Cougars cruise past Crusaders

Shaun Lal, Sports Editor

After shutting out district rival Memorial a week earlier, Cinco Ranch made another statement to the rest of District 19-5A with a 42-24 victory over Strake Jesuit on Friday, Oct. 14.

The Cougars looked ready for business on just the second play of the game with an untouched 73-yard touchdown rush down the sideline by junior running back Jamel James, the first of his four touchdowns on the day.

On Cinco Ranch’s next possession, junior quarterback Cole Thomas led an impressive drive, including his 18-yard run which set up an open 21-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Alex Ludowig.

The Crusaders started their next drive, but were halted by an interception by junior safety Kevin Colpoys, leading to James’ second touchdown, another 39-yard bolt, untouched, through the line.

Strake Jesuit did catch a glimmer of hope with a heads-up catch from senior RB Jordan Underwood off a tipped-pass, which he ran in 25 yards for Strake’s first touchdown. The Crusaders then forced a Cinco Ranch fumble, which was picked up by senior defensive tackle Abolade Jebutu and run in 51 yards for a touchdown, shrinking the Cougar lead to 7 points.

In the second half, James walked in his final touchdown after junior WR James Rhoden caught an 11-yard pass, successfully converting a fourth down. Rhoden finished with 6 catches for 98 yards.

“I would have to say this was my second best game [of my career],” Rhoden said. “But my first would have to be our first game against Klein Forest, where I had four catches and a touchdown.”

Strake Jesuit did score 10 quick points in the fourth quarter, but Cinco Ranch ran out the clock, securing the 42-21 win.

Cinco Ranch used the early lead to their advantage. Although sometimes careless—Strake Jesuit blocked two punts and one field goal and never stopped scoring.

“It was easy because we just had the mentality that no one can stop us,” Rhoden said. “Everyone did a good job in accomplishing that.

The Cougars are now preparing for their game against Taylor on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Rhodes Stadium. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.

“I feel like all of our games are giving us momentum,” Rhoden said. “We’re on a six game winning streak, and we hope to continue it all the way to state.”