HS Football: The Woodlands survives close game against Conroe

By: JD Hurd II
| Published 11/21/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The response to adversity is often what separates the championship teams from the rest of the pack. After trailing at halftime in a district game for the first time this season, The Woodlands scored three second-half touchdowns to secure their opportunity to play for a District 13-6A championship. The Woodlands rallied to beat Conroe 38-35 to move to 4-0 in the district, setting up the biggest game of the season, a matchup against 4-0 rival College Park for the district title.

Much like College Park a week ago, the Highlanders found themselves in a close fight with the Conroe Tigers. Conroe hasn’t had the year they’d like, but with an outside chance to make the playoffs, the Tigers have thrown their best punch at their opponents in the last two games.

After The Woodlands took the first lead of the game on a 29-yard field goal by Trey Harrison, Conroe took their first lead late in the first quarter. QB Jalen Williams connected with RB Charles Kibble for the first touchdown of Saturday’s game.

At the start of the second quarter, the explosive playmakers of The Woodlands came alive. QB Connor Dechiro went up top to WR Teddy Knox for a 65-yard gain to set up freshman QB Mabrey Mettauer’s five-yard rushing TD.

Just like last week, Conroe made massive plays on both sides of the ball to jump out to a nice lead late in the half. A QB sneak by Jalen Williams gave the Tigers a 14-10 lead with eight minutes to go in the half. Then the Conroe defense forced two fumbles, including a strip-sack returned for a touchdown by Brayden Jones, to take a 21-10 lead with 4:12 left in the first half.

However, just like a week ago, Conroe allowed a late score to make things close going into the locker room. The Woodlands put together a nice drive, capped off by a 24-yard TD pass from Dechiro to Knox to close the gap. DB Blake Hubert’s interception at the end of the half made sure the Highlanders would be in striking distance to start the third quarter.

In the third quarter, The Woodlands went from trailing 21-17, to leading 31-21. The Highlanders defense stepped up their play to shutout the Tigers in the quarter. Offensively, Ben Ferguson showcased his skill with multiple catches on the drive to put The Woodlands inside the five-yard line. RB Jobarre Reed went airborne on a three-yard rushing TD to retake the lead for The Woodlands. The offense took advantage of a short field late in the quarter, leading to Dechiro’s QB sneak from the one-yard line to give The Woodlands a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams traded punches throughout a 21-point fourth quarter. Conroe opened the final frame with a 21-yard gain by Louis Williams III. A defensive holding penalty gave the Tigers a 1st and goal from inside the five-yard line. Kibble powered through defenders for a four-yard score that cut the deficit back to three.

Mettauer’s lone pass of the game went to WR Dresden Meermann for a 14-yard TD. That score restored the 10-point lead for The Woodlands, but Conroe would battle back once again. A 44-yard pass from Williams to Williams III set up Kibble’s third TD of the day to make it a three-point game with just over five minutes to play.

In what must have been a painful flashback to the College Park loss a week ago, the Tigers were unable to get the ball back to their offense one last time. The Woodlands ran out the final five minutes to secure the win.

Connor Dechiro completed 19 passes on 28 attempts for 316 yards and two total TDs in the win. His leading receiver was Teddy Knox who racked up 143 yards and a TD on four catches. Ben Ferguson was also over 100 yards receiving on the day.

Jalen Williams was 13-23 for 233 yards and one TD and INT on Saturday. Louis Williams III went for 113 yards on three catches.

The Woodlands moves to 4-0 in District 13-6A and will play 4-0 College Park for the district title.

Conroe drops to 0-4 in the district, but the season isn’t quite over just yet. If the Tigers can beat Willis, and Grand Oaks loses to Oak Ridge, Conroe could potentially make the playoffs by way of a three-team tiebreaker between those schools.

Oak Ridge vs Grand Oaks and College Park vs The Woodlands will both be Woodlands Online Livestreams on 11/27.

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