Friendswood moves past Clear Brook 53-30

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood needed to beat the Clear Brook Wolverines to get in the Class 6A Region III Div. II playoffs and they did just that with a convincing 53-30 win over their cross-town and district rival. The loss for the Wolverines ended any playoff hopes for first-year head coach Mike Allison, the former defensive coordinator for the Dawson Eagles.

Friendswood (6-4) will now face the undefeated Hightower Hurricanes (10-0) on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Hall Stadium in the first round of the post-season.

The Wolverines knew in order for them to have any chance of beating the Mustangs, they had to stop Friendswood QB Tyler Page who now has 1,596 yards rushing this season. The junior field general showed Brook they couldn't handle him as he burned the Wolverines for 219 yards on 23 carries and six touchdowns with four of them in the third quarter that separated the two teams after a close first half.

Friendswood scored twice in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Cody Williamson and a 6-yard dash by Page for a 10-0 lead.

Clear Brook managed to get a 41-yard field goal by Aidan Cupples before Page got loose on an 85-yard scoring jaunt to close out the first half with the 'Stangs leading 17-3.

Both teams exploded on offense in the third quarter as Friendswood scored 26 points while Clear Brook tried to keep pace with 21 leaving the teams separated at 43-24 entering the final frame.

Page scored on runs of 47, 9, 12, and 4-yards with two 2-point conversions coming up short.

Clear Brook scored on runs covering 63 and 53-yards and a 33-yard scoring pass to keep the Wolverines in the game.

Williamson added his second field goal on a 34-yard boot and Dylan Friske sealed the game with a 40-yard catch for a touchdown from QB Ryan Epperson to make the score 53-24 with only 3:40 left in the game.

With 2:01 left in the contest, Clear Brook scored on a 12-yard run. The two-point conversion failed and the final score of 53-30 was posted in the win column for the Mustangs and reserved their spot in the playoffs.

Friendswood closed out District 24-6A in third place at 5-2, but in reality, the Mustangs had District 24-6A champion Clear Creek beat with three minutes to go in the game before the wheels fell off losing on a last second field goal 45-42.

The Mustangs gave second-place Dickinson all they wanted and could have won that game.

"We’re a few plays away from being undefeated in the district,” Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann said after the game. “And so for us to keep plugging along, and keep going with such a young team, I think that says a lot about our kids.”

One thing the Mustangs need to do is to sharpen up their passing game as three pass interceptions by Page kept Clear Brook in the game.

“Throwing the ball he (Page) struggled. We’re not going to sugarcoat it, he made some bad throws,” Koopmann said of his quarterback after the game. “But he made up for it. His legs made up for it, there’s no doubt.”

Page was only 4-of-10 passing for 75 yards with three INTs.

Mason Barnes continues to be a rushing threat as he had 14 carries for 46 yards and had two catches for 32 yards.

Friske had had two grabs for 43 yards and one TD while Tyrick Ramirez had one catch for 40 yards.

However, the Friendswood defense stepped up their game as senior defensive end Ty Shelby recorded four sacks and forced two fumbles, and sophomore defensive back Reid Nickerson had one interception.

"It’s not easy to make the playoffs, I mean we’re battling in Week 10 to get in,” Koopmann said.