Playing for the first time in almost a month, the Shadow Creek Sharks splashed off an early rust and dispatched Clear Creek 55-6 in the Class 6A Bi-District Football Playoffs Friday night at Alvin ISD Memorial Stadium.
The victory advances the Sharks (5-3) into the area round against C.E. King, Dec. 18 at Challenger-Columbia Stadium in Webster with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The win was also the 12th postseason triumph in 13 attempts for Brad Butler’s squad, who won the Class 5A D-1 championship last season.
King blanked Channelview, 56-0 in its bi-district contest, also on Friday.
“I think it showed that there’s no substitution for playing,” Butler said following the game. “We have tried to replicate some things in practice, but there’s no substitution for getting out there.
“We did have some rust and you are fortunate any time you can have some mistakes and way too many penalties and still get a victory. We got to really grow from here, if we’re going to progress in the playoffs.”
The Wildcats, who entered the contest as heavy underdogs, were able to hit the Sharks with a few big plays early on, but couldn’t sustain their deep penetrations into Shadow Creek territory afterwards. While Manny Nunez hauled in a 27-yard option reception on the Wildcats’ second series, Jaylen Lane thwarted the scoring chance with a 44-yard interception return to the CC 46-yard line six plays later.
Shadow Creek promptly drove five plays for their first score with Kyron Drones lofting a 12-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Guidry with 3:08 remaining in the opening period.
Drones passed for 158 yards and three TD’s.
Matt Allison booted the extra point through the uprights for a 7-0 Shadow Creek lead.
Both teams then watched scoring chances get turned back. Wildcats’ tailback Anthony Gonzales busted loose for a 23-yard run to the Sharks’ 36-yard line on the ensuing series, but Shadow Creek’s defense later limited Gonzales to a two-yard gain on fourth-and-fourth from the 30 to turn the ball over on downs. The Sharks proceeded to have a scoring drive derailed by a holding call and were forced to punt.
However, the Sharks shook off the shaky start and ultimately padded their lead to three touchdowns by intermission. Kelvon Brown went in from a yard out midway in the second quarter. Lawrence Armstrong’s 11-yard reception on third-and-10 and Drones’ 18-yard scramble set up the score.
Drones then nailed Armstrong in stride with a 52-yard bomb to make it 20-0 at the break.
Shadow Creek put the game away with three straight scoring drives in the third period. Brown (113 yards on 14 carries) added his second one-yard trip to the end zone, while Isaiah Harper went in from nine yards out and Armstrong also collected his second TD catch, a 24-yard fling from Drones.
The Wildcats avoided the shutout on Jeremiah Crum’s two-yard run early in the fourth, but Felix Buchanan quickly answered with a 19-yard burst and Duke Butler added a one-yard QB keeper to cap the Sharks’ dominance.