In a bout of District 10-5A-I unbeatens, someone’s 0 will have to go Friday night as the Friendswood Mustangs’ sound technique and discipline match up against the explosive athletes of the Richmond Foster Falcons.
“They’ve got a couple receivers, a good running back — they’ve got some talented kids over there,” Friendswood (5-0, 2-0 in district) head coach Robert Koopmann said. “So, our challenge is how we match their athleticism and how we minimize the impact the big defensive lineman has, because he disrupts some things. You’ve got to game plan for him.”
Foster’s (3-2, 2-0) offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Ryan Stubblefield, who will look to establish a fairly balanced attack behind running back Isaac Johnson and receivers Cody Jackson and Shadeed Ahmed.
The Falcons have had a trend of turning short plays into huge gains, as evidenced in their district opener two weeks ago against Ball High in which three of their four touchdowns were on plays 20 yards or longer — including a 73-yard TD connection from Stubblefield to Ahmed. The Falcons had two such long TDs in last week’s 31-7 win over Rosenberg Terry, one of which was a 45-yard punt return to the house.
On defense, Foster nose guard Chidozie Nwankwo, a Houston Cougars commit, can be a force to be reckoned with and will likely command constant double teams from the Friendswood offensive line.
Operating out the spread formation, Friendswood has shown excellent balance on offense, moving the chains consistently with either the arm of quarterback Luke Grden or the legs of running backs Colton Halata and Luke Revere. Top targets in the passing game are receivers Austin Alvarez and Christian Lee.
Against Foster, the Mustangs’ offensive line — led by the senior trio of Michael Gibson, Roderick Hutchinson and Myles Morgan — will need to keep pressure off of Grden to make sure the offense, which has averaged just over 37 points per game in Friendswood’s last three contests, keeps clicking.
“We’ve got to minimize big plays and make them work for their points,” Koopmann said. “We’ve got to protect. I think if we protect — and that’s what we’ve been doing well the past few weeks — then we can throw the ball.”
Kickoff for the Friendswood-Foster game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Henry Winston Stadium.