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Posts published in December 2014

Cougars await next season as a tighter group

AUSTIN – Cedar Park Timberwolves defeated the Crosby Cougars 49 to 21 last Friday before a majority of red-shirted Cougar fans in the stadium cheering them on and ringing cowbells.

It was for the 5-A Semifinals at the Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.

Early confidence changed to reality as the game progressed.

The French had it before Waterloo, the Confederates before Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg and the Cougars had it in the first quarter when they were ahead of the Timberwolves 14 to 7. It was the second quarter that defeated the Cougars, out scored 28 to 7 that quarter, the impact of big players, six feet seven inches and six feet nine inches tall eventually wore down the intrepid and daring local players.

The Cougars opened with a 68 yard drive in 9 downs. D’Ontal Allen dashed in 17 yards to begin the scoring. Then Tristen Cotten connected with Emmanuel Netherly in the end zone for a 21 yard pass.

Tristen Cotton was on target for all seven of his first passes but was 19 complete for 24 attempts with one interception on the night as Crosby began to grasp for fourth down conversions during the second half. He had 146 yards by the throw.

The Timberwolves would answer by breaking tackles in the backfield and dashing for 80 yards. That followed by a 39 yard touchdown blitz would tie the score.

Crosby fumbled and it was returned for 36 yards to score the go ahead touchdown with four minutes left in the half.

Carlos Grace would tie the game again with a 17 yard run after Tristan Cotton hit three different receivers for hard earned yardage.

As time and down pressure mounted and Cotton was picked off in the early third quarter, it seemed all the momentum went to the Timberwolves. They would make seven touchdowns.

Crosby Leading receiver was Trevor Larkin with 6 for 48 yards. Crosby had 151 yards passing to 8 for Cedar Park.

Carlos Grace was Crosby’s lead rusher with 12 for 84 yards and a touchdown. D’Ontal Allen ran 11 times for 76 yards.

The Timberwolves averaged 53.5 points in four play-off games. They are here for the fourth time in the last five seasons and were state champions in 2012.

Coach Jeff Riordan shares The Touchdown Club of Houston’s Coach of the Year with Corby Meekins of Westfield.

Cougars team forms family in play-offs

SAN MARCOS – The 48 point per game averaging Hutto Hippos were taken down by the Crosby Cougars 31 to 25 last Saturday in the State Quarter-finals at Bobcat Stadium.

The score does not reflect Crosby’s outstanding defensive play against a team that manufactured every kind of offensive strike.

“Our team is young and hungery,” said Coach Riordan, “We have had a revolving chair of running backs all this year. D’Ontal Allen had a big year for us he got hurt.

Carlos Grace came in for us and tonight it was Craig Williams night. When you have three running backs that run for 800 to 900 yards with 10 plus touchdowns that is a credit to your offensive line. Craig is a freshman and he can fly.”

Crosby ISD closes Friday and some local businesses will too to attend the semi-state playoff game at 8:00 p.m. in Austin at the Darrel K. Royal Memorial Stadium against the Cedar Park Timberwolves.

Superintendent Keith Moore sent a letter out to parents in Crosby ISD, based on four main factors:

1) The burden it would place on families that have younger children,

2) The safety of the over 6,000 members of the Crosby Community that will be making the drive to Austin Friday.

3) Prioritizing instruction – CISD students will gain both quantity and quality of instructional time by going to school for a full day later on in the Spring versus a half of a day now.

4) Loss of Revenue – Anticipating that many families making the trip to Austin would have kept their children home from school anyway, the district will realize higher attendance rates in the Spring versus this Friday.

The pregame mood of the Cougars fans was brilliant optimism having been given the moniker “cowbell ringing rednecks” was a symbol of pride for the red shirt clad chock full Crosby side of the Stadium.

The game began with the Hippos getting the toss and down the field they pushed the Crosby team until suddenly at the twenty yard line, all momentum shifted to Crosby. The Hippos lost 10 yards on a beautiful sack. The Cougars would get the turn around fumble and two plays later Williams would score. The Hippos had to be asking if it was a fluke, was it just a bad hand off, had their signals been read, did the ball simply slip from their runner’s hand?

The Hippos started back down-field from the kickoff and everything was going their way until it wasn’t and they were stopped short and had to settle for a field goal. Cotton connected with Emmanuel Netherly for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

The Hippos showed some of the grit that would get them such high scores during the regular season to make a touchdown but the extra point would be no good, Crosby defenders could seriously be heard to pop leather with the Hippo offense.

The Cougars would end the half showing that they can hit the long field goal.

Hunter Hearn of Crosby would be the alert defensive player to rob the Hippos of a near certain score after the longest drive during the third quarter, snatching up the fumble – the momentum shifted again. Cotton and Williams teamed time and again for a bunch of pass runs in the third quarter but not so many in the fourth. There was daylight ahead of the Crosby receivers in the third quarter and a touchdown put Cougars up 24 to 9 then 31 to 12 after Hutto had fully four downs in the red zone but had to settle again for the field goal.

Joseph Pinkney played an outstanding defensive game.

“That is why I say we have the receipts for success you have a great defense and ew are physical and we can run the ball thatis how you play in all levels of football.” said Riordan.

It was the Cougars time to wonder how the momentum shifted in the fourth quarter. They seemed unable to manufacture the run for any yardage or pass. But the defense still had some tricks knocking the Hippos back on several downs.

The Hippos scored on an on-side kick and come away with a short yardage possession. They then attempted that tactic twice again.

The Crosby team stayed poised during this onslaught that would give the Hippos 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. And as if that were not enough as Crosby was looking for the clock to run down but it stopped ticking off the seconds. Three times the referees had to adjust the time. Up until the Cougar defense intercepted for the second time then time flew again. The Cougars were unable to move much in the fourth quarter.

“In the end we played for a different reason, you know “code red” is not just a motto. Cowbell ringing and red shirts, this is a family.”

Riordan assessed the next team, “They are big, they are bad, and they are physical. This is the finals of Division 2-5A and there is no not-good teams left.”

Cougars win Region, head to Quarter Finals

CONROE – Something is different when you ask a proud grandfather about one of his favorite subjects, his grandson, and the grandfather answers, “This year, it’s all about the team.”

The Crosby Cougars licked the Brenham Cubs 38 to 20, one point off of their over by 19 points average in the playoffs, at Woodforest Stadium in Conroe last Saturday.

Rufus Larkin refused to say anything about Trevor but he would talk about the Cougars, “They are all in there giving it all they got. This team, Brenham, has an excellent football tradition but the Cougars are winning because they are all working together. I really love to see that and I love it for the experience these kids are getting.”

Not since the Crosby Buffalos went to the 1960 State Championship playoff has the local team been so prosperous, and never in the history of Crosby football has any team sported a 12-1 going into the Class5A Division II Quarterfinals. It is doubtful that back then the stands would be packed with Crosby fans wearing team colors as was the case Saturday.

At the conclusion of the game against Brenham, Coach Riordan said to his team, “You have just made history. See what I told you has come true. If you do the things I told you, if you pay attention to the things we talked about you will win. Look at that score board, isn’t that what I promised you would happen?”

The elephant in the room here is that the Cougars are getting better in the post season. The offense is blocking for their teammates, when a runner is smacked by the defenders, he rolls off and just keeps pumping for extra yards. That happened not once or twice but throughout the game. The defense is learning to pick apart the opposition’s offense. When Crosby played C.E. King (their only loss,) a wee halfback was running through the line like a greased pig. Well, Brenham had an equally adept running back, E. Patterson, who amassed 172 yards on 23 dashes and caught 3 for 13 yards. But when you saw him fall before reaching the scrimmage line in the third quarter and getting tackled right after getting the hand off in the fourth quarter, it was going to be a Cougar victory. Teammates aiding Joseph Pickney with blocks on the run back after the interception showed versatility in the third quarter.

Crosby scored on their first drive, there are four potential receivers this year. Tristen Cotton would connect with eleven of sixteen passes. Cotton made 10 for 37 yards wise keepers.

The Brenham Cubs would come back for a counter score on even fewer downs late in the first quarter. Crosby would answer that with a touchdown after a few minutes in the second quarter on a pass to Vernon Allen.

It was about this time that the Brenham team began to notice a problem converting the third down. They were forced to kick a field goal two minutes later. The third quarter was burst when Carlos Grace made the 45 yard run to the touchdown. There was three minutes left when Brenham had to settle for another field goal and just before the end of the quarter, Crosby would get a field goal of their own.

To their credit, Brenham made a touchdown after the half, it burned up five minutes and a time out though.

Following a series of outstanding plays Crosby got great position from receivers like Larkin (averaging 11 yards a catch) and Vernon Allen (averaging 7.2 yards a catch,) Carlos Grace would fly through the line for a final touchdown.

Hippo Season next,

at San Marcos

Crosby goes to stand against the Hutto Hippos at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at San Marco’s Bobcat Stadium.

It is rare for the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce to weigh in on sports but the official statement issued by the President is, “It is Hippo Season, Cougars! Let’s go hunting.”

The brown uniformed Hippos were coming in from a 48 to 0 win over McCallum until last week they encounter Angleton and squeaked by 21 to 16. They are averaging 39.8 points per game. Their overall record is 11-2 but Crosby is 12-1. Both Cougars Carlos Grace and D’Ontal Allen have 19 touchdowns and both have averaged about 100 yards per game.

Tristen Cotton has 266 pass attempts that made 21 touchdowns but 2 interceptions have been returned. Craig Williams has a 90 yard kick off return.

Hutto comes into the game with 518 points but Crosby’s defense has not given up more than 24 points in a game. Crosby can win this if their defense holds to their pattern of shutting down their opponents’ offensive by learning their weeknesses.