PN-G Indians Football

Anderson, Perez lead College Station to shootout win against Port Neches-Groves in regional playoffs

By MARIA MCILWAIN | theeagle.com

HUMBLE — College Station’s punt team didn’t get much work Saturday.

The Cougars (11-2) only punted once and scored on 10 consecutive drives, beating Port Neches-Groves 66-40 on Saturday in a Class 5A Division II regional playoff game.

“You never feel like you have enough points, but at the same time, I think our kids played hard today,” College Station head coach Steve Huff said. “I thought we played well up front on offense, and I think that was the difference for us.”
 
Senior running back DaDa Anderson had his best game of the season, running for 261 yards on 16 carries and scoring four touchdowns. He broke through with a 56-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars on the board on their second drive. For one paralyzing moment, it looked like he might have fumbled the ball before reaching the end zone, but the call stood.

“I tried to reach out, put the ball in the end zone,” Anderson said. “I really should have thought about ball security at first, but I learned from my mistakes, and I executed after that.”

He sure did. He ran for nearly 200 yards in the first half alone and scored on runs of 12, 6 and 33 yards.

“Overall, I think I did good,” he said. “I made my coaches happy. I made my team happy. In the end, that’s all I want to do.”

Quarterback Marquez Perez added a big play of his own on College Station’s next drive, scoring on a 52-yard run. The senior finished with 216 rushing yards on 12 carries and threw for 125 yards on 10-of-13 passing.

Port Neches-Groves marched down the field, and Roschon Johnson and Preston Riggs connected for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter. Johnson had a rushing touchdown, a 1-yard run, in the last minute of the quarter.

Riggs was the Indians’ leading receiver with nine catches for 126 yards while Johnson finished with 220 rushing yards on 30 carries and 269 passing yards on 21-of-35 passing. The Texas recruit threw three touchdown passes and was picked off twice by junior defensive back Brandon Joseph deep in College Station territory.

The Cougars made those interceptions count. The first one set up Perez’s 52-yard run in the first quarter, and the latter set the stage for Perez’s 86-yard run late in the third quarter.

Just seconds after Anderson scored on a 12-yard run in the second quarter, senior defensive back Travis Hester recovered a fumbled kickoff. Twenty seconds after his second touchdown of the day, Anderson was back in the end zone, this time on a 6-yard run.

The Cougars responded to the Indians’ late first-half touchdown with a 29-yard field goal by Alan Guerrieri.

Port Neches-Groves opened both the third and fourth quarters with touchdowns, but the Cougars kept the game out of reach. Johnson and Austin Jones connected for a 17-yard TD in the fourth, and Johnson later scored on an 18-yard run. After a 1-yard TD by Austin Bost, Johnson’s final touchdown pass was a 14-yarder to Kaleb Wuenschel.

“Against these guys, it’s going to be bend but don’t break because that quarterback is so electric and can get out of the pocket,” Huff said. “You’re on your toes the whole time, and you’re also holding your breath the whole time he has the ball.”

Azarian Foght recorded all of his 102 rushing yards on nine second-half carries. He had touchdowns on 32- and 9-yard runs in the fourth quarter.

Port Neches-Groves ends its season at 10-2. College Station, which reached the state semifinals last season, will face Fort Bend Marshall (10-2) in the 5A-II Region III final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Waller ISD Stadium.

While Anderson said this season has had a redemption theme, Huff sees it differently.

“I look up now and we’re going to the fourth round; that’s a pretty neat deal,” Huff said. “Redemption-wise, the kids may look at it different. I look at it as a big sigh of relief, and let’s go practice.”

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