After trailing 14-7 at halftime, West Columbia scored 28 unanswered points to take the penultimate district contest of the year, 35-21, over Sealy Friday night on Griggs Field.
With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 2-3 within District 13-4A and remained in a tie for fourth place with the Brazosport Exporters, who were handed a 48-35 loss by the Needville Blue Jays Friday night.
Going into the halftime intermission, Sealy held its one-possession lead thanks to Draper Parker's first two touchdowns of the year (1- and 4-yard rushes) and head coach Shane Mobley agreed that the hot start stole the momentum for the road team out of the gates.
"We did a great job of coming out and moving the ball down the field, they've got a stout defense," Mobley said. "Their (offense) came out in what we were calling their jet, it was a little different than what we were used to but we made some adjustments, settled down and that was fine."
Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half, however, the Tigers' first four drives ended on a punt, back-to-back interceptions and a turnover on downs, all of which led to points for the host Roughnecks to take a 35-14 lead with 5:48 left in the game.
"Went in at halftime and made some adjustments, I thought the momentum was on our side and we come out (for the third quarter) we shut them down and then they score and then turnovers," said Mobley. "It wasn't anybody's fault, you're just trying to make plays and so they're just reacting, we had a pass right across the middle and the safety stepped up that was a momentum swing coming back and we were trying to fight to get back inside."
The coach added West Columbia's starting points on some late drives were another factor that helped earn the win.
"Short field; the second half, our defense had its back against the wall playing on a short field," Mobley said. "You're trying to make adjustments and tell the kids to bump over and it doesn't always happen because the kids know what they're going to run but it happens so quick."
Despite trailing three possessions in the fourth and final frame, the Sealy offense still went to work and were eventually rewarded with a 29-yard connection from Carter Cryan to Ja’Marris Cotton to provide a bright spot in an otherwise not-so-great game filled with injuries although the strength of this year’s district certainly doesn’t help things.
“This district has turned out to be a beast this year, we stubbed our toe against Brazosport at the end because we were up but gave up some big plays and I'm not taking nothing away from Brazosport but these teams we’re playing - and Needville next week, they're probably even a little bit more talented running a different type of offense,” said Mobley. “That’s the deal is there's nothing to hang your hat on when you're going against solid football teams, you've just got to find ways to win, you've gotta find ways to get to the end of the ballgame.”
The end of this most recent ballgame signals the end of the regular season is fast approaching and with the postseason still clouded with uncertainty for the Tigers, what is guaranteed is one more home game against Needville.
“The main thing is; playoffs might not be in the picture this season but we do have one last home game, it's senior night so it's going to be something for these seniors to go out and fight their tails off for and go against an opponent that's undefeated in the district,” said Mobley.
In the other District 13-4A matchup Friday night, El Campo downed Bay City, 40-14, to move to 4-1 and remain in second place while the Blackcats finished their season 0-10 overall.
Brazosport will host the fifth-place Fulshear Chargers next Friday and with a win and a Sealy loss to Needville could earn a playoff spot. If the Tigers spoil the Blue Jays’ perfect regular season and the Chargers similarly upset the Exporters, then Sealy will head back to the postseason. West Columbia will travel to El Campo to close out the regular season next week in the final District 13-4A play of 2019.