Early in their game against the Cypress Falls Golden Eagles at the Berry Center on Thursday night, the Langham Creek Lobos looked nothing like the team that had scored 63 points in their previous game and averaged nearly 44 points per game in their first four games.
The No. 4-ranked Eagles had kept quarterback Connor Feist in check and effectively shut down the Lobos’ offense.
But, unlike last week, Langham Creek’s defense stepped up while the offense found its rhythm and clamped down on one of the top offenses in the Houston area through four games. As a result, the Lobos managed to hang tough with Cypress Falls until Feist and the offense got it together and pulled out a 37-35 win.
“Last week we lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 64-63 (to Cypress Ranch), and our defense felt like it was their fault, I know they did,” said Langham Creek head coach Todd Thompson after the game. “They hung together this week and worked hard in practice and did a great job tonight.”
“I don’t care how many points Cy Falls scored tonight,” the former Cy Falls assistant added, “they had to earn every one of them.”
It appeared for much of the first half that the same might be true of Langham Creek.
Thanks in part to a stingy Eagles defense, the Lobos’ potent offense went most of the first period with no first downs, no pass completions and zero net offensive yards.
But a blocked punt set them up deep in Cypress Falls’ territory and resulted in a 35-yard field goal by Laith Tucker to give Langham Creek a 3-0 lead after one quarter.
“Coming in, we weren’t exactly sure how they were going to try to play us,” Thompson said. “Honestly, it took a quarter to try and figure it out and we went from there.”
“We had a couple of bad balls and a couple of drops and that just got us off rhythm,” he stated. “But I felt like in the second quarter and second half that we had a good flow about our offense.”
The offensive flow changed on both sides of the ball in the second quarter, as both teams found their offensive rhythms and combined to score five touchdowns.
Bryce Peters capped a capped a 55-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to give Cypress Falls a 7-3 lead before the two teams began to exchange TD passes.
Feist completed two long scoring passes. The first, a 62-yard bomb to Caleb Hobbs, was his first pass completion of the night. The second was an 85-yard strike to Dominique Harris with 1:51 remaining before halftime.
But Cypress Falls quarterback Cameron Henkhaus, who finished the evening completing 23 of 32 pass attempts for 247 yards, answered with a pair of TD passes to Jacorey Warrick (34 yards) and Temi Alaka (39 yards) and Cypress Falls led at the half, 21-17.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, but Cypress Falls forced a pair of Langham Creek turnovers in the period and had two opportunities to stretch their 28-24 lead heading into the final quarter.
But a big defensive stand by Langham Creek on one possession and botched snap on a field goal attempt on another prevented the Eagles from pulling away from the Lobos.
Langham then posted a pair of touchdowns in the fourth to take a 37-28 lead with 5:21 to go.
But Cy Falls responded with a quick scoring drive that ended in Alaka’s second TD reception on a 13-yard pass from Henkhaus with 3:38 remaining to cut the lead to 37-35.
The Eagles opted not to attempt an onside kick, instead putting the focus on stopping the Lobo offense and getting the ball back for a final drive.
That left the Langham Creek head coach with a critical decision to make regarding his offensive approach on the next possession.
“You can be conservative but I felt like we’d end up punting and they’re too good on offense,” Thompson said afterward. “I didn’t want to even give them 30 seconds because they’re so explosive. I felt like (we should) just keep doing what got us here and keep doing what’s working.”
So the Lobos moved the ball down the field with their passing game and ran the clock out with first downs.
The win for Langham Creek raised their District 17-5A record to 3-1 and dropped Cy Falls to 3-1. It also gives Cypress Ridge an opportunity to claim outright possession of first place in the district on Saturday with a win over Cypress Ranch—the team that knocked off Langham Creek, 64-63, last week.