CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News) – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again—it’s a cliché, to be sure, but there’s some good advice there. Just ask the Seven Lakes Spartans, who won their first game of the season, defeating Tompkins, 28-20, Friday at Legacy Stadium.
Seven Lakes (1-2 overall, 1-0 District 19-6A) lost to New Caney Porter and Houston Heights but had just kept at it, improving enough to feel confident that things were going in the right direction.
It didn’t seem that way early in Friday’s game, however. Tompkins (0-3 overall, 0-1 District 19-6A) scored first on a 20-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back George Benyeogor at 4:51 in the first quarter. Jacinto Esteban’s extra point capped the 60-yard scoring drive.
On the ensuing drive, the Spartans fumbled and Falcons defensive back Kendall Washington, a senior, recovered at the Seven Lakes 36. The Spartans defense held, but the Falcons got a 22-yard field goal by Esteban with 1:52 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans came back late in the first half with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Micheal Batton to Rasheen Green. Lance Broome’s extra point came at the 1:11 mark.
But Tompkins struck back and scored on another Esteban field goal, this one for 32 yards, with five seconds left in the half to give the Falcons a 13-7 lead that they would take into halftime.
The Falcons received the opening kickoff to start the second half and appeared to have the momentum. However, the Spartans forced a fumble, with senior defensive back Caleb Cole recovering at the Seven Lakes 17-yard line. The Spartans put a drive together, featuring runs by Batton on all but one play. Batton scored on a 16-yard run, and Broome’s extra point gave Seven Lakes its first lead of the game at the 4:27 mark in the third quarter.
“Once we settled in, the kids did a good job,” Seven Lakes coach Lydell Wilson said.
The Spartans added to their lead in the fourth quarter, when Corey Anderson scored on an amazing 47-yard run. Broome kicked the extra point, and Seven Lakes led 28-13 at this point.
But the Falcons weren’t finished. Seven Lakes was called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Anderson’s touchdown, and those penalties helped Tompkins establish good field position on the ensuing kickoff.
Starting from the Seven Lakes 37, the Falcons put together a touchdown drive, capped by a 10-yard pass from Nicolas Mayberry to R.J. Smith. Esteban kicked the extra point, and now the Spartans led by only eight points.
The Falcons held the Spartans on the ensuing drive, and blocked a punt, recovering at the Seven Lakes 34.
“Those are the things you have to correct,” Wilson said.
However, on the next play, Mayberry threw an interception to Tyler Capel, and the Spartans were able to run out the clock for the victory. He said making the game-clinching interception was awesome, adding that he told himself that “it’s coming to me and I’m going to seal the game.”
Both Bratton and Wilson said the Spartans had played reasonably well in their first two games, and expressed confidence that they would put everything together.
“We played two pretty good teams before this one,” Wilson said. “We played decently in those games, but we just didn’t get the breaks we needed to get. This one here, the breaks didn’t come early, but the kids fought through it and kept playing hard and came out on top.”
The Spartans’ next game will be against Strake Jesuit Friday at Clay Stadium. The Falcons’ next game will be against Morton Ranch Friday at Legacy Stadium.