Home Features 2016 Playoffs The Woodlands Rallies Past Garland Sachse

The Woodlands Rallies Past Garland Sachse


No opponent has seriously challenged The Woodlands this season. But the Highlanders faced their first tough foe in Garland Sachse and rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Mustangs 51-40.

The win brought The Woodlands (12-0) a Class 6A Division I area title and earned the team the right to face the winner of the Austin Bowie/Spring contest next week in the Region II semifinals.

“We haven’t really been challenged all season,” Highlander high coach Mark Schmid said. “I was really proud that we didn’t panic when we got behind and just went at them play by play.”

Sachse (11-1) took the lead twice in the fourth quarter at 34-31 and 40-38 on a pair of touchdown passes to Kelon Wilson from Jalen Mayden. The first covered 72 yards and came with 11:12 remaining in the final period, and the second went for 64 yards at the 7:59 mark.

Mayden and Wilson posted impressive numbers in the contest. Mayden threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns with 29 completions in 35 attempts, while Wilson caught six passes for 220 yards including all three of Mayden’s scoring tosses.

But after Wilson’s third scoring catch, The Woodlands didn’t allow another point and scored two clutch touchdowns to earn the victory. The Highlanders regained the lead on Dylan Casey’s 29-yard touchdown reception with 5:30 left to play. Casey wound up with seven catches for 182 yards and scoring passes covering 14 and 29 yards.

The Mustangs attempted a third comeback attempt, but The Woodlands defense stopped Mayden mere inches short of a first down on fourth-and-one at the Mustang 41. Quarterback Eric Schmid then carried twice around the left side first for 11 yards and again for 23 yards to ice the win. Schmid finished the game with 274 passing yards and three touchdowns with a 15-of-21 performance.

The Highlanders led 28-14 at halftime, but Sachse quickly grabbed the momentum in the third quarter. On the first possession of the second half, The Woodlands attempted to punt from its own 16, but the snap sailed over the head of Lockhart West and bounced into the end zone. Hunter Spears pounced on the errant pigskin to reduce the margin to a single touchdown.

The quick six ignited Sachse, and the Mustangs held The Woodlands to a field goal on their next pair of possessions while scoring two touchdowns to gain the lead. But the Highlanders rallied when it counted to advance another round in the state playoffs.

Mayden fumbled at the Sachse 5 to set up the game’s first touchdown. The Woodlands needed only three plays to punch the ball into the end zone with Connor Klapesky getting the final yard for the score at the first quarter’s 7:42 mark.

The Highlanders scored again on their next possession, moving 65 yards highlighted by a 52-yard completion from Schmid to Casey. Two plays later, Schmid found Kesean Carter from 18 yards out for the touchdown.

Sachse responded with a 17-play, 93-yard scoring drive with Mayden squirting across from the 1 early the second quarter. But The Woodlands quickly negated the score as Carter returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.

The Mustangs exhibited some offensive fireworks in their next possession with Mayden connecting with Nate Shelton for 21 yards then finding Wilson for a 41-yard touchdown pass.

However, The Woodlands upped their margin to two touchdowns just before halftime. The Highlander defense stopped Wilson for a 4-yard loss on fourth-and-one at its own 41. Schmid immediately hit Grant Murphy for a 30-yard completion, and one play later, found Casey in the right corner of the end zone for a 14-yard scoring pass with 34 seconds remaining.

Nick Alexander almost returned the Highlander kickoff for a touchdown as he took the ball at the Mustang 13, broke through the pack, and raced down the left sideline. But West, the kicker, managed to ride Alexander out-of-bounds at The Woodlands 23.

On second down, Mayden fumbled a second time, costing Sachse a last-second scoring opportunity, and The Woodlands went to the locker room with a 28-14 halftime lead.


The Woodlands – 14-14-3-20 — 51
Garland Sachse – 0-14-14-12 – 40

TW – Connor Klapesky 1 run (Lockhart West kick), 7:42 1Q
TW – Kesean Carter 18 pass from Eric Schmid (West kick), 4:13 1Q
GS – Jalen Mayden 1 run (Geoffrey Pace kick), 10:14 2Q
TW – Carter 86 kickoff return (Charles Gingras kick), 9:58 2Q
GS – Kelon Wilson 41 pass from Mayden (Pace kick), 9:20 2Q
TW – Dylan Casey 14 pass from Schmid (West kick), 0:34 2Q
GS – Hunter Spears fumble recovery in end zone (Pace kick), 9:39 3Q
TW – Gingras 28 field goal, 6:40 3Q
GS – Mayden 10 run (Pace kick), 2:05 3Q
GS – Wilson 72 pass from Mayden (kick failed), 11:12 4Q
TW – Carlos Ramos 13 run (Gingras kick), 8:29 4Q
GS – Wilson 64 pass from Mayden (kick failed), 7:59 4Q
TW – Casey 29 pass from Schmid (pass failed), 5:30 4Q
TW – Schmid 23 run (West kick), 3:15 4Q

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