AP NEWS

Mustangs, Stingarees renew competitive football rivalry Friday night

September 23, 2018

In a district where every opponent each week is the pick-your-poison variety, Friendswood head football coach Robert Koopmann is hoping his team receives the low-toxin dosage this Friday.

Don’t count on that to be the case, though, especially where Texas City is concerned.

The Stingarees and Mustangs will open their District 10-5A schedule at Henry Winston Stadium, and Koopmann is expecting nothing less than a knock-down, drag-out affair. In the past 19 meetings, Friendswood holds a 10-9 edge.

Many of those games have been decided in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

“They look like the typical Texas City team to me,” Koopmann said. “They’re really athletic at quarterback, big on the offensive line and they’ve got speed in the secondary.

“They’ve also got a really talented 6-foot, 2-inch wide receiver so…nothing new.”

The game will be a battle of teams riding waves of momentum, also.

After a season-opening loss to El Campo, Texas City (2-1) has responded with consecutive wins over Clear Falls and Clear Lake.

Friendswood has won each of its first three games, defeating Dayton, Clear Brook and La Porte.

The Stingarees and Mustangs each enter the game after an open date.

“There’s no shame in losing to El Campo,” Koopmann said. “They’re a good team that runs that wing-T a little different, and they run it well.

“El Campo comes after you. And then Texas City beat a much-improved Clear Falls team and a quality Clear Lake team. I’m assuming District 10-5A is going to start out on a tough note, and every week will be a tough note.”

The Stingarees are fueled by quarterback Phillip McDaniel and running back Jo’vel McDaniel. Linebacker Mykahl Brow leads the swarming Texas City defense, which had to replace 10 starters but seems to have adequately done so.

“Offensively, I think Texas City is trying to get back to who they are, which is a downhill running team,” Koopmann said. “They get in the I formation and run power a lot.

“The running back is shifty and the quarterback is a good hand back there. When they do spread it and throw, you really have to be aware of the quarterback because he can move and make things happen.”

Koopmann said his team has just been trying to clean up the small stuff so it doesn’t manifest into a big problem.

“Defensively, we just went back to tackling drills and basic stuff,” Koopmann said. “We’ve already put the game plan in for Texas City, and we can afford to take some time to do a few things we haven’t done.

“On the offensive side, we’ve been working a lot on footwork detail. Sometimes you overlook those things in a short week.

“In our bye week, we just had one day of contact. It’s been hot, too. I think the field temperature was 109 one day. We went a little bit shorter on our workouts because of that.”

Koopmann also used the extra week to look at more of his players.

“We let the twos and threes scrimmage each other, and it was fun and exciting to see those guys go at it,” he said. “We even brought up a couple of freshmen. Not with the intent of moving them up, but just to ingrain what a varsity football practice is like.”

The Mustang offense picked up a little steam in a 43-7 win over La Porte. Koopmann knows that unit will need to be clicking against the opportunistic Stingarees.

“In the past, Texas City has been in a four-man front, but so far they’re staying in a 3-3 stack, which surprised us a little bit,” the Mustang boss said. “But anything can change in two weeks.

“We’ll just prepare our kids the best we can for Texas City. And after all that, the game will probably be decided in the last minute of the fourth quarter.”

tdunnam@hcnonline.com

AP RADIO
Update hourly