No. 2, a very important number to Friendswood fans once worn by Friendswood great Tyler Page, now finds a new back to rest on.
That being freshman quarterback Luke Grden, who started his first ever game going 9-of-13 for 183 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Friendswood Mustangs to a gritty 40-16 win over the Alvin Yellowjackets on Friday night at Alvin Memorial Stadium.
After overcoming early game butterflies, (1-of-4 for 13 yards), Grden took control of the game, making passes like a veteran quarterbacks, completing the next eight of nine passes he threw for 170 yards and four touchdowns.
Business picked up quickly as Mustangs senior Josh Peterson intercepted a pass around the Alvin 30-yard line and returned it to the 21 to set up the Friendswood offense.
Four plays later, senior Mason Barnes scampered his way in from 7 yards out for the game’s first points. Friendswood kicker Sam Wittman knocked the extra point through and the Mustangs led 7-0 at 10:36 in the first quarter.
The offense stumbled the rest of the first quarter, but big plays by Thad Horman, Garrett Hurst Jake Yurachek, and pretty much the entire Mustangs front line.
Junior Davis Tinger tipped a pass to himself to haul in an interception at the 11:24 mark of the second quarter, setting up Friendswood with another short field at the Alvin 11-yard line.
Three plays later, Grden found senior Nick Swaney from 8 yards out to push the lead to 14-0 after the extra point.
Another forced punt by the Friendswood defense led to another score by the Mustangs.
Grden threw a pass that traveled over 50 yards into the hands of Swaney for a 48-yard pass and catch and a 21-point Friendswood lead.
Sophomore Dane Roenne and Yurachek teamed up for a tackle for loss to stall an Alvin drive, holding them to a 22-yard field goal.
Early in the third quarter Grden found junior Austin Alvarez from 33 yards on a post route to the corner of the end zone for a 28-3 lead.
On the next possession, Grden found senior Koleman Bell for a 20-yard touchdown, dropping the hammer on Alvin for a 35-3 lead.
A 35-yard field goal by Wittman gave the Mustangs their biggest lead of the night 38-3.
Barnes had himself a game, running the ball 13 times for 191 yards and a touchdown. Nick Swaney led the receivers with three catches for 77 yards and a two touchdowns.
A senior making a big play was, Khalil Lee-Bryant, scooping up a blocked extra point and sprinting 80 yards for a safety.
Next week in the first round of the Class 6A, Region III playoffs, the Mustangs will face Pearland Dawson at The Rig on a date and time to be decided.