The Texas City Stings just couldn’t get their offense rolling, and the Fort Bend Hightower Hurricanes put the game away late in a 24-3 win Friday night at Kenneth Hall Stadium.
“Too many mental mistakes early,” Texas City head coach Leland Surovik said. “We had our chances in the first half, but we’ve got to perform. … I don’t feel like we performed to our potential tonight, and that’s my fault.”
Following a first half to forget on offense, the Stings actually got the ball moving some to start the second half. Helped by excellent starting field position at the Hurricanes’ 46-yard line, Texas City drove down to the 6-yard line before Alex Paz put a 25-yard field goal through the uprights to make the score 7-3 midway through the third quarter.
Hightower responded immediately, though, and later tacked on 10 more points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
A 27-yard run by Trevon Johnson sparked a 50-yard touchdown drive for the Hurricanes, and just 2:40 after Texas City’s field goal, Johnson was punching in a TD from 1 yard out for a 14-3 lead.
Hightower converted an interception and a roughing the kicker penalty against the Stings into a 25-yard field goal by Edgar Espinoza to go up, 17-3, 57 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Another interception led to another score for the Hurricanes. A 17-yard QB keeper by Brandon Smith helped set up a 1-yard leap into the end zone by Smith for the 24-3 lead at the 7:17 mark of the fourth quarter.
“I’m proud of them for fighting to the bitter end,” Surovik said. “They could’ve quit, but they fought to the bitter end and ran out of time. We would have loved to have kept playing, but the game comes to an end. (Hightower) made plays tonight, we didn’t, and we’ve got to correct those things.”
While Texas City’s defense kept them in the game after surrendering an opening drive touchdown to Hightower, the offense struggled to move the ball, covering just 70 yards (including a mere 22 yards in the first quarter) and recording only two first downs in the first half.
Fired up for their homecoming and eager to avoid becoming the first Hightower team in school history to lose six games in a season, the Hurricanes drove 79 yards in just five plays for the first score of the game. A 44-yard TD pass from Smith to receiver Jaelon Watkins gave Hightower a 7-0 lead at the 9:53 mark of the first quarter.
Following that drive, the Texas City defense managed to hold Hightower to only 75 more yards for the rest of the half.
A 26-yard pass connection from Texas City quarterback Phillip McDaniel to Dayton Booker helped get the Stings down to Hightower’s 33-yard line near the end of the first half, but the promising drive was snuffed out on the next play with an interception.
Next up for the Stings (1-5, 0-3 in District 10-5A-I) will be a home game 7 p.m. Friday against Rosenberg Terry (1-5, 1-2).