Lone Star Gridiron

Ridge Point powers past Crosby


photo: Glenn McCarthy

NRG- The season wasn't supposed to end this way for Coach Jeff Riordan and the Crosby Cougars. Undefeated and top ranked in multiple 5A polls, Crosby was seemingly a team of destiny. That ended Saturday night as the Fort Bend Ridge Point Panthers and Coach Brett Sniffin gave them a taste of their own medicine. The Panthers spent the game out muscling, out playing Crosby in handing them their first loss of the season, 42-14.

This game was never really close. Coach Sniffin had his defense on point from the opening kick. Crosby won the coin flip and elected to put their high scoring offense on the field first. It didn't work. Led by Quarterback Tristen Cotton and high-flying junior Mannie Netherly the offense never really got on track.

It was Panther Quarterback Shane Gosson and junior Running back B. J. Rainford who proved potent. Gosson was sharp completing 12-19 passes for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rainford racked up 125 yards on 35 carries and not to be out done by his quarterback he also added 3 touchdowns of his own.

Rainford started the scoring late in the first quarter with a five yard touchdown run and added another before the half ended. Cotton found Shane Hudson for a 10 yard touchdown pass with 3:52 left in the half to pull the Cougars within a touchdown, 14-7. On that drive Hudson targeted Netherly 7 times with only 2 receptions as terrific corner Shyler Staton kept the 6-3 receiver in check.

Coach Sniffin said this about his physical ball club and out powering Crosby, “Preparation for that just doesn't happen in a week, that's how we prepare all season. That's how we do it. We work hard, be physical, so we can smash people in the mouth.”

That's just what he and his power run game did in the second half. They ran the ball down the big Crosby defense’s throat. Crosby was looking to tie up the game on its first drive of the half. That’s when Staton, who is committed to Air Force, intercepted Cotton in the end zone for the first of two interceptions. Coach Sniffin said this about his ball hawk, “Shyler Staton’s pretty good, he’s pretty damn good, somebody's gonna wake up one of these days.”

Ridge Point went on a 11 play drive converting 5 first downs. Rainford had 6 carries for 36 yards before Coach Sniffin rewarded him for his hard work with the 1 yard TD run to make it 21-7 Ridge Point.

With the ground game loosening up the Cougar defense, the passing attack of Ridge Point and Gosson was unleashed. He hit David Packard for a 50 yard bomb as he shook off a defender and walked across the goal line.  Crosby fans were stunned to be down 28-7.

The Cougars were not ready to give up though.  Mannie Netherly then showed off the talent that got him 25 offers in about a 2 week span, when he took a Cotton bubble screen pass, scampered completely across the field before sprinting down the left sideline for a 63 yard touchdown. That cut the Panther lead in half, 28-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, Crosby seemed to catch the huge break that could put them back in the game when the muffed ball was recovered by Joseph Pinkney at the Panther 24 yard line. But Staton was there once again to shut things down. He came up big earning player of the game honors when he picked Cotton off and returned the ball to the 40 yard line. A 15 yard personnel foul penalty set Ridge Point up 45 yards from the end zone.

Gosson then picked up his 2nd touchdown pass of the half tossing a nice 31 yarder to 6-4, 210 sophomore Mustapha Muhammad. Fort Bend Ridge Point then led 35-14. His final touchdown came with a nice play-action pass on the 1 yard line, where Chad Bailey was all alone in the end zone. This would be the final score 42-14, Fort Bend Ridge Point over Crosby.

Ridge Point now faces A&M Consolidated on Saturday at 5:30 back at NRG Stadium. Next year the Panthers will rise up in classification to 6A. The UIL announced those numbers on Friday. Coach Sniffin hopes to win a championship before attempting the feat in a larger classification.

by Glenn McCarthy

Players of the game-

Offense: Quarterback, Shane Gosson - Running back. B.J. Rainford
Defense: Shyler Staton

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Crosby 0 7 7 0  - 14
Ridge Point 7 7 14 14  - 42

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