HUNTSVILLE — The “next man up” mentality is central to College Station’s philosophy.
Senior running back Trevor Feese was that Cougar on Friday night in a 20-7 nondistrict win over Huntsville. He had 153 yards on 24 carries — his best-ever performance to his knowledge.
“It just means a lot that my coaches care about me being the next player,” he said. “I’m happy that I got out there and got the job done. Even though I got hurt, it’s a blessing for me to be a part of this team.”
The next man up mentality went beyond Feese as Terry Green, a JV player, had to step in for Feese, who was injured late in the game. College Station also was forced to use three quarterbacks — Brandon Williams, Blake Bayliss and Austin Sosa.
“We had so many players go out and step up, and it just shows how hard everyone works and how amazing our coaches are and how good they are to us,” Feese said.
The Cougars were dangerously close to going into halftime down as Jaden Schroeder recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown, but it was called back because of an inadvertent whistle. The Cougars were able to get a stop on that drive, but the Hornets took advantage of College Station’s other first-half turnover.
One play after T.J. Sweat’s interception, the Hornets’ Matthew Southern connected with Jaylon Griffin for a 98-yard TD down the right sideline to make it 13-7.
The Cougar defense didn’t allow any more points, though, and Huff was proud of how the unit stepped up, allowing 337 total yards, 112 on the ground.
“There’s no doubt that [Zach Sacky] was around the ball a bunch tonight,” Huff said. “The secondary had a couple big plays made. Ryan Stapp, Brandon Joseph made some plays out there. Garrett Draper was all over the field tonight out there. [Mark] Taplette made some plays, and he’s kind of fitting into his position now, so I really liked how the kids ran around and played hard.”
Southern completed 19 passes for 225 yards and was picked off by Joseph in the first quarter. Griffin caught four passes for 132 yards, and Jaeryne Green finished with 71 rushing yards on 14 carries.
A 2-yard TD run by Williams and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Sosa gave College Station a 13-0 lead in the early minutes of the second quarter. Williams and Sosa connected again as time expired in the third quarter for a 14-yard touchdown pass one play after returning from sitting out most of that eight-play series. He finished with 103 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 11-of-23 passing. Sosa was the Cougars’ leading receiver, catching four passes for 51 yards.
“Those guys worked their tail off in the perimeter tonight because we did some stuff we don’t normally do tonight to kind of take care of the running backs,” Huff said.
The 14-yard touchdown was the only scoring drive either team mustered in the second half, as Huntsville missed two field goals.
College Station racked up more than 100 yards in penalties, most of which came in the first half, but Huff was pleased overall with how his team fought against a former district foe.
“We had 11 penalties in the first half, and we had two plays that we had multiple penalties on,” Huff said. “Ridiculous. And that’s not to take anything away from Huntsville. We played great defense in the second half. We bend a little bit but didn’t break. Offensively, we got just enough done and got a couple series and got some movement in there because that’s a good football team. That’s a really good football team.”
College Station returns to Cougar Stadium next Saturday for a noon matchup with Nuevo Leon.