By George Slaughter
The Hurricanes used a fast tempo and a no-huddle offense to take charge in the first half. They scored on their first possession with a six-yard run by sophomore running back Jaydon Blue with 7:39 in the first quarter.
Cain added to its lead with a 24-yard field goal by senior kicker Aidan Martin with 10:59 in the second quarter.
Tompkins got its first touchdown with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter, when senior running back R.J. Smith scored on a three-yard run. The key play of the drive was a 43-yard pass from junior quarterback Jalon Milroe to Smith three plays earlier.
But Cain needed only three plays to reclaim the momentum, scoring on a 38-yard pass from senior quarterback Luke Pardee to senior wide receiver Cole Monago. The score, which came with only 32 seconds left in the second quarter, gave the Hurricanes the 10-point halftime lead.
So, what did Tompkins coach Todd McVey tell the Falcons at halftime?
“Company secret,” McVey said, jokingly. “I just said, you know, we’re not playing up to our capability. Last week (a 66-14 win over Fort Bend Austin) is over. Every team’s going to be a new challenge.”
McVey admitted that his talk was perhaps a bit emotional. The Falcons got the message, scoring its first three possessions of the third quarter to take the lead.
It began on the Falcons’ first drive, which took only four plays and was capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Milroe to Smith.
After forcing a Cain three-and-out, Tompkins needed only three plays to score its next touchdown, a six-yard run by Milroe. A 56-yard pass play from Milroe to senior wide receiver Taurean Muhammad, just two plays earlier, put the Falcons in place for the points.
On their next possession, the Falcons scored on a one-yard run by Smith, which came at the 3:53 mark in the third quarter. The drive had two key pass plays, a 26-yarder to senior running back Garrett Mack, and a 40-yarder to Muhammad.
“We finally got going with what we do,” McVey said. “I’m proud of the guys in the second half.”
By this point, the Falcons enjoyed both a 28-17 lead and the momentum.
Tompkins scored twice more in the fourth quarter. The first of these fourth-quarter scores came on an eight-yard pass from Milroe to junior running back Anthony Shoulders with 9:54 left.
Smith capped the Tompkins scoring with a one-yard touchdown with 7:54 remaining.
Cain scored its last touchdown on a 17-yard run by sophomore quarterback Carson Roper with 1:02 left.
The Falcons improve to 2-0 with the win. Cain falls to 1-1 with the loss.
Tompkins returns to action next week against Alvin. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Rhodes Stadium.