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North Shore advances by stopping Atascocita 44-20; Mustangs enter 4th consecutive semi-final game

Mustang defensive back Evan Jackson’s 47 yd pass interception run-back TD. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Pasadena Veterans Memorial Stadium – On Friday December 3, 2021, playing on a neutral field, Coach Jon Kay’s “Eastside Boys,” bested the Humble Atascocita Eagles, for the second time in less than 5 weeks this season, with a final score of 44-20.

North Shore’s game team captains: David Amador, Kent Battle, Caleb Flagg and Jaden Harris.

North Shore took the opening kickoff. Atascocita’s defense forced them to punt, and with only 3 minutes into the game, Eagles sophomore quarterback (QB) Zion Brown passed to a wide-open Spencer Henslee, as the Eagles took a 7-0 lead. Three minutes later, Mustangs freshman QB Kaleb Bailey ran for a game-tying TD. They made 24 unanswered points.

Atascocita fought back, making it a contest. In the 4th quarter, they came within 10 points twice, after each team swapped TDs. North Shore’s fierce pass-rushing in the game forced hurried passing, creating 4 interceptions, 1 for a TD. Interceptions were made by Evan Jackson, Kent Battle, and Kris Ross.

The Eagles realized they could gain more yards passing on the Mustangs rather than running into their rock solid defensive line. They also found out that when they passed too often, the Mustangs awesome linebackers would make them pay for it by rushing their quarterback, causing interceptions and sacking him (see photos). Kay’s defense shutout the Eagles for 2 quarters, allowing only one TD in the first 3 quarters.

The Eagles showed lots of grit, never giving up, but the Mustangs’ defense stayed aggressive on their quarterback and running backs. Atascocita coach Craig Stump said, “The Mustangs won the line of scrimmage, we had a hard time running the ball. We felt good about our matchups outside, but they won the battle up front, and in the playoffs, the team that does that wins.”

The Mustangs’ six TDs were made by: Xavier Owens – 2 TDs & 162 yds, Damon Ford – 2 TD’s & 51 yds, Kaleb Bailey – 1 TD & 74 yds, and Evan Jackson – 1 TD & 47 yds. The offense racked up 414 yards (rushing 298 & passing 116). Carlos Dominguez kicked the extra points and a field goal.

North Shore (13-1) goes to Austin and takes on Austin’s Lake Travis Cavaliers (12-2) in the 6A Div 1 Semifinals Playoff. They’ve played each other before; in 2018, the Mustangs won 51-10, and again in 2019, the Mustangs won 49-38. The match will be played on Dec. 11, 2021, at 3:00 PM, at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, located at 10211 W. Palmer Ln., Austin, TX 78717.

Statistician Linda Jamail, allanj211@aol.com.