WEEK SEVEN – HOTZE FIELD INSIDE GRANGER STADIUM
Tomball Concordia Lutheran 7
Eagle Football 31
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Quarterback Maddox Kopp ‘21 connected twice with electric receiver Cameron Bonner ‘21 for touchdowns and added another scoring toss to Drake Martinez ‘21 two seconds before halftime as Eagle Football (4-3, 1-0) dominated a name-your-score 31-7 destruction of TCL (1-5, 0-1) to open the district race.
Bonner broke loose for quick six grabs of 37 and 79 yards on a night he proved untouchable and the best player on the field with 237 receiving yards. The Eagles flashed the defensive equivalent of Joaquin Phoenix’s menacing Joker, posting its second consecutive first half shutout and setting the tone for the fourth win in five games.
Kopp delivered a dart to Bonner bolting away from overmatched isolation coverage on a post route to give the Eagles a 14-0 cushion midway second quarter.
On the next series the two played beat the clock, tag-teaming on a 56-yard pitch and catch for a first down inside the red zone with 19 seconds remaining in the period. Three plays later Kopp rolled right and found Martinez in the end zone with two ticks to spare to raise the count to 21-0 at halftime.
AGENTS OF CHAOS
The suddenly undaunted doomsday defense continues to add fresh definition to the St. Thomas season. The dismantling began with stoning TCL on two fourth down stops in the first half, aided and abetted by a stifling series flipping sack from Max Garcia ‘20.
The unit turned the Crusaders over on downs again in the third quarter before an interception from wrecking ball linebacker Cooper Thomas ‘20 (Columbia University) who took part in 16 tackles and a quarterback tackle for loss. Collectively the Eagles were not gracious in giving up big plays and were never terribly troubled.
FRIDAY NIGHT FIVE
1. After a three and out Eagles set to open the game, two way threat Thomas crashed in from short range for the first touchdown of the game. The 62-yard drive included two third down conversions and Kopp’s 17-yard completion to Martinez to put the Eagles on the brink of the end zone.
2. Eagle Football answered TCL’s only points with a 42-yard field goal from Paul Langemeir ‘20 midway third quarter for a 24-7 margin.
3. Bonner continues to bedevil so deftly that the opposing secondary is left stumbling like hapless Stormtroopers. In addition to the first half touchdown show and follow up reception that led to the three touchdown margin at halftime, his 17-yard catch was the big gainer in the opening third quarter series that ended with Langemeir’s boot and the 17-point separation. The Eagles’ final clock killing series included a 36-yard gain to close out his most productive and pronounced effort of the season.
4. The Eagles welcomed former offensive coordinator and Texas A&M record smashing quarterback Jerrod Johnson back to Granger Stadium. He’s now part of the coaching staff with the NFL Indianapolis Colts as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.
5. St. Thomas celebrated the 1969 Eagle state champions with a halftime salute. The second consecutive title was the fifth in six years in a stretch where Eagle Football would collect eight crowns from 1964-73.
WEEK SIX || FIRST HALF
WEEK TWO || SECOND HALF
Kopp threw for 158 yards with a touchdown strike to Martinez late in the first half for what proved to be the margin of victory in a 14-13 win over China Spring for a second UIL win of the season. Running back Jaden Yeboah ‘21 enjoyed his career best game bruising for 71 yards and his first varsity score with an 11-yard dash in the opening quarter.
STATE OF PLAY
After consecutive defeats to start the season Eagle Football is riding a revival to rival Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.
For the second straight Friday night St. Thomas played with a lead at the outset, which allowed offensive coordinator Josh Hooten to thread together a cohesive set of play calls instead of responding and adjusting to adverse circumstances.
A more lasting allegiance to the running game also proved valuable, allowing the Eagles to set up strategic elements they could capitalize on later in the game. As Hooten dialed up one successful play after another, St. Thomas repeatedly found itself in more favorable down and distance scenarios. The blows they continue to land moving forward, if they can throw them with the defiance displayed against TCL, could change the arc of the season’s remaining weeks.
The first district road game of the season will take the Eagles to San Antonio to face Antonian College Prep. In 2018, St. Thomas secured a weather-shorted 28-14 victory in the match-up with running back Ian Wheeler ‘19 following his career-best game with two first-half touchdowns, including a 62-yard jolt to the end zone to break a second period tie.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!