Pearland prepares for non-district football schedule

PEARLAND — The Pearland Oilers jumped out to a quick 3-0 start under new head coach Ricky Tullos in 2018 and they are favored to do the same to begin the 2019 season.

The Oilers opened the season last year with wins over Cy-Springs (47-10), Spring Branch Memorial (21-17), and Cinco Ranch (56-28).

Pearland will open the season with the same three teams this season with Cy-Springs and Cinco Ranch at The Rig and SB Memorial on the road.

If Pearland wins their season opener against Cy-Springs on Thursday, August 29 at The Rig, a win on the road over SB Memorial will give coach Tullos his 100th career win. Tullos enters the 2019 season with a 98-28 career mark that includes a 2015 Class 5A Division I state championship at George Ranch (16-0).

The Oilers are favored to repeat as District 23-6A champions and with eight offensive and defensive starters, 42 lettermen, and several new move-in players returning, the Oilers should be positioned to make a decent run in the post-season.

Cy-Springs Panthers

Cy-Springs hopes to have a much better season than they did in 2018 when they went 1-9 overall and 1-7 in district.

The Panthers are a pre-season pick to finish eighth in their nine team district and to also miss the playoffs. However, they should be more competitive than a year ago with six offensive and five defensive starters returning with 19 lettermen.

Cy-Springs still runs the Wing-T offense and they will have multiple ball carriers led by RB Johnathan Bloom (5-11, 210, 4.6), RB Ugochuku Ishieckwene, and RB Cameron Jackson.

Quarterback Jeremiah Mosley (5-8, 165, 4.6) saw action last season as a sophomore and he will be at the controls of the offense.

Other players to watch will be: TE Casey Palmer, OL Michael Carmona, and WR Joshua Vasquez.

The defense should also be improved as Bloom also was a force on that side of the ball with 75 tackles and two INTs.

Others on defense include: DB Darius Allen (5-10, 175, 4.5), DT Caleb James (5-11, 265), DB Aniston Williams (5-9, 160, 4.6), and LB Jermari Seals (6-1, 180, 4.6) who saw varsity action as a freshman.10

Prediction: Pearland 35-10

Spring Branch Memorial Mustangs

The Spring Branch Memorial Mustangs have been a long time opponent of Pearland dating back to their first meeting in 2004 which was won by the Oilers 27-24. The two teams have played one another 13 times with Pearland holding an 11-2 mark in the series. Memorial's two wins came in 2011 and 2012.

Last season, Pearland had to come from behind to pull out a 21-17 win in the non-district contest. The Oilers trailed 17-6 at halftime, but the Pearland defense shutdown the Mustangs offense and the Oilers offense outscored Memorial 15-0 for the win.

Memorial was 4-6 overall last season and 3-5 in district to miss the post-season. The Mustangs are a pre-season pick to finish sixth in their nine-team district in 2019.

With five offensive and five defensive starters returning with 22 lettermen, head coach Gary Koch, who is entering his 27th year at the helm, should have a more experienced team to show some improvement.

The defense will be the more polished unit at the start of the season with a trio of three-year starters leading the way.

Opposing offenses will have to deal with DT Rocco Silvestri (6-0, 280) and LB Nicholas Hass (5-10, 180). DB Matthew McHenry (6-1, 170, 4.5) will anchor the secondary.

Other defensive players include: DL Jack Dragna (6-0, 220), and Cameron Justice.

On the offensive side of the ball will be QB/P Matthew Sanders will take over the offensive controls. Sanders will have a talented receiver in WR Ben Dukes (6-0, 175, 4.6) who had 438 yards receiving and three TDs and a strong RB in Carson Zahn (5-8, 160, 4.6) who had 310 yards rushing and three TDs his freshman year.

Anchoring the offensive line will be OL Ben Mueller (6-4, 285) and OL Tucker Chenoweth (6-2, 245).

Prediction: Pearland 31-14

Katy Cinco Ranch Cougars

Longtime Katy Cinco Ranch head coach Don Clayton retired after the 2018 season and passed the torch to first-year head coach Chris Dudley.

The Cougars were 3-7 last season and 3-3 in league play which meant they missed the post-season. They are a pre-season sixth place pick as they compete in the seven-school Katy district. The Cougars only have two offensive and two defensive starters returning with seven lettermen. There were 57 seniors on the team last season.

Pearland took care of business a year ago against the Cougars with a convincing 56-28 non-district win.

The game also served as a breakout performance by junior quarterback J.D. Head as he broke two PHS passing marks in only his third game in a Pearland uniform.

Head put his name in the Pearland record books as he threw for 357 yards and six touchdowns which broke former All-State quarterback Trey Anderson’s single-game record of 314 yards. The six touchdowns by Head also set a new standard beating the previous mark of four touchdown passes in a single-game by a couple of former Pearland quarterbacks.

Cinco Ranch will be led by quarterback Clayton Keeling (6-0, 190, 4.7) who guided the JV team to an 8-1-1 record last season. RB GJ Kelly (5-7, 190, 4.7) is a young running back that saw limited action on the varsity in 2018, but should help the offense.

Anchoring the offensive line is OL Carlos Abascal-Tavera (6-5, 315).

Defensively, the Cougars will be led by DB Carson King (5-8, 155, 4.5) and S Brady Matthews (5-8, 165, 4.7).

Other defensive players include: DT Luke Long (6-0, 225), NT Isaiah Dycus (5-11, 270), LB Increase Oputa (6-0, 215, 4.7), DL Tyler Miller (6-0, 255), and K Roger Sanguinetti.

Prediction: Pearland 42-7