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Crosby Cougars romp to semi-finals

Running Back #1 Reggie Branch sprints toward the goal line, with blocking help from #55 Tyler Thomas. (Ruben Sauceda Photos)

When Crosby Cougars surprised the undefeated Huntsville Hornets 32 to 29 in overtime by a field goal, it was against a team that had not experienced more than a single touchdown against them per game.

Then they took on the Marshall Buffalos at Turner Field, who boasted consecutive State finals and a 42 to 21 drubbing of the Cougars in a 2016 play-off. But the game last Friday ended 37 to 28 in favor of the Cougars, with four of the Cougar touchdowns scored in the fourth quarter.

So the implication is simple: the Crosby Cougars are an improved team. This next game is not only a showdown between teams that have improved during the season and distinguished themselves, but a challenge to their coaching leadership as well.

Jerry Prieto said, “Extremely proud of our kids. They continue to be the underdogs against undefeated teams but it hasn’t phased them. They have a special bond and fight together as a family. No matter what the score was yesterday we always felt like we could win the game.”

The stubborn Cougar defense stopped the Buffalos four times on downs in the first half, three of those times within the 10 yard line.

The Cougars likewise specialized in the run, confusing the opposition repeatedly but only having scored one touchdown to two clean ones with extra points by the end of the third quarter.

Down 14 to 9, the Cougars watched Fort Bend’s most movie celebrated team score again early in the Fourth on a Ja’vion Matthews six foot dash and again add the extra. That is when the Cougars bounded back in fury. Reggie Branch and Deniquez Dunn completed drives capped by two near thirty yard sprints into the end zone, tacking on 15 points, when noting that Dunn went in back to back. Finally, Crosby had a lead at 24-21.

However, it looked to be over for the Crosby team to observers, when at just less than four minutes left in the fourth, Javion Matthews streaked in from more than a third of the field out to score another touchdown for Marshall.

Deniquez Dunn would answer with a throw to Reggie Branch from nearly two thirds of the field out, scoring a touchdown and bringing everyone up to the two minute warning.

A turnover fumble would put Crosby back in play, and Reggie Branch punched in a 35 yard dash with no extra. The final play saw the Marshall quarterback looking for a receiver being sacked.

State Semi-Finals are against Liberty Hill Panthers Friday at 7:30 at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan.