Pearland pretty salty in Tullos’ head coaching debut
With a first-year head coach, a late quarterback move-in and the implementation of new terminology, one could have expected quite a few bumps in the road for the Pearland football team this past Friday.
However, when the Oilers walked off the field with a 47-10 victory over Cy Springs, it may have raised some eyebrows.
Some might say the debut of head coach Ricky Tullos showed the Oilers in midseason form, but the Pearland boss knows his team has a long way to go despite the easy victory.
The Oilers led 21-0 after the first quarter and maintained a firm hold on the game for the remainder of the contest.
“I loved the energy, the effort and the enthusiasm,” Tullos said. “Obviously, we made a lot of first-game mistakes, but we did a lot of great things.
“I thought we did a good job of executing early and took control of the game, which was important. A lot of people touched the ball. We distributed it pretty well, and a lot of people got some experience out there, which was good.”
Oiler running back Jaelin Benefield enjoyed a banner night, carrying the ball just seven times for 157 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 7, 32 and 71 yards.
Oklahoma move-in quarterback J.D. Head completed 13 of 18 passes for 178 yards and was intercepted once.
“J.D. did a good job of running the offense,” Tullos said. “He made some good throws and good reads for his first game in a big stadium, big stage, big atmosphere.
“Layne Roblyer also came in and made some good throws. The running game was pretty solid, too. Jaelin showed what he’s capable of doing.”
Pearland led 34-3 at halftime before scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter. Burgess Torrance scored the first of those fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 9-yard run before Roblyer connected with Austin Landry on a 9-yard TD pass.
The Oilers also received a huge special teams’ contribution when Linton Kelekolio returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, Pearland was more than up to the task, limiting Cy Springs to just 84 total yards.
“Cy Springs runs a wing-T offense, and they make you play fundamental defensive football,” Tullos said. “That’s tough to defend, but our kids did a great job.
“We had to match their intensity and physicality, and I thought we did that. If we made a bad fit, we overcame it with effort.
“Overall, I thought we played a fairly clean game. There was nothing that was glaringly wrong.”
The Oilers now turn their attention to Houston Memorial in Pearland’s first home game of the season at 7 p.m., Friday.
“Memorial’s always a very physical with a good run attack,” Tullos said. “Coach (Gary) Koch has done a great job over there for many years.
“They’ll be very disciplined, very big and very strong. We’ll have to be able to match their physicality just like we did against Cy Springs. We’ll work on fixing our first-game mistakes and try to be a better football team this week.”