Friendswood secures playoff spot with win over Terry


FRIENDSWOOD — Last season, Friendswood beat Terry 42-14 to keep their playoff hopes alive as they faced Angleton in the final game of the regular season. The outcome was simple. Win or stay home in the post-season for the first time since 2007. That was the scenario for the 'Stangs. In a must-win situation -- the Mustangs fell to the Wildcats 35-20.

It is now 2019 and things have changed as the Mustangs punched their ticket to the post-season with a 45-21 win over Terry and the ultimate goal now is to beat Angleton and avenge last year's loss. As it turns out, the Wildcats will be the team staying at home and watching the playoffs.

Despite getting the win over Terry, who is out of the playoff picture, the Rangers still gave Friendswood a run for their money -- especially in the first half.

Friendswood jumped out in front 3-0 on a Travis Mueller 23-yard field goal with 6:17 left in the first quarter.

With only four-seconds gone in the second quarter, Terry found the end zone on a 1-yard run by Quincy Johnson giving the Rangers a 7-3 lead at the 11:56 mark.

But the Mustangs answered with a 1-yard run by linebacker Dane Roenne turned running back to give Friendswood a 10-7 lead with 7:23 left in the second stanza.

With 5:16 left, Terry sent a message that they weren't going to go away when Brandon Kyles found an opening in the Friendswood defense and scooted 23-yard for another score to retake the lead 14-10.

It appeared that Friendswood was flat in the first half and lost their focus to secure a playoff spot and the No. 2 seed in District 10-5A-I.

“Terry came out to play, and we just got off that three-week gauntlet of Foster, Shadow Creek and Hightower,” Mustang head coach Robert Koopmann said.

“Our band is at the state championship, so we didn’t have them to feed off their energy. It was just a kind of low-energy first half. We survived it and came out well the second half.”

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Friendswood drove to the Terry 20.

Quarterback Luke Grden dropped back for a pass and was swarmed by the Terry defense. It appeared that Grden had fumbled the ball and Terry senior Milton Swain scooped up the ball and raced 80-yards for a touchdown.

While Terry was celebrating, the officials ruled an incomplete pass and intentional grounding by Grden.

With 12 seconds left before intermission at the Terry 18, Koopmann opted to throw the ball instead of kicking a field goal.

Grden lofted the ball high in the back of the end zone and senior tight end Christian Lee made one of the most remarkable catches just inches from out of bounds for a sensational touchdown. The PAT was good and the Mustangs took a 17-14 lead into the dressing room.

The game took a different turn in the second half as the Mustangs outscored Terry 28-7 to post the 45-21 final score.

In the third quarter, Lee caught a Grden pass for 18-yards; scored on a 6-yard run and caught another Grden pass for a 9-yard score while Jared Veatch scored on runs 2 and 3-yards.

Grden was 27-for-38 passing for 339 yards and three TDs.

Lee had nine catches for 132 yards and two scores while Joey Tomko had nine grabs for 86 yards.

Veatch had seven carries for 27 yards and two TDs while Noah Palitz had five carries for 40 yards.

Friendswood is now 8-1 overall and 5-1 in district and will host Angleton on Senior Night on Friday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Henry Winston Stadium.