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Shadow Creek 27, Friendswood 19 Big-play Sharks corral Mustangs

October 20, 2018

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood had the game plan and grit.

But Shadow Creek countered with waves of game-breaking talent that the Mustangs simply could not withstand.

Kaelon Jackson, Marquez Huland and C.J. Guidry had long touchdowns against Friendswood’s otherwise dependable defense, helping the Sharks shrug off two fumble-return touchdowns and move to 7-0 with a 27-19 victory Friday night at Henry Winston Stadium.

“We definitely did not play our best, by any means, but you’ve got to give them a hand,” Shadow Creek coach Brad Butler said. “They did a great job (Friday) against us, they’ve got a great coaching staff, and they don’t make a lot of mistakes to beat themselves.”

The Sharks improved to 4-0 in District 10-5A Division I; the Mustangs (5-2, 2-2) suffered their second consecutive setback after last week’s 28-20 loss to Foster.

“We left 14 points on the board, easily,” Friendswood coach Robert Koopmann said. “But I’m going to tell you … we physically got after them, and we pushed the ball around a little bit, running it.

“(But) they’re so fast — we’re never going to be able to get in a track meet with them.”

The Mustangs made the right moves early.

Their first drive went 71 yards on 17 plays, draining 5:44 off the clock and keeping the Shadow Creek offense off the field, which is exactly how Koopmann drew it up. Except that Friendswood ended up settling for a 21-yard field-goal attempt that missed, leaving the game scoreless.

One minute later, the Sharks seized the lead.

Backup quarterback Kryon Drones, making the start over Jamarian George, delivered a short pass to Jackson on third-and-1, and he blew past the Mustangs defenders for a 61-yard touchdown.

“We were handling a little inner-team stuff with (George starting),” Butler said.

When George did check in, he wasn’t quite ready.

His first snap led to a bad handoff. The ball hit the turf, and Dane Roenne scooped it for an 18-yard fumble-return touchdown. But the Mustangs mangled the extra-point attempt, and then George’s second attempt to hand off successfully delivered the ball to Marquez Huland, who sprinted 75 yards for a 14-6 lead.

“We were able to make a play when we had to, to pull it out,” Butler said.

Friendswood pulled within 14-12 midway through the third quarter on a wild play.

Linebacker Courtney Brown intercepted Mustangs quarterback Luke Grden (16-of-30 passing, 137 yards, one TD, one INT) at the goal line, returned it 15 yards and then fumbled. Wide receiver Alex Fluellen picked up the loose ball and went 15 yards for a score.

But the Sharks answered with two quick scores to widen their lead.

Jared Jackson hauled in a 29-yard scoring toss from George, and then, on the first play of their next possession, Guidry had a 59-yard scoring grab for a 27-12 lead with 1:47 remaining in the third.

Friendswood pulled within eight on Zach Zamora’s 12-yard touchdown catch but couldn’t get any closer.

“This is huge,” Butler said. “For us to not play real well and be able to hang in there and pull out a win, hopefully we learn and grow from this.”

Huland led Shadow Creek with 161 yards on 14 carries. George had 180 yards and two TDs on 11-of-20 passing, and Drones completed four of five passes for 84 yards and one TD. Jackson added five receptions for 100 yards and one TD.

Luke Revere carried the load for the Mustangs, finishing with 128 yards on 33 carries.

“That’s a really good football team over there that we let off the hook,” Koopmann said.