CYPRESS — The euphoria of scoring 35 points in the second half a week earlier quickly turned to disappointment for the Bryan Vikings on Thursday night at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium.
Cypress Lakes had a goal-line stand in the opening half and then took over on downs late with the Vikings at the Spartans’ 32-yard line to claim a 3-0 victory over Bryan in District 14-6A action.
“We just can’t make it happen,” Bryan coach Ross Rogers said. “We have not made it happen when we needed to. Last week we responded, and this week was very frustrating again.”
With the loss, the Vikings (2-4, 1-3) likely will have to win out to claim a playoff spot, one for which the Spartans (4-3, 3-2) are now in the running.
Joseph Staiano was true with a 30-yard field goal on the Spartans’ first possession of the second half for the only points in a game in which neither team gained 200 total yards.
The Spartans had 195 yards, 60 of it coming on the first two plays of the second half. Jarel Lewis broke off a 29-yard run, and Sean Hunter followed with a 31-yard run. The Bryan defense stood tall, holding Cy-Lakes to minus-3 yards on the next three rushes, forcing the field goal, which it looked like the Vikings would block when they broke free up the middle on the rush.
“They came out and got after it, and we didn’t play like we have been playing, but we got better after that,” Rogers said. “We got clean through [on the kick], and I just don’t know.”
The Spartans had six first downs in the game, and two came on their last possession, giving the Vikings 3 minutes, 16 seconds to go 80 yards for the win or something close to that for a tying field goal.
Kerry Brooks opened the drive with an 8-yard pass to Matt Moreno, who did his part with six catches for 64 yards. Moreno picked up the initial first down of the drive with a 4-yard run, and then Brooks ran for 11 yards to get the Vikings to the 43.
On third-and-10 from the 43, Moreno made a catch over the middle for 12 yards that he paid for by taking a big hit. Two plays later he was hit long after a pass went over his head for a 15-yard penalty that put the ball at the Spartan 29.
A penalty on Bryan backed the ball up 10 yards, and after Brooks got 7 yards back, it came down to a fourth-down pass into the end zone that the Vikings wanted pass interference on, but the ball was ruled uncatchable as it just cleared Moreno’s head at the back line.
“They said the ball was out of the end zone, and I thought it was open earlier, we just couldn’t get the ball off quick enough,” Rogers said. “They turned him loose twice, we just couldn’t get the ball to him.”
The Vikings’ best opportunity to score after the Spartans took the lead was in the third quarter when Troy Chumchal, who is the deep snapper, recovered a muffed punt at the Cy-Lakes’ 36.
Again a penalty put the Vikings behind the chains, and after three plays they had to punt from the 44.
“We didn’t do a lot of things very good,” Rogers said. “We hunt and pecked and did what we could, but consistently we didn’t do what we thought we might have a chance to do. They had good defensive speed and long kids that made tackles. The defensive ends played really well.”
The first half was a series of miscues, including two on one play when the Vikings’ Jeremiah Manley fumbled at the 1 and into the end zone, where Zabion Davis, shepherded the ball out of bounds at the 1, allowing the Vikings to maintain possession.
The Vikings were unable to take advantage of the late first-quarter blooper when they were called for a false start and then were dropped for a 3-yard loss. On third-and-goal from the 9, Brooks threw a pass over the middle that Gary Lynch tipped, and Cy-Lakes’ Xavier Corbin made a diving catch in the end zone for an interception.
On the Vikings’ next possession, Manley fumbled at the Spartans’ 36, and this time Cy-Lakes’ Malik Green recovered.
Two possessions later, the Vikings, running their 2-minute offense, went from their own 11 to the Spartans’ 32 in 1 minute, 32 seconds, but that drive ended when Brooks was intercepted by Eamon Perry.
The Bryan defense did its job again, holding the Spartans to two first downs over the first 24 minutes, both in the first quarter. Xavier Johnson intercepted a Khaliq Abdul-Mateen pass on Cy-Lakes’ opening possession.
The defense also turned the Spartans away, with the big play coming on a 12-yard sack of Khaliq Abdul-Mateen for 12-yard loss.
The Bryan defense also got good play out of linebackers DeTerious Bryant and David Parks, especially in the opening half when the Spartans, who only threw twice, were held to 65 yards.
“Maybe they thought they were good enough that we weren’t going to score, and just do a little bit and win,” Rogers said of the Spartans sticking to the run after averaging 108 yards a game through the air. “Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers, shoot yourself in the foot, and we seem to be pretty good at that.”
Bryan returns home on Oct. 19 for its next game against Cypress Park.
Cypress Lakes 3, Bryan 0
Bryan 0 0 0 0—0
Cypress Lakes 0 0 3 0—3
CYPRESS LAKES — Joseph Staiano 30 field goal 9:50
Bryan Cy Lakes
First downs 14 7
Rushes-yards 34-80 40-189
Passing yards 92 6
Total yards 172 195
Passes comp.-att.-int. 8-24-2 1-2-1
Punts-average 8-38 6-28.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 8-68 6-59
Records 2-4, 1-3 4-3, 3-2
RUSHING — BRYAN: Jeremiah Manley 12-37; Kerry Brooks 7-34; Matt Moreno 4-8; Christian Richardson 1-1. CYPRESS LAKES: Jarel Lewis 19-77; Sean Hunter 16-111; Khaliq Abdul–Mateen 4-(minus-8); Taven Canty 1-9.
PASSING — BRYAN: Brooks 8-24-2 92. CY LAKES: Abdul-Mateen 1-2-1 6
RECEIVING — BRYAN: Moreno 6-64; Gary Lynch 1-14; Manley 1-14. CY LAKES: Robert Milam 1-6.
NEXT: Cypress Park at Bryan