FRISCO – The Frisco Centennial football team (0-4) had undefeated The Colony against the ropes Thursday night but just couldn’t hang on for the upset.
Thanks to a strip-sack late in the ballgame, as well as a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns from Texas Tech commit Myles Price, the Cougars survived and took down the Titans, 42-35.
“You celebrate wins if you can get them on Thursday and Friday nights in Texas,” said Rudy Rangel, The Colony head coach. “We had a lot of things not go our way and made a lot of mistakes. The message is going to be to enjoy the win, but we are going to dissect this and come out better after a lack of a performance tonight.”
The Cougars were surprisingly out-gained on offense by nearly 100 yards, had seven fewer first downs than the Titans, turned the ball over twice and committed eight costly penalties – three of which resulted in touchdowns being called back.
The reigning champions of District 5-5A Division I were also held to just 14 points at the half, a half of play in which Rangel thoroughly admitted that he was out-coached in, as Centennial head coach Matt Webb and his staff’s point of emphasis was all about containing Price and Colorado commit Keith Miller III.
“Their game plan was solid and we did not respond to what they were doing,” he said. “Coach Webb really got me in the first half, and they did a phenomenal job of taking us out of our game. This is a tremendous wake-up call for everybody, and all we can do is learn from the mistakes we made.”
Neither side led by more than a touchdown through the first three quarters of this contest, as both squads went blow for blow from the opening kickoff up until the final minutes of the game.
After receiving the ball to begin, the Titans struck first when they marched down the field with a balanced opening drive capped off by a 40-yard touchdown bomb from junior quarterback Grayson Dayries to senior wide receiver Jacob McCoy just a few minutes in.
As expected, the Cougars cruised down the field on the ensuing possession only for senior quarterback Mikey Harrington to toss an interception into the hands of Centennial senior playmaker Ridge Texada.
Although the Titans punted moments later and The Colony found the end zone on a 14-yard run by freshman running back Kamden Wesley midway through the first frame, that strong start against one of the area’s top teams is what the Titans needed moving forward.
“That gave us some confidence, and against a team like that, you have to come out early and try and get some confidence,” Webb said. “We have been on the short end a couple of weeks in a row here, but we’re playing good people and hopefully it will pay off as the season goes.”
After another Centennial drive that resulted in a punt, Purdue commit Christian Gonzalez benefited on Centennial’s persistence of focusing on Price and Miller, as he hauled in a 55-yard touchdown catch on The Colony’s next possession to give the Cougars their first lead at 14-7.
Midway through the second stanza, Centennial implemented another one of its strategies – this time it was attempting to hang on to the ball as long as possible to keep The Colony’s explosive showstoppers off of the field offensively.
That worked as the Titans trickled 61 yards on seven running plays before senior running back Jawan Washington capped it off with a 1-yard score for his sixth carry of the drive. The first-year starter out of the backfield had the game of his life in the losing effort, as he scampered for 231 yards on a whopping 30 carries.
“I’m really proud of Jawan,” Webb said. “We have been searching for that running back spot this year, and Jawan competed his tail off tonight.”
Washington’s ferocious running style opened up the passing game for Dayries, who threw for four touchdowns on the night and three in the second half alone, as the Titans held stride with the explosive Cougar offense.
However, the second half was dominated by Price and Gonzalez.
Following Dayries first touchdown toss of the night into the hands of senior fullback J.D. Stephens halfway through the third quarter to tie things up at 21 apiece, Gonzalez shifted the momentum with a 75-yard kick return to the house to regain the lead for The Colony.
Another methodical Centennial scoring drive followed ending on a 22-yard touchdown catch from senior wide receiver Trysten Meadors, but Price punished the Titans’ defense once again just moments after.
The reigning district MVP took a slant pass 66 yards to pay dirt on third-and-13 to break the game’s fourth and final tie.
Dayries and the offense had a chance to respond with just over six minutes left on the clock, but he was sacked and fumbled the ball on the very next play only to be scooped up by The Colony at the Centennial 9-yard line.
Price punched it in just one play later, and that proved to be the cushion the Cougars needed to hang on for the victory. The Texas Tech commit accounted for 153 total yards and three touchdowns in the narrow triumph and was the ultimate difference maker down the stretch after the slow start.
“[Price] is very difficult to game plan against,” Webb said. “It was a great game. They have so many athletes over there, and I can’t be more proud of our guys and the effort that we put out there.”