Friendswood edged by Manvel in district opener for both teams

In the opening District 10-5A Div I game between Friendswood and Manvel, fans were treated to a number of big scoring plays but overall, both teams were inconsistent on offense and had to depend on their defenses for most of the contest.

For Friendswood, the meat of the district schedule will only get harder in the weeks ahead as the Mustangs seek to make the post-season.

"Right now, we can make the big plays; I think chopping up the game and being able to sustain some drives (is key)," said Friendswood head football coach Jordan Johnson, whose Mustang offense got nearly half of its 223 total yards on the night on two long touchdowns. "We're a couple drives away right now from being pretty special, and that's something we're working toward, and that's something we'll eventually accomplish."

"We fight really hard on defense, and our guys fly around and make plays, and they do it for 48 minutes and believe in each other. I'm really proud of that."

The teams traded punts through the first half of the opening quarter until Friendswood's Landon Davis intercepted a Manvel pass on their second possession.

Davis returned the ball 39-yards to the Mavs 7-yard line, but the offense was unable to score a touchdown, so the Mustangs settled for a 21-yard field goal by Reagan Rudolph for a 3-0 lead with 5:52 left in the first quarter.

The Mavericks took a 6-3 lead at the 9:37 mark of the second quarter, capping an 11-play, 62-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run by Dillon Boone but missed the PAT.

Friendswood wasted little time responding to the Manvel score as they took the ensuing kickoff to their own 33 -- and two plays later quarterback Brock Foster hit Adam Buffington on a 64-yard catch and run for the touchdown with 8:55 left in the second period. Rudolph hit the PAT and the Mustangs reclaimed the lead 10-6.

Manvel then marched 56 yards on six plays — sparked by a 22-yard pass from QB Romin Seymour to WR Patrick Lewis and a 27-yard screen catch and run from Jerry Sweeting — and concluded the drive with an 8-yard TD run by Boone for a 13-10 lead at the 7:16 mark of the second quarter.

With 3:37 remaining in the first half, Friendswood took a 17-13 lead into the dressing room after Foster hit TE Abebe Noah on a pass in the middle of the field covering 37-yards for the score. The PAT was good.

While shutting Friendswood out in the second half, Manvel's offense, which had its own struggles, got the go-ahead score on a 9-yard touchdown run by Lewis with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter to end an eight-play, 74-yard drive making the score 20-17.

A fourth-quarter defensive stand gave the Mustangs great starting field position at the Mavs' 40-yard line with 44 seconds remaining in the game for a final chance to potentially win or tie the game.

However, a sack stymied the drive, and a final deep pass from Foster came achingly close, just glancing off the receiver's fingertips as time expired that would have given the Mustangs a miracle win.

"There are some things we need to work on as a program that we can't do right now, but we will be able to do," said coach Johnson. "And when we can do those things, it's going to make a big difference."

The Mustangs (2-2 overall, 1-1 in District 10-5A-I) will be back on the road at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 22 for a game against Richmond Foster (0-4) at Traylor Stadium in Rosenberg.