The Clear Springs Chargers ratcheted up the pressure on the Friendswood Mustangs all game long en route to a 24-0 win Friday in the rivalry game dubbed by students as The Battle for What-A-Burger (aka What-A-Beezy).
“Defensively, our guys did a heck of a job,” Clear Springs head coach Craig Dailey said. “We knew they were run-first, so we stacked the box, and made them get in third-and-long. And, we felt like we could pressure their quarterback on third-and-long.”
In a first half largely controlled by each team’s defenses, an epic Clear Springs possession in the second quarter resulted in the game’s first touchdown.
Chargers running back Todd Hudson II (31 carries, 111 yards) scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds left in the first half to cap a 15-play, 78-yard, 6:32 drive. Hudson put the team on his back in the drive, as 13 of the plays were on the ground.
“We finally got in a rhythm running the football and throwing it short down the field, and our O-line and Hudson went to work and wore them out,” Dailey said. “That’s the type of football we want to play.”
Clear Springs put the first points on the scoreboard on a 36-yard Seth Porter field goal at the 1:59 mark of the first quarter.
Each team’s defenses forced two turnovers in the first half, with an interception by Porter and fumble recovery by Edmundo Suarez for Clear Springs, and interceptions by Dane Roenne and Reid Nickerson for Friendswood.
“Our defense played awesome, but they were just on the field so much, they ran out of gas,” Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann said. “I can’t ask any more from our defense.”
In their first possession of the second half, the Chargers flashed their big-play ability on offense with Peyton Sawyer (six receptions, 91 yards) taking a screen pass from Garrett Rooker (11-for-17, 149 yards) 54 yards to the house for a 17-0 lead.
The Chargers tacked on their final score of the game at the 7:11 mark of the fourth quarter on a 9-yard TD pass from Rooker that ping-ponged around in the end zone before being hauled in by Michael Gillaspia.
“We got a big lead and made them play from behind, and that’s not what they want to do,” Dailey said.
Clear Springs held Friendswood to just 147 yards of total offense, including only 17 rushing yards against the run-heavy Mustangs team.
“The offensive line couldn’t get a push, we struggled there, and when we did, we struggled throwing the ball,” Koopmann said. “It was just a bad offensive effort.”
Up next will be the regular season finale for both teams 7 p.m. next Friday. Clear Springs (6-2 overall, 5-1 in district) faces Clear Lake at Challenger Columbia Stadium in another pivotal District 24-6A matchup, while Friendswood (6-3, 4-2) travels to Alvin.