Pearland shuts out Alief Taylor 28-0

PEARLAND — So far this season, Pearland has played better on the road than they have at home, but they still have been able to stay perfect on the season at 4-0 overall. Their 28-0 win over Alief Taylor in the District 23-6A opener for both teams was a step in the right direction.

It is possible that the light rain had something to do with their performance at The Rig against the Lions, but it rains on both sides of the ball.

"We sputtered here and there," Oiler head coach Ricky Tullos said. "Coming off a bye week, getting back into the groove of it, and battling the rain…we just real sharp on offense.

"We made some plays here and there, but it was one of those games with a lot of ups and downs. At the end of the day, a win's a win, and we'll always celebrate those."

Pearland's defense took up the slack in the game to keep Taylor off-balance and off the scoreboard.

The Oilers finally found some rhythm as they moved 64-yards in nine-plays capped off by a 2-yard score by senior running back Jaelin Benefield with 4:56 left in the first quarter. The PAT was booted by Caleb Mendez for the 7-0 lead.

Pearland's defense continued to dominate Taylor's hapless offense while also taking advantage of their bad snaps from the center to the quarterback.

A bad snap resulted in an 18-yard loss forcing the Lions to punt giving the Oilers great field position at the Taylor 36.

It took only five plays for the Oilers to find the pay station again as Benefield scampered in for another 2-yard score giving Pearland a 14-0 advantage following the extra point by Mendez with 11:34 left in the second frame.

Two key plays in the short drive included a 21-yard pass from quarterback J.D. Head to Clayton Broeder and an 11-yard run by Benefield to the Taylor two-yard line before he finished off the drive.

The Oilers tacked on one more score with 7:22 left before intermission as Benefield broke loose for a 36-yard jaunt into Lions territory setting up a sensational 18-yard scoring pass from Head to Broeder who skied high over the Taylor defensive back to snag the ball in the corner of the end zone for the Pearland touchdown. Another Mendez PAT hit the mark giving the Oilers a 21-0 halftime lead.

Despite scoring three touchdowns in the first half, it could have been a lot more as the Oilers had to overcome a couple of interceptions, a failed fourth-and-short attempt, and a missed field goal.

Neither team found the end zone in the third quarter and Pearland scored their final touchdown of the game when Benefield dashed in for his third 2-yard score of the game with 10:19 left. Mendez added his fourth PAT of the contest and the Oilers posted the 28-0 district win.

"Sometimes you win one when you're not clicking on all cylinders," Tullos said. "The weather was a factor the whole game.

"We didn't play as clean as we wanted, and we were fortunate to get the win. Taylor's a very athletic football team, and even though we didn't execute well the whole time, we did some great things.

"If we eliminate some bumps in the road, we've got a chance to be a good ballclub."

Benefield had another strong outing as he carried the ball 24 times for 148 yards and three scores.

Head was 12-of-24 passing for 162 yards and one TD.

Austin Landry had four catches for 31 yards while Broeder had three grabs for 66 yards and a TD. Tanner Tullos had one reception for 34 yards.

The Oilers will now get ready for the 5th Annual Bayway Chevrolet PearBowl with their cross-town cousin Dawson Eagles. Dawson fell to Strake Jesuit 55-32 last week for their first district loss. The Eagles are 2-2 overall.

The PearBowl will be at the University of Houston's TDECU Stadium on Friday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m.