NEW CANEY - The state's longest winning streak looked to be in danger.
With 5:28 left in the first half on the road on Thursday night, Scott Surratt's back-to-back state champions - boasting an impressive 30-game winning streak entering the season - was on the ropes to the Class 5A Division II State Semifinalist Crosby Cougars, trailing 17-0.
From that point on, the Bulldogs battled back to outscore Crosby 27-7 the rest of the way and seal the come-from-behind victory with a kickoff return touchdown from Noah Paddie with 1:36 remaining to seal the 27-24 win inside New Caney ISD's Randall Reed Stadium.
"It was just toughness," Surratt said on what this win showed about his team. "It was a big win. We didn't want to overhype this too much because it's been a tough week. We had some funerals we had to go to and a lot of players out. You saw our program in the second half of how tough we are and how hard we played. We were fortunate to come to come out on top."
Wow!!! TOUCHDOWN @carthagedawgs!! On the ensuing kickoff it’s a house call for @noah_paddie as he gives Carthage the lead right back, 27-24 with 1:31 left. Wow wow wow!! #txhsfb @texashsfootball @CuffConnor @HattenMontrel @wade_braeden @KPRC2RandyMc @HTownHSS pic.twitter.com/o3VwvNnsSH— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) August 27, 2021
Crosby (0-1) saw its defensive unit come out on fire, forcing five first-half turnovers, including an 80-yard scoop and score from senior Tyler Douglas, which came off a massive hit from Braden Wright. Despite the solid early defensive performance, Carthage (1-0) still made one more play than Crosby in the end.
"We're going to learn a lot from this game," Crosby coach Jerry Prieto said. "We had a lot of kids grow up tonight big time. They stepped up and made huge plays. We're going to take away from this too though, when you get up on a really good football team 17-0, it's time to put them away.
"We let them back into the game but our kids fought our tails off. Carthage took the lead and then we took it right back. They just made one more play than we did tonight and that's why they've won 30 games in a row and eight state championships."
Below are other observations ... My 3 Big Takeaways.
Crosby's Defense has Teeth
End of 1st Quarter @carthagedawgs - 0@CrosbyHSCougars - 0— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) August 27, 2021
Both defenses forcing turnovers. 2 by Crosby and one by Carthage. #txhsfb @JerryPrieto8 @CyrinMyles @JerryPrieto8 @CrosbyISD @PaulaPatterson @DesmondTisdom @KPRC2RandyMc @HTownHSS pic.twitter.com/4AXU5kzrA7
Crosby's defensive line of McCoy Casey and Chancellor Bradley and the linebacker corps being held down by Tyler Cooper and Desmond Tisdom is going to be a group that just continues to roll. Five turnovers in the first half is super impressive. Cooper was the player of the game despite the loss. He had an 80-yard scoop and score, fumble recovery and it was hit after big hit by him and the defensive unit. This defensive crew for the first 24 minutes held a Carthage team that blew people out of the building last year to just seven points to lead 17-7 at the half. From watching this defensive group, they know how to get to the football and make an impact once there. There are still some things to tweak and tighten up but a great start for the Crosby defensive unit as they will help as the offense still gets going.
QB1s are Gritty - Connor Cuff (Carthage) & Cyrin Myles (Crosby)
TOUCHDOWN @carthagedawgs!!— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) August 27, 2021
First play of the 4th quarter it is @CuffConnor to @wade_braeden for the 20 yard score and just like that we are tied 17-17 with 11:52 to go in the game. #txhsfb @texashsfootball @KPRC2RandyMc @alexradow @HTownHSS pic.twitter.com/QAbcV1h8eP
For Carthage they rolled out Javarian Roquemore at quarterback to start the game but at some point he got "banged up" and was replaced by junior Connor Cuff. Once settled in, Cuff delivered some nice deep balls to Montrel Hatten and Braeden Wade, including a pair of touchdowns. His most impressive play was when he stepped up through two would-be tacklers and delivered the ball to Wade for the 20-yard score. On Crosby's side, Cyrin Myles was effective as long as he continued to stay on his feet. He was suffering from cramps during the game in his leg and made some big throws towards the end. He battled through pretty much being unable to walk to still try and operate the offense, which he did until he couldn't.
TOUCHDOWN @carthagedawgs!!!— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) August 27, 2021
The back to back State Champs punch back with a 59 yard TD pass from @CuffConnor to @HattenMontrel who reels it in for a big play and score #txhsfb
2nd - 4:07
Carthage - 7@CrosbyHSCougars - 17 pic.twitter.com/asmUETySVq
Carthage's Montrel Hatten made big catch after big catch on Thursday night. The junior reeled in a huge score, which was the lone of the first half for the Bulldogs but kind of broke the seal. He also had other big catches throughout the game that got them into good position. Cuff and Hatten together this season could be a solid combo for Carthage. Can't forget Braeden Wade either on that list. For Crosby, Kameren Kirkwood provides that spark. He had a 50-yard catch and run for a score where he showed off his speed in the loss.
There was also a lot of other games around the area on Thursday night. Check out those scores.