Two powerful high school football teams met last Friday night at Tully Stadium, and battled to a close score at the end. This was the Regional semifinals in Class 5A Division I Region III. The Cy-Fair Bobcats and the North Shore Mustangs came into the game with similar style of play — an overpowering defense, and a strong running game.
North Shore was the favorite, ranked No. 4 and with a 12-0 record. They had only given up a total of nine points in their last four games. Cy-Fair entered with almost as good an 11-1 record.
However, the Bobcats came up with the important plays when it counted most. In the first quarter, running back Dillon Birden ran 75 yards for a touchdown, thrilling the Cy- Fair fans, and setting the pace for the rest of the game. His total yardage was 216 yards on 29 carries. D. Tobler also carried for the Bobcats, with 5 carries for 29 yards.
Cy-Fair was also able to mount a good passing game, with quarterback C. Kopecky having 9 completions on 13 passes, for a total of 185 yards.
At the end of the first half, Cy-Fair led 6-0 on the strength of their long run in the first quarter.
However, in the third quarter North Shore made a strong comeback, with a 10 play drive that went 70 yards and resulted in a TD when quarterback Lawrance McCardell threw a 15 yard screen pass to Kevian DeLeon, resulting in the Mustangs taking a 7-6 lead. McCardell completed 3 passes in the game on 10 attempts, for a gain of 30 yards.
The Mustang lead did not last that long, however, The defensive battle continued through the rest of the second half, with the ball changing hands regularly.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Bobcats’s running back Dillon Birden struck again, with a 57 yard effort that helped set up a field goal attempt.
With about 8 minutes left in the game, the Bobcat’s Braden Mann put his foot to an 18 yard field goal attempt that was good, and gave the Cy-Fair team a 9-7 lead which was the final score.
Cy-Fair will go on to the next round of the play-offs, facing Pearland on December 7th. They will play at either Mercer Stadium or Rice Stadium. As an indication of how even the match was, each team had to punt 5 times, and was penalized almost the same yards.