Clear Lake outscored Clear Creek in a wild fourth quarter to take home a 48-45 victory in Friday’s District 24-6A shootout at Clear Creek ISD Challenger Columbia Stadium.
The Falcons secured their first playoff berth since 2008 while defeating the Wildcats for the first time in eight years.
Friday’s final period saw the two teams combine for 49 points and 466 total yards.
Trailing 24-20, Clear Lake began the fourth quarter with the first of four touchdown drives.
The Falcons scored on possessions covering 81, 49, 75 and 41 yards.
Quarterback Shae Salaunoa found Kris Mason and Christian Marullo with scoring strikes.
Brandon Holmes completed the four-touchdown game with a pair of scoring runs.
Clear Creek responded to Clear Lake’s opening touchdown of the period, but was stopped on its next possessions to fall behind.
Wildcats quarterback Sam Mathews did his best to keep pace by throwing for 238 yards and three touchdown passes in the final 10 minutes.
Mathews found Bryce Borer and Jaylan Harris with scoring strikes of 71 and 66 yards, respectively, to cut the deficit to 41-38 with 2:30 left.
After the Falcons once responded, Mathews went to Borer again for 51 yards. That set up a 12-yard scoring throw to Mathew Etzel with 1:11 remaining.
Clear Creek failed on a pair of onside kick attempts in the final two minutes.
Both quarterbacks enjoyed huge passing games, with Salaunoa throwing for 245 yards to 239 yards for Mathews.
Mathews also ran for 145 yards and touchdown.
Holmes led the Falcons’ ground game with 145 yards on 24 carries.
Mason, Marullo and Asher Alberding combined for all but six of Clear Lake’s 245 receiving yards.
Harris brought in seven receptions for 186 yards and two scores.