HS Football: Grand Oaks Falls In Season Opener To Visiting Aldine Nimitz

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 08/24/2023


THE WOODLANDS -- With excitement in the air and adrenaline on the field, high school football made its long-awaited return to the Woodlands as Grand Oaks would host Aldine Nimitz.

The Cougars would receive the opening kickoff and begin their season with two false starts within the first three plays from scrimmage, pinning them deep in their own territory with a three-and-out. However, Grand Oaks would not use the great field position to their advantage. Their first three offensive possessions would result in zero points with two interceptions and a three-and-out opening the door for Nimitz. They would cash in these opportunities with two touchdowns through the air from sophomore quarterback Albert Brown leading to a first-quarter score of 13-0.

The second quarter would see both teams eat up sizable amounts of clock. Aldine Nimitz’s opening drive resulted in a red zone interception into the hands of Grizzlies senior safety Simon Smith. On the ensuing drive from Grand Oaks, the offense would drive almost the length of the field before a pair of costly penalties would scuttle the drive and lead to a missed field goal. A third Grand Oaks interception would give Aldine Nimitz a chance, but a sailed pass from Brown would signal the end of the half.

The Grizzlies would receive the second-half kickoff and signal another defensive battle. Neither squad recorded more than three first downs in the quarter with both offenses struggling to find traction to open things up. Grand Oaks would find success on the ground towards the end of the quarter with a 44-yard gain from senior runningback Angel Sepulveda, which would set the Grizzlies up on the one. After a plunge into the endzone by junior Tristian LeMoine, the Grizzlies would notch their first points of the night bringing the game to 13-7. The joy would be short-lived as a fourth Grand Oaks interception would end up as a pick-six that increased the Nimitz lead to 20-7 with one quarter remaining.

The final quarter would arrive and witness both teams milk the clock via running the ball. After the dust had settled, Grand Oaks ran the ball eight times in the fourth quarter for a total of 35 on the game. Neither team would score in the fourth, allowing Aldine Nimitz to walk home with the victory, 20-7.

Grand Oaks Head Coach, Shaun McDowell, broke down the lack of success during the loss, but took the brunt of the blame himself.

“Things did not go our way with a lot of self inflicted wounds,” said Coach McDowell. “I am going to take the blame on this one. I did not have them ready.”

While acknowledging the shortcomings there were spots of hope that the Grizzlies were able to bring back with them.

“The guys really fought, I dont feel like we gave up,” said Coach McDowell. “I thought we got better from the Tomball scrimmage, but there are things that we need to get better at on both sides of the ball.”

Grand Oaks will take to the field against the Dobie Longhorns on Friday, September 1 in a bid to get to .500.

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