IOWA COLONY – After giving Brookshire Royal more than they could handle the previous week, the Iowa Colony Pioneers hosted the Columbia Roughnecks Friday night at AISD Freedom Field. The squads entered the contest with identical 1-2 records. The game was the final tune-up before district play begins for the two teams.
The opening quarter provided some offensive fireworks with both teams combing for 34 points. Although the game seemingly had the makings of a shootout, the Roughnecks would eventually pull away in the end with a 51-14 victory.
Columbia would begin their first drive at their own 38-yard line. Three plays later, the Roughnecks were into Iowa Colony territory at the 25, in part from a 25-yard run by senior running back Naqualyn Grice. A fumble ensued on the next play after a 10-yard scamper, but Columbia was able to recover it. On the next play, Grice found the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion was good and they led 8-0 early in the frame.
Iowa Colony provided an answer with a six-play, 62 yard drive. Sophomore quarterback Kamal Henry (6 of 15 for 78 yards passing / 164 yards rushing on 8 carries, 1 TD) found Greg Guidry open for a 10- yard strike on their first play of the game.
After an incomplete pass, Henry gained 12 yards on a keeper into Roughneck territory. Henry again found Guidry open for a 14-yard completion to the Columbia 26. The drive was capped off with a 26 yard TD pass from Henry to Sophomore Jacody Miles. The point after made it 8-7, Columbia.
The Roughnecks used only four plays in their next possession to find pay dirt once again. With runs of 28 yards and 4 yards by Makailum Castile and Grice respectively, Columbia moved to the 32-yard line of IC.
Senior quarterback Tate Thrasher hit Jamarcus Higgins for a 31-yard pass play to the Pioneers’ one-yard line. Miles, playing both sides of the ball, was able to make a touchdown-saving tackle. Castile was able to punch it into the end zone on the very next play. The two point attempt failed, bringing the score to 14-7, Roughnecks.
Iowa Colony answered once again, and in quick fashion. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the kick-off gave the Pioneers the ball on their own 40. On the first play from scrimmage, Henry took advantage of a huge hole in the line and raced 60 yards untouched to the end zone. The PAT tied the game 14-14.
Still in the first quarter, the Roughnecks started their third possession at their own 43. On the third play of the drive, Castile dashed 47 yards and his second TD of the game. The two-point conversion pass was broken up by Miles in the end zone, moving Columbia back in front at 20-14.
Iowa Colony began their next drive on their own 35 yard line. Although the Pioneers moved the ball to the Columbia 45, the five-play drive stalled and they were forced to punt. The punt had a favorable bounce, pinning the Roughnecks deep inside their own territory at the three-yard line.
On the longest drive for both teams, the Roughnecks came up empty on the scoreboard. On 4th and 2 from the 11, Columbia pulled off a fake punt, resulting in a first down to the 38. Seven plays later, the drive ended with a quarterback sack by Pioneer linebacker Haydon Caston at the Iowa Colony 41-yard line.
The Pioneers were able to move the ball within striking distance of the end zone, moving it to the Roughneck 14 in six plays aided by a 38-yard run from Henry. Miles added to the march with a 3-yard run and 4-yard pass reception. On 4th down and 3 they chose to go for it, but a quarterback keeper was snuffed out to give the ball back to Columbia on downs.
The Roughnecks put together an eight- play 82-yard drive, converting a 4th and 1 conversion along the way. Running back Jaheim Campbell capped off the series with a 12-yard TD run. The point after sailed right, but extended the Columbia lead to 26-14.
A three and out on Iowa Colony’s next series forced a punt, which set up the Roughnecks at their own 48. Thrasher capitalized quickly, hitting running back Zackery Whipple out of the backfield for a 52 yard touchdown pass. The Pioneers blocked the PAT bringing the score to 32-14.
Iowa Colony finished up the half with two more possessions, but the first resulted in a fumble, which was recovered by Roughnecks late in the half. The Pioneers were able to stop a fourth down attempt to get the ball back with just under a minute to go before intermission. Henry attempted two deep passes, but both found the turf and the score remained 32-14 at the break.
The second half would be all Columbia, as the Roughnecks scored another 19 unanswered points. Thirteen of those points came in the third quarter from Castile’s third TD of the night with a 45-yard TD run and a 14-yard score by running back Kavion Lewis. The Roughnecks took a 45-14 lead into the final quarter. The Roughnecks added to their total, with a 39-yard TD run by Grice in the fourth quarter for his second score of the game.
Iowa Colony brought out freshman QB Camren Renfro for the second half. The Pioneers were unsuccessful in finding the end zone in their six possessions, three resulting in turnovers, one on a turnover on downs, a punt and one interception. Their last drive started deep in their own territory at the 5. The Pioneers moved the ball out to the 41, but the game ended with the Roughnecks’ victory, 51-14.
For the night, Renfro ended up passing 1 of 6 for 13 yards. Miles had 46 yards on 14 carries, 30 yards on two pass completions (1 TD) and had a total of 108 all-purpose yards.
The Pioneers are in their bye week and return to Freedom Field on Sept. 29 to face Stafford, marking Iowa Colony’s first-ever District 12-4A D-1 campaign.
In other area football action form Friday, Manvel was victorious over Friendswood, defeating the Mustangs 24-14 at Henry Winston Stadium in Friendswood to move to 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in district.
Chase Cross booted a 25-yard field goal for the Mavs in the opening period, while Manvel converted a pair of second period Friendwood turnovers into short scoring runs (6 &1 yards, respectively) by Andrew Riley for a 17-0 lead at intermission.
After the Mustangs pulled within 17-7 in the second half, Mavs’ signal caller Kaeden Smith (12 of 21, 203 yards, 1 TD) found Kyler Flint with an 88-yard scoring strike to put the game away. The Mavs next face Magnolia West on Friday at Freedom Field at 7 p.m.
Alvin and Shadow Creek had a bye in their schedules and were idle. The Jackets will be on the road to open 23-6A play, Thursday against Alief Taylor at Crump Stadium at 7 p.m. Shadow Creek will take on Pearland Friday at “The Rig” for their first 23-6A game of the season at 7 p.m.