Clear Springs stuns Shadow Creek in playoff opener 36-7

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Shadow Creek junior QB Carter Stewart (11) scores on a 3-yard run with 2:02 remaining in the game against the Clear Springs Chargers who won the Class 6A Region III Div I playoff game 36-7.

The stunning loss ends the season for the Sharks at 9-2. Shadow Creek ended up sharing the District 23-6A title with Dawson and Pearland.

[Photo by Michael McManus]

The 2023 Class 6A Region III playoffs have started and one of the early shockers of the post-season was Clear Springs upset win over state-ranked Shadow Creek 36-7 to end the season for the Sharks at 9-2.

Shadow Creek's first varsity season began in 2018 which includes a 5A state final appearance in their first year and a 5A state title in 2019. This is the first time that the Sharks have been eliminated in the first round.

The Chargers built a 23-0 halftime advantage with 13 points in the opening quarter and 10 more in the second period.

Clear Springs opened the game with a 41-yard kickoff return by Mu'lzz Tounkara that ultimately resulted in a 60-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Xai'Shaun Edwards. The PAT was good and Clear Springs had an early 7-0 lead with 8:11 left in the first quarter.

The Chargers added a second score with 6:07 left in the quarter as Edwards scored on a 33-yard run following a partially blocked Shadow Creek punt. The extra point was blocked leaving Springs with a 13-0 lead.

Clear Springs took advantage of a fumble by QB Cobey Sellers on the Chargers 34.

On the second play, QB Julian Salazar hit a streaking Elijah Jackson for a 56-yard scoring pass to give the Chargers a 21-0 lead following a successful two-point conversion.

Springs closed out the first half scoring when Shadow Creek RB Tylik Burton was trapped for a safety with 1:59 remaining before intermission giving the Chargers a 23-0 halftime lead.

"That's the brand of football we've been trying to play all year long," said Clear Springs head coach Anthony Renfro. "We're peaking at the right time."

The second half belonged to the Chargers as they scored one in the third and once in the fourth to build a 36-0 advantage.

Clear Springs' defense scored with 7:03 left in the third when Auston Ware recovered a Stewart Fumble in the end zone to build a 29-0 lead following the missed PAT.

The final score for the Chargers came on a 16-yard touchdown run by Edwards (21 carries, 131 yards, 3 TDs) with 8:34 remaining in the game.

The lone score for the Sharks came with 2:02 left in the game when Carter Stewart scored on a 3-yard run. Aiden Bui added the PAT to make the final score 36-7.

Clear Springs (6-5) will face state-power North Shore at Galena Park ISD Stadium on Friday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. Shadow Creek closed out the season with a 9-2 mark and a share of the District 23-6A title with Dawson and Pearland.