GC Memorial rallies for a 30-27 win over Friendswood

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood quarterback Luke Grden and the Friendswood offense certainly did their part as the senior gunslinger was 10-for-40 passing for 357 yards and four touchdowns.

But two turnovers by the Mustangs proved to be costly as the Goose Creek Memorial Patriots rallied for a 30-27 win that all but ends the playoff hopes for Friendswood and puts GC Memorial in the playoff hunt.

Friendswood (2-5, 2-3) still has two district games remaining against Ball High (1-6, 05) and undefeated Port Arthur Memorial (7-0, 5-0).

The Mustangs took an early 14-0 as Grden hit Aidan Stokes on a 56-yard scoring strike with 9:28 left in the first period and the Grden-Stokes combination struck again at the 7:48 mark of the opening quarter on a 42-yard scoring pass.

It looked like the 'Stangs were going to gallop past the Patriots, but GC Memorial cut the lead in half when they scored on a 26-yard run by Ja'Keydriic Smith with 8:13 left in the second quarter.

With 3:38 left before halftime, the Patriots took advantage of the first Friendswood turnover when a fourth down snap on a punt resulted in a fumble in the Mustang end zone that was recovered by Josiah Rice to knot up the game at 14-14.

But 38 seconds later, Friendswood struck again, this time on a 64-yard bomb from Grden to Elizondo to take back the lead 20-14.

However, the Patriots score with 1:36 left before intermission on a 4-yard run by Dylan Pitre, but the PAT missed the mark and both teams headed to the dressing room with the game tied 20-20.

GC Memorial took advantage of the second Friendswood turnover in the third quarter when Richie Rodney intercepted Grden and return it for a 32-yard score giving the PATS their first lead of the game 27-20 at the 7:52 mark.

The Mustangs tied up the game 27-27 on the final play of the third quarter when Grden connected with Elizondo again on a 23-yard scoring pass.

The PATS took a lot of time off the clock with a drive that stalled at the Friendswood four-yard line and settled for a 21-yard field goal by Luis Acosta which turned out to be the winning points 30-27.

After Friendswood was forced to punt the ball back to GC Memorial with a little over three minutes left in the game, the Mustangs watched the PATS run out the clock on the ground.

Stokes led Friendswood with eight catches for 182 yards and two TDs while Elizondo had two grabs for 89 yards and two scores.

Friendswood will host the Ball High Tornadoes on Friday, November 20 at Henry Winston Stadium at 7:00 p.m.