23 left in the third quarter.

Friendswood finally got on the scoreboard when the Mustangs went on a 69-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a 5-yard quarterback keeper by sophomore quarterback Christian Lee with 10:38 left in the fourth quarter. Sam Wittman added the PAT to cut the margin to 14-7.

On Friendswood's next possession, they got a 33-yard field goal from Wittman to close the gap to 14-10 and still very much in the game to pull out a win.

The Mustangs had an opportunity to drive for the winning score when Garrett Hurst intercepted a pass by Clear Lake at the Falcons 49.

Friendswood drove to the Clear Lake 21-yard line. Facing fourth-and-four, Lee toss a pass to Mason Barnes which was just a little out of his reach and the Falcons took over on their own 21 with 1:58 left in the contest.

The Mustangs had an opportunity to score in the first half when Thad Horman recovered a fumbled punt at the Clear Lake 20.

Facing fourth-and-one at the Lake 11, Lee was stopped on a QB keeper and the Falcons got the ball back without giving up any points.

Friendswood outgained Clear Lake on offense 283-to-183. The 'Stangs had more first downs 13 to 7.

Lee was 11-of-26 passing for 79 yards and two interceptions while rushing for 119 yards on 23 carries and one TD.

Barnes had 87 yards on 18 totes.

Nick Swaney had one catch for 31 yards. Austin Alvarez had four catches for 25 yards.

Friendswood will host the Clear Springs Chargers on Friday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium in a 24-6A that could very well decide the district championship as both teams are tied for the top spot with Clear Lake.