By George Slaughter
Tompkins started fast and cruised to a 42-10 victory over Fort Bend Travis in a Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game Friday night at Legacy Stadium.
The Falcons, now 9-0, advance to the area round of the playoffs. The Tigers finish their season at 4-5.
Tompkins scored on the opening possession of the game and never looked back. The first touchdown came on a 28-yard pass from senior quarterback Jalen Milroe to junior wide receiver Joshua McMillan. Milroe, a University of Alabama commit, finished the game 7-of-11 for 57 yards.
The Tompkins defense got into the scoring act on Travis’s ensuing possession, when senior defensive back Colby Huerter recovered a fumble and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. The defense played a strong game, holding Travis to only 126 yards rushing and 127 yards passing.
Huerter said the Tigers “have a great bunch of athletes over there” but also complimented his teammates for how they are “gelling” or playing together.
“It’s great when you see it from the back end as a safety,” Huerter said. “We’ve got a great family on defense. It’s fun to watch.”
In the Falcons’ next possession, the offense put together a strong, 64-yard drive that senior running back Sherman Smith capped with a six-yard score.
Smith finished the game 13 carries for 60 yards. Senior running back Marquis Shoulders was the team’s leading rusher, finishing with 17 carries for 102 yards.
“We’re two great backs,” Shoulders said. “They don’t know where we’re going to go. That makes us a versatile team.”
Tompkins coach Todd McVey said that Shoulders and Smith complement each other, and credited the offensive line for opening holes for Shoulders and Smith to exploit.
Shoulders said it was important that the Falcons started the game fast as they did.
“In big playoff games, we have to start fast or its’ going to be a long game,” Shoulders said. “We have to do that every game, start fast.”
Travis scored its only touchdown with 2:15 in the second quarter, when senior receiver Cameron Oliver caught a 15-yard pass from junior quarterback Anthony Njoku.
Tompkins responded on its next possession with a three-yard touchdown run by Smith with 1:18 remaining in the first half.
The Falcons added to their lead with a 13-yard run by Milroe and a three-yard run by Shoulders, both in the third quarter.
Travis senior kicker Sergio Rubio made a 40-yard field goal with 3:49 left in the game to conclude the scoring.
Tompkins will next play Cy-Fair at 6 p.m. Friday at Legacy Stadium. Cy-Fair is 10-1 and defeated Westside, 42-10, Thursday to advance to the area round.
“It’s going to be big,” Shoulders said. “I’m very excited. We need to come to practice, put in the work every day, and we’ll be good.”
Said McVey: “It’s another chance to play. This is the playoffs. It’s win or go home. We have a chance to play a very good football team. We’re going to have our hands full.”
Katy and Taylor Advance Due to Cancellations
Katy and Taylor will play in the area round. Their Class 6A, Division II bi-district games Friday against Fort Bend Elkins and George Ranch, respectively, were cancelled due to coronavirus cases at those two schools.
Katy, 8-1, will play Lamar, which defeated Memorial, 39-7. Taylor, 7-2, will play the winner of the Heights-Cypress Creek game set for Saturday.
Ridge Point 56, Seven Lakes 20
Ridge Point defeated Seven Lakes, 56-20, in a Class 6A, Division I playoff game Friday night at Hall Stadium.
Seven Lakes, which earned the final playoff spot in District 19-6A, ends its season at 3-6.
Ridge Point improves to 6-2 and will next play Jersey Village. The Falcons are 6-5 and defeated Bellaire, 52-0, Friday to advance to the area round.
Paetow 70, Baytown Lee 18
Paetow defeated Baytown Lee, 70-18, in a Class 5A, Division I bi-district playoff game Friday night at Stallworth Stadium.
Paetow, the District 10-5A champion, improves to 9-1. Lee ends its season at 7-3.
Paetow will next play Canyon, which improved to 10-1 after defeating Pflugerville, 20-17 in the bi-district round.