Pearland set to face non-district schedule

PEARLAND — The 2018 Pearland football season will present a whole new set of challenges, but past tradition should help the Oilers in their quest to capture the District 23-6A crown under new head coach Ricky Tullos and then make a deep run in the post-season with the ultimate goal of challenging for another state championship.

Every coach knows that there are three rings to grab on the football merry-go-round. A district title, region crown, and a state championship.

The non-district schedule is set to help a team develop their chemistry together and to focus on one game at a time in their journey to accomplish each goal along the way.

Tullos enters with a strong pedigree of success. Tullos comes to the Oilers from George Ranch after previous stints at Splendora (offensive coordinator) and Cleveland (head coach).

While at George Ranch, as their second head coach in their young history, Tullos led the Longhorns to a 59-17 record over six seasons, including the 2015 Class 5A Division I state championship to cap a perfect 16-0 record. Tullos has an overall coaching mark of 88-27.

While Pearland accepts new leadership, they will also face two new non-district foes and one familiar opponent.

The Oilers will open the season on the road at the Cy-Fair FCU Stadium on Friday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m. against Cy-Springs. The second game will be at The Rig on Friday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. against a familiar Spring Branch Memorial squad. The final non-district game will be against Katy Cinco Ranch at Legacy Stadium on Saturday, September 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Pearland has never played a Cy-Springs team, but they have faced SB Memorial over the past several years on the non-district schedule losing only once. The Oilers have faced Cinco Ranch in the playoffs and were victorious.

Pearland vs Cy-Springs

The Cy-Springs Panthers are a pre-season fourth place pick in District 14-6A after going 4-5 overall and 4-5 in district while missing the playoffs in 2017.

Teams in their district picked ahead of them include Langham Creek (11-2), Cy-Ranch (8-3), and Cy-Woods (4-5) with Tomball Memorial, Bryan, Cy-Lakes, Cy-Bridgeland, and Cy-Park picked behind them.

Cy-Springs will have six offensive and four defensive starters returning with 19 lettermen.

New head coach Rusty Rohan was promoted to the top spot when former head coach Rick Cobia retired.

Experience on offense will be thin and the defense will need to step up until the offense can gain some experience and depth.

RB Johnathan Bloom (6-0, 190, 4.5) will be a key leader on the offensive side while WR Cameron Chappell could provide some additional firepower depending on who will emerge as the signal-caller.

The defensive front will be anchored by DL Jalyn Allen (6-1, 320), DL David Perez, and DB Myles Mass (5-10, 170, 4.5).

Pearland vs SB Memorial

The Spring Branch Memorial Mustangs have registered only one win against the Pearland Oilers since they began playing one another for the past decade.

Last season, the Mustangs were 3-6 overall and 3-4 in district and didn't qualify for the post-season.

They return five offensive and seven defensive starters and 27 lettermen so they anticipate they will be more competitive this year even though they aren't a pre-season pick to advance to the playoffs from District 17-6A.

Picked to win the league title is Cypress-Fairbanks who won the school's first-ever 2017 6A Div. II state championship at 15-0 followed by Cy-Falls, Cy-Creek, Stratford, Cy-Ridge, Jersey Village, Memorial, Northbrook, and Spring Woods.

Memorial will return duel-threat QB Wilson Carrell (5-10, 170, 4.5) who can throw and run the ball after he had 1,516 total yards and 12 TDs a year ago. TE Davis Koskie (6-4, 225) will be a main target in the passing game and a strong blocker in the rushing attack.

The defense will look to OLB Wilson Bartley (6-1, 210) and LB Daniel Smith (6-1, 200) to stop opposing offenses with their speed and size. Junior DL Rocco Silvertri (6-0, 270) is another player that will provide defensive leadership.

Pearland vs Cinco Ranch

The only time that the Oilers have faced Cinco Ranch has been once in the playoffs. Pearland faced the Cougars in 2006 when they beat them 34-31 in overtime in the Class 5A Region III semifinals in 2006. The win sparked them to a victory over Cy-Fair 16-15 for the 5A Region III Div. I title the next week. Pearland then fell to Austin Westlake 35-32 in the 5A Div. I state semifinals.

Cinco Ranch was 8-2 last season and 6-1 in district. They are a pre-season pick to finish second behind Katy in District 19-6A followed by Katy Taylor, Katy Seven Lakes, Katy Morton Ranch, Katy Tompkins, and Katy Mayde Creek.

Cinco Ranch lost to Ridge Point 40-23 in the opening round of the post-season in 2017.

The Cougars return eight offensive and two defensive starters with 21 lettermen.

It appears their ground attack will be their early season strength with the return of RB Sanders Crawford (5-10, 190, 4.4) who had 94 carries for 606 yards and 6TDs while WR Justin Hull (5-11, 180, 4.5) is added to the mix after recording 34 grabs for 571 yards and 4 TDs a year ago.

QB Cam Harper (6-1, 180, 4.6) got some experience last season and should be ready to guide the offense after he completed 31-of-58 passing for 508 yards and 8 TDs with only 2 INTs.

While the offense will be the early season strength of the Cougars, the defense will need to step up early.

The Cougars will be led by LBs David Gbenda (6-1, 215), who had 66 tackles and 2 sacks, and LB Lee Miller. Also, DL Luke Long (6-0, 250) saw action last year as a freshman.