SHENANDOAH, Texas – The Oak Ridge War Eagles had one thing in mind on Thursday night at Woodforest Stadium in their District 14-5A battle with neighboring rivals The Woodlands Highlanders.
Bottling up Highlanders running back Daniel Lasco was first and foremost in the War Eagles’ gameplan. And although they were successful for the most part, Lasco was still able to account for three touchdowns and the Highlanders proved they can beat you in many different ways.
Although Oak Ridge led 13-10 midway through the second quarter, the Highlanders scored 42 unanswered en route to a 52-13 victory.
“These guys have a lot of confidence in each other, they have a lot of confidence in what we do, and it shows,” The Woodlands head coach Mark Schmid said. “They seem to be able to bounce back and forge through and make things happen.”
Lasco rushed for 108 yards on 13 carries, nearly half of those on a 51-yard touchdown run, following a 32-yard field goal by Ben Pruitt, which put The Woodlands High School football team in front 10-0 in the first quarter.
And the University of California-bound Lasco showed his versatility, scoring on a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joseph Schneider to cap a 21-point explosion over the final four minutes of the first half to lift The Woodlands to a 31-13 halftime advantage.
He also took a hand-off and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jackson LaPlant early in the fourth quarter. LaPlant led all receivers with five catches for 86 yards.
But it was Schneider who did most of the damage through the air. The Highlanders senior quarterback threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns, completing 13 of 26 passes, including a 39-yard touchdown pass to Max Ward. He also rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries as the No. 5 state-ranked Highlanders improved to 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in district play.
“It was a big win for us,” said Schmid, who was a little concerned about emotion after coming off a huge victory over Lufkin last week. “The first quarter offensively we just weren’t executing. Then we settled down and we played our football game. I’m proud of the way our kids hung in there.”
Lance Miles capped the scoring with a 1-yard run.
The Woodlands also got a defensive touchdown when Justin Estep returned one of three Highlanders interceptions 26 yards for a touchdown.
“Defense played lights out all night long,” Schmid said. “It was a team win.”
Oak Ridge (5-3, 2-2) grabbed the early lead on touchdown runs of 4 and 12 yards from quarterback Chris Grett, who rushed and passed for 120 yards. Michael Handy added 50 rushing yards on 12 carries.
The Highlanders turn their attention to next week when they host Kingwood on Friday at Woodforest Stadium.
“A lot of people say it’s the ‘Gucci Bowl,’” Schmid said. “They’re 2-0 in district. They play (Atascocita) Saturday. We’ll see what happens there. But it’s always interesting when we go against Kingwood.”
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