Cy-Fair rolls past Friendswood 45-14

FRIENDSWOOD — The effort was certainly there, as it is with every Friendswood team, but the size and speed of the Cy-Fair Bobcats was just too much to overcome as the Mustangs fell 45-14 in the Class 6A Region III Div. II semifinals.

The Bobcats defense was also aggressive and keyed on stopping the ground attack of the Mustangs forcing them to put the ball in the air.

"Their defense is so good, and we struggled running the ball," Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann said. "Then we got in that mode where we had to throw every down."

Cy-Fair's dominance showed why they improved to 12-0 on the season to advance to the 6A Region III Div. II finals.

The Bobcats got on the scoreboard first when they used 13-plays to drive to the Friendswood 17 before the Friendswood defense forced them to settle for a 34-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

The Mustangs offense took over on their own 31 following the ensuing kickoff, but were forced to punt after a pair of first downs got them to their own 49.

A great punt put Cy-Fair at their own eight-yard line to begin their second possession of the period.

A combination of five runs and a couple of pass completions put them at the Friendswood 47.

That's when the Bobcats turned to junior wide receiver Christian Richmond who blew past a Friendswood defensive back for a 47-yard scoring bomb from senior quarterback Cameron Arnold with 9:30 left in the second quarter for a 10-0 advantage.

Friendswood got the ball at their own 25 following the score and showed they were going to get back in the game as they drove 75-yards in 11-plays capped off by a perfectly thrown ball from freshman quarterback Luke Grden to junior wide receiver Austin Alvarez on a 20-yard scoring strike down the left sideline to narrow the gap to 10-7 with 6:04 left before halftime.

But Cy-Fair quickly answered with another long scoring pass covering 42-yards from Arnold to senior wide receiver Eddie Sumler to bump the lead to 17-7 with 4:26 left before intermission.

After Friendswood forced Cy-Fair to punt for the first time in the game, it appeared that the Mustangs could get closer before the halftime break.

However, that didn't work out as Friendswood coughed up the ball when senior running back Mason Barnes caught a screen pass and then suffered a vicious hit that sent the ball skyward which was recovered by the Bobcat defense at the Mustangs 21.

It only took five plays for Cy-Fair to push the ball across the goal line as they also were aided by a pass interference call that put the ball at the five-yard line. Arnold tossed a short pass to Jacob Farrell for the score and a 24-7 lead at halftime.

The Mustangs were hoping to turn things around to begin the second half, but things went from bad to worse as Friendswood began their first possession of the second half at their own 18. After losing 10 yards on a quarterback sack, Grden fumbled in the end zone on the next play which was recovered by the Bobcats giving them a quick 31-7 lead with 11:10 mark of the third period.

"It just snowballed," Koopmann said. "You have to be able to run the ball a little bit. They just start pinning their ears back, and it's just too hard for to protect."

A three-and-out by Friendswood saw Cy-Fair score again on a 5-yard run by Trenton Kennedy which stretched the lead to 38-7 at the 6:03 mark of the third quarter. The final Bobcats touchdown came from Devin Zeigler on a 67-yard burst with just 2:23 left in the fourth quarter.

Friendswood's lone score in the second half came on an 18-yard pass from Grden to wide receiver Ben Redding with 4:08 left in the game covering 18-yards.

The stifling defense of the Bobcats limited the Mustangs offense to only 126 total yards while shutting down the ground attack for 48 yards.

Grden was 15-of-25 for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

Alvarez had four receptions for 35 yards and one score while Redding had six catches for 53 yards and one TD.

Friendswood closes out the season with a 9-4 mark.