By George Slaughter
Morton Ranch knows it has its work cut out for it if it expects to make the playoffs this season. But the Mavericks took a step forward with a 43-17 win over Mayde Creek Thursday at Legacy Stadium.
Morton Ranch is 4-4 overall, 2-2 in District 19-6A. Mayde Creek is 2-6 overall, 0-4 in district.
The Mavericks did it with a strong running game featuring junior running back Santana Scott, who had 229 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Overall, the Mavericks finished with 305 yards on 48 carries.
Morton Ranch coach Ron Counter said that while Scott has yet to receive any college football scholarship offers, he expects them to come.
“This has definitely been a breakout season for him,” Counter said. “He’s a tremendous player. He plays hard. He’s got a big heart. He may not be very tall, but he runs hard. He’s a great kid.”
Scott also excels academically. Counter said Scott has a 4.0 grade point average.
“Actually, he’s a 4.3,” Counter said, smiling. “He always corrects me.”
The game was competitive throughout the first half as the Mavericks took a 17-10 halftime lead. Morton Ranch took charge in the third quarter with two scores. The first came on a four-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Josh Johnson to junior wide receiver Cameren Hudson. The second came on a Johnson two-yard run with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Johnson was 7-of-11 for 101 yards passing and a touchdown. He rushed for 33 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
The Maverick defense, meanwhile, held the Rams to only 78 yards on 27 carries.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries, especially on defense,” Counter said. “It’s been like musical chairs. We don’t have one guy that you can say played all these games and made all these tackles. But we’ve had great overall effort.”
Injuries have compelled the Mavericks to take a different approach in developing team depth. Often a team has a two-deep roster where a particular position is filled by players focusing on that position. With the Mavericks, however, a starting defensive end might be replaced by a player who might play another defensive position.
“We are building depth, but not of the conventional sense,” Counter said. “It’s a different way to build, but that’s what we have to do.”
Over the past couple of seasons, Morton Ranch has come close but missed the playoffs. With games against Cinco Ranch and Katy, winning out will be a challenge.
“We keep getting close,” Counter said. “It’s a tough district, obviously. We have to be ready to play. All you can ask for is a shot, and will have that next week.”
The Mavericks will get it against Cinco Ranch.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Counter said. “I told them just now to enjoy this one tonight. We get an extra day which is good for us, and we can get some guys back who didn’t play tonight. But we know we’ve got our work cut out for us with Cinco Ranch next week.”
Paetow 55, Fort Bend Hightower 7
Junior running back Damyrion Phillips rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries to lead the Panthers to victory against Fort Bend Hightower Thursday at Rhodes Stadium.
Senior quarterback C.J. Dumas was 11-of-17 for 229 yards and four touchdowns, while suffering one interception. Senior tight end Josh Prieto caught two of those scoring passes. Senior wide receiver Kole Wilson and Phillips each had a touchdown catch.
Paetow is 8-0 overall, 6-0 in District 10-5A. Hightower is 6-2 overall, 5-1 in district.
Cinco Ranch 49, Taylor 20
Junior running back Sam McKnight rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries to lead the Cougars to victory against Taylor Friday at Legacy Stadium.
Cougar junior quarterback Gavin Rutherford was 19-of-25 for 127 yards and two touchdowns, while suffering one interception. Junior wide receiver Seth Salverino had three catches for 135 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Grayson Williams had two catches for 77 yards and the other touchdown.
Cinco Ranch is 5-3 overall, 2-2 in district. Taylor is 2-7 overall, 1-4 in district.
Tompkins 44, Seven Lakes 0
Junior running back Caleb Komolafe rushed for 115 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown, on 11 carries to lead the Falcons to victory against Seven Lakes Friday at Rhodes Stadium.
Sophomore running back Caleb Blocker rushed for 154 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown, on 17 carries, for Tompkins. Senior quarterback Cole Francis was 6-of-10 for 87 yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons defense held the Spartans to only 100 yards and four first downs.
Tompkins is 8-1 overall, 4-1 in district. Seven Lakes is 5-3 overall, 2-2 in district.
Week 10 Matchups
Tompkins has a bye week. Here’s the Week 10 schedule for Katy-area teams:
- Katy vs. Taylor, 6 p.m. Thursday, Legacy Stadium
- Jordan vs. Pieper, 7 p.m. Friday, site to be determined
- Seven Lakes vs. Mayde Creek, 6 p.m. Friday, Legacy Stadium
- Paetow vs. Manvel, 7 p.m. Friday, Freedom Stadium
- Cinco Ranch vs. Morton Ranch, 7 p.m. Friday, Rhodes Stadium