By George Slaughter
The Taylor Mustangs are the lone Katy-area team still in the high school football playoffs after defeating the Humble Wildcats, 35-14, Saturday night at NRG Stadium.
Taylor improves to 8-5 with the win. The Mustangs will return to action next week against Cypress Creek, which defeated Strake Jesuit 45-33 Friday. Humble ends its season at 11-3.
The Mustangs took command of the game early, racing to a 21-0 lead in the first half. Taylor’s first touchdown came on a 2-yard run by senior running back C.J. Tolbert.
The game became a defensive struggle for the remainder of the first quarter, but the Taylor defense set up the second score of the night when sophomore cornerback Hollis Robinson intercepted a Humble pass and returned it to the Wildcat 4. On the next play, junior quarterback J Jensen III threw a touchdown pass to senior fullback Gavin Belue.
The Wildcats, on the ensuing possession, began with a big play of their own, a 49-yard completion from senior quarterback Dexter Wyble to junior wide receiver Robert Williams. Humble drove the ball to the Taylor 15, when on a third-and-nine, Wyble threw an interception to Taylor junior defensive back Trevor Woods, who returned it for a 90-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining in the first half.
Humble responded with scores on its next two possessions. Wyble hit senior wide receiver Donald Harper on a screen pass that went for a 60-yard score. Later, Wyble hit Williams for a 40-yard touchdown pass that brought the Wildcats to within seven points, 21-14, by halftime. Wyble went 14-of-28 for 208 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. Humble’s leading rusher was X’Zaiver Sidney, who had 11 carries for 51 yards.
Taylor reestablished command on the opening drive of the second half. Backspace, putting together a 72-yard drive that was capped with a 22-yard scoring pass from Jensen to Belue.
The Mustangs’ final score of the night came on a 45-yard pass from Jensen to senior wide receiver Griffin Dougherty with 3:59 remaining in the third quarter.
Jensen went 13-of-17 for 163 yards and those three touchdowns. Taylor’s leading rushers were junior running back Casey Shorter, who had 13 carries for 71 yards, and Tolbert, who had 18 carries for 71 yards.
Atascocita 42, Tompkins 24
Atascocita improves to 12-1, and will next week play defending state champion North Shore, which defeated Katy 56-35 Friday night. Tompkins ends its season at 11-2.
The teams seemed evenly matched in the first quarter. Atascocita scored on its first possession of the game, scoring on a four-yard pass from senior quarterback Brice Matthews to sophomore wide receiver Keith Wheeler 6:41 remaining.
Tompkins responded with a score on its first possession, also, settling for a 32-yard field goal by junior kicker Hunter Huckaby 49 seconds left.
But things fell apart for Tompkins in the second quarter, as Atascocita scored on four of its five possessions in that quarter. Matthews threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Wheeler, and then a 6-yard scoring pass to junior wide receiver Landen King, before scoring himself on a 12-yard quarterback draw. Matthews threw another scoring pass to King, for 24 yards, with 27 seconds left in the first half.
Matthews went 32-of-44 for 402 yards and the three touchdowns for Atascocita.
The Falcons, trailing 35-3 at halftime, knew they had no time to lose if they wanted to get back in the game. They began the second half with a solid, 69-yard scoring drive. The drive ended with junior quarterback Jalen Milroe avoiding a heavy pass rush and throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Marquis Shoulders.
The game became a defensive struggle for the remainder of the quarter, with both teams losing fumbles. But the Eagles reestablished command early in the fourth quarter, when Matthew scored tailoure Thomas scored on a four-yard run with 11:32 remaining in the game. Atascocita was ahead 42-10 at this point.
The Falcons couldn’t overcome that deficit, but they kept competing. On the ensuing possession, Milroe hit Shoulders on a screen pass that went for a 77-yard-touchdown. Atascocita fumbled on its next possession, and Tompkins recovered at the Eagle 7. On the next play, Tompkins senior quarterback Gabe Atkin hit Milroe on a trick play for a 7-yard score with 10:48 remaining.