The opportunities were there for the Mustangs on Friday night, yet they were unable to make the most of all of them.

Mistakes — along with the running of Richmond Foster’s Mario Simmons — took Friendswood from the ranks of the undefeated in a 28-20 loss to the Falcons at Henry Winston Stadium, allowing Foster to remain undefeated in District 10-5A-I play.

“We beat ourselves,” said Mustangs coach Robert Koopmann. “It was our mistakes that caused that to happen. Those were mistakes that we can control, so we’ll come back Monday and start working on those. We’re not going to let this loss define us.”

Despite the mistakes, Friendswood (5-1, 2-1 in district) had a chance to force overtime after Ryan Helton recovered an onside kick at the Foster 45-yard line with 57 seconds left, but Zach Zamora’s fourth-down pass to Luke Grden sailed just in front of Grden, who was unable to keep his balance and fell at the Falcons’ 42 with 28 seconds left.

Grden, who passed for 224 yards and three scores, cut Foster’s 28-14 deficit when he connected with Christian Lee on a 4-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute to go, but the Falcons were able to block the extra point.

Friendswood wasn’t able to slow down Foster’s junior running back Simmons, who ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, including the go-ahead score on a 20-yard run with 6 seconds left in the half to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead. The score was set up on an errant snap on a Mustangs punt that gave Foster the ball at the Friendswood 33 with just under 30 seconds before intermission.

Simmons delivered the game-clinching score on a 17-yard scamper up the middle that extended the Foster lead with 3:08 left in the contest.

Grden and Lee teamed up for two scores that included a 22-yard reception that had put Friendswood up 14-7 at the 5:59 mark of the second quarter. Austin Alvarez was on the receiving end of Grden’s first touchdown of the night on a 39-yard catch and run that gave the Mustangs an early 7-0 lead.

Friendswood will host undefeated Alvin Shadow Creek at 7 p.m. Friday.

“I’m proud of the effort,” said Koopmann.


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