Senior quarterback Blake Short accounted for 345 yards of total offense and tossed four touchdown passes to three different receivers, leading Flower Mound to a 38-10 win over Plano West Friday night.
But it took the Jaguars potent offense almost the entire first half to find their groove.
On its first possession of the game, Plano West drove the length of the field and were threatening to score before a turnover thwarted the Wolves’ early momentum.
After exchanging punts, Flower Mound took over at midfield with just over six minutes left in the first quarter. Short found senior wide receiver Carson Winters over the middle for a 20-yard strike on first down, then connected with Winters again on the next play, this one good for a 24-yard touchdown strike to put the visitors up 7-0 with just over five minutes left in the first quarter.
But the Wolves' defense buckled down after that and forced three consecutive punts. Plano West cut the lead to 7-3 when Randy Bond booted a 52-yard field goal at the 8:55 mark in the second quarter.
“Plano West came to play tonight,” said Brian Basil, Flower Mound head coach. “We didn’t have much film to watch this early in the season, and their solid play forced us to make adjustments.”
But the Jaguars hit their stride late in the first half, scoring twice with two touchdowns in just over two minutes.
With just under three minutes left before halftime, Short found Winters twice for 20-yard gains. On second and goal at the 10-yard line, the senior threw a perfect strike to sophomore receiver Parker Clark in the end zone to put Flower Mound on top 14-3.
Flower Mound regained possession after forcing a three-and-out, and took a 21-3 lead when Short hit Reid Touchstone on a 30-yard fade route in the back of the end zone with 1:27 remaining in the half.
“Flower Mound has several returning players back from a district championship team and they’re a very good football team,” said Tyler Soukup, Plano West head coach. “But these are games that will get us prepared for district play, and I’m proud of the fight we showed tonight.”
The Jaguars opened the second half with the ball and continued the momentum they established just before intermission.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and thought we could establish our ground game,” Basil said. “We felt after the success we had through the air late in the first half, we could get something going on the ground.”
Led by senior running back Pierce Hudgens, Flower Mound pounded the ball down the field and took a 24-3 lead on Bert Auburn’s 37-yard field goal with 9:34 left in the third quarter.
Flower Mound would add to their lead late in the frame when Hudgins scored on a four-yard run up the middle, giving the Jaguars a 31-3 lead.
“Being down pretty big late in the game, I was encouraged but not surprised about our unwillingness to lay down,” Soukup said, in his first year at the helm for Plano West.
Behind 38-3 with 1:22 left in the game sophomore Jackson Cobbs took a sweep on the edge and raced 47 yards untouched for a touchdown, reducing the lead to 38-14.
Cobbs finished the game with 70 yards rushing, while backfield mate Kamryn Settle led all rushers with 96 yards on 14 carries.
Short completed 21 passes on 30 attempts for 286 yards, while Plano West senior quarterback Andrew Picco passed for 96 yards and also gained 47 yards on the ground.
Next week Flower Mound hosts Prosper, while Plano West travels to Mesquite to face the Skeeters.