THE COLONY — In a game that featured 787 yards of combined offense, 36 first downs and a bevy of trick plays, Friday’s iteration of the burgeoning rivalry between The Colony and Lone Star was a worthy encore following last season’s thriller.
It was a seesaw affair that adopted the feeling of two heavyweights pulling out their best haymakers. Lone Star found just enough to escape Tommy Briggs Stadium with a 41-38 victory and maintain its perfect 7-0 start to the season.
Lone Star has had the propensity to blow out opponents and effectively end the game by halftime, but The Colony hung tough and allowed for the game to turn into an exercise in who would have the ball last. With Lone Star holding a 13-10 advantage at the intermission, the final quarters provided all the fireworks.
Late in the third quarter, with 3:02 remaining and Lone Star leading 20-17, the flood gates seemingly burst open for both teams. A barrage of chunk scoring plays came on almost every single drive for the pair of offenses and it was the Purdue commit Christian Gonzalez that started the party.
The Colony gunslinger Mikey Harrington II found a steaking Gonzalez with only green grass in front of him for a 66-yard strike which sent the stadium into a frenzy. The wideout would end up with 144 yards and two scores. Harrington, on the other hand, would wind up with 335 yards passing and three touchdowns. Of the seven plays of over 20 yards for both teams, five of them were touchdowns.
The Cougars’ 24-20 lead only stood momentarily, however, as Lone Star running back Jake Bogdon pushed past a 22-yard rushing touchdown at the end of the third quarter to retake the lead, stopping on a dime to evade the highly touted Cougar secondary.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, chunk play after chunk play and score after score. When Lone Star thought it had the home team on the ropes, up 27-24 and driving with 10:20 in the final frame, The Colony had the answer once again. That time, it was strong safety Jose Escobedo who rung the bell with a pick six, returning the ball 60 yards to the house. It was the second interception of the evening and proved to be a theme. The Cougars scored 14 points off of three Ranger turnovers.
The senior leaders were making plays all over the field in winning time. Lone Star wide receiver Marvin Mims, who some have called the best in the state, fended off blanketing coverage from Gonzalez in the flat and came up with a 24-yard catch with 5:56 in the fourth quarter. After making a near-one-handed grab, Mims fought for an extra yard and extended the ball just across the goal line to allow the Rangers to retake the lead, 34-31. He would finish with two touchdowns, five catches and 126 receiving yards while battling with The Colony’s duo of Division I commits in the secondary, Gonzalez and Myles Price.
“I will probably enjoy it in a couple of years, maybe not night now, but those were some Division I athletes battling it out mano a mano. We got some and he got some, but it was a great thing to watch compete. I am proud of my guys,” said Rudy Rangel, The Colony head coach.
The final blow in this game was fittingly delivered by Bogdon. The senior, on what started as an innocent run of a couple yards, escaped the pile of defenders with 4:02 left in the game and broke five tackles en route to a 55-yard touchdown sprint the right sideline. The physical runner dove across the pylon to give his team the final points of the night and take the 41-38 lead. He would finish 193 yards, two touchdowns and average over eight yards a touch.
“He is a warrior. He runs so hard and so tough. It is such a great leader for us,” said Jeff Rayburn, Lone Star head coach. “It is a big win because it is a district win against a great opponent. We try to prepare for everything but they did a great job of executing and it make the game interesting for sure.”
The Colony set the tone early in front of a standing room-only crowd. Even before the opening kick, it was all business from the home team, electing to walk instead of run out of the tunnel and stop at midfield. Interlocked arm in arm, the message of a team going all in on an upset rang clear.
Rangel told his men all week, “Follow me because we are going to go for it.” It started with the play-caller himself, who was dialing up a heavy dose of trick plays and aggressive calls from the start. The Cougars, if they were to go down, were going down swinging.
On the very first kick, The Colony caught an unsuspecting Lone Star return team off-guard and successfully completed an onside kick. From there it was off and running, with both squads finding their footing and playing high-level football. Overall, the Cougars completed two onside kicks and converted two fake punts for first downs.
“I wanted to steal a couple of possessions. I told my guys to follow me because I am going for it and we are going for it. They have outscored people literally a million to nothing and we were right there at the end of the game and had multiple chances to win,” Rangel said.
Lone Star will move on to play Centennial on Friday at home while The Colony team will take on Wakeland on the road that same night.