HS Football: The Woodlands Highlanders Win District Opener
THE WOODLANDS, TX – The Woodlands Highlanders hosted the Willis Wildkats for a Thursday Night Lights match at Woodforest Stadium, which just so happened to be the season opener. In between the non-district and district season, every team had a bye week to get some rest and recover. This can be the ultimate advantage or devastating to teams, depending on how they spend their time with the team.
It's almost game time! pic.twitter.com/uZ4A6XhZI6— Woodlands Online Sports (@WOLsports) October 7, 2021
The start of the game seemed a bit slow, with Willis forcing many fourth-down situations and making The Woodlands work for any chance of scoring. The Highlanders played cautiously to try to figure out the newcomer Wildkats to the district. Willis came out aggressive to prove that they were here to stay, and The Woodlands answered back by locking down their defense and offense.
The first half felt like both teams were taking their time to figure out each other's capabilities. The Woodlands seemed to be waking up from being off for a week, while Willis came out aggressive to catch the Highlanders off-guard. This continued to the half with the Highlanders only scoring two touchdowns and holding the 'Kats to just a three-point field goal.
Coming out from halftime, the Highlanders seemed to have snapped out of their funk and decided to bring their trademark aggression. They made some huge plays on offense, including a couple of touchdowns from the quarterback himself, Mabrey Mettauer. The Highlanders still made a couple of mistakes, but Willis had the same issues as well. A couple of long-snap mishaps forced some turnovers and some penalty calls that were in favor of The Woodlands.
Willis tried to hold on and keep up with the Highlanders, but they were stymied by The Woodlands team's long-running program that has worked for them over the decades, while the Wildkats are still coming into their own as a newly-minted 6A team. The first half of the game was a little odd, but when the teams came out from their respective locker rooms after halftime, we saw more traditional game play from then on. For being in the 6A district for only two years, the Wildkats held their own, and made some great plays to advance the ball. They are set to face College Park in their next district matchup.