Cinco Ranch dominates offensively and defensively in win over Taylor

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 10/23/21

“I’m happy, but I know that my o-line made it happen for me,” McKnight said. “My defense got stops for me too and it let me get the ball more. I’m just really happy and glad and glad to be on this team.”

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Cinco Ranch dominates offensively and defensively in win over Taylor

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Chris Dudley coach saw something in Sam McKnight in spring ball.

The Cinco Ranch head coach knew that the Cougars needed a player at running back and McKnight was given a shot, switching positions from linebacker.

The Junior took his shot and ran with it.

“He’s getting more confident each and every week,” Dudley said. “He hadn’t played that position since eighth grade and had taken a couple years off from it, it takes time to get used to it again. He had a really good spring and that gave us hope and he’s just continued to do better every week. The timing on things in our run game has improved each week. He’s done a tremendous job in the redzone and he always falls forward and gets extra yards. He’s only going to keep getting better and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to turn in to.”

McKnight has progressed throughout the season and has helped provide balance to a Cinco Ranch team that has lots of weapons in the passing game.

McKnight came in to Cinco Ranch’s game with seven touchdowns on the year and was also the team’s second leading receiver.

But the junior broke out against Taylor on Friday at Legacy Stadium, as McKnight recorded his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. Totaling 121 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in a 49-20 win for Cinco Ranch.

“I’m happy, but I know that my o-line made it happen for me,” McKnight said. “My defense got stops for me too and it let me get the ball more. I’m just really happy and glad and glad to be on this team.”

The Cougars got the scoring going early in the game as Seth Salverino took the opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, but Taylor had a quick answer as on the Mustangs opening play from scrimmage, Jackson Ingram threw an 80-yard touchdown to Hollis Robinson Jr.

Cinco Ranch then took the ball down the field and McKnight ran in his first touchdown of the day from 12-yards out, and on Cinco Ranch’s next drive, McKnight stayed patient behind his line before exploding for a 71-yard touchdown scamper to make it 21-7 cinco Ranch.

“I know my o-line will make a hole for me if I’m just patient enough,” McKnight said. “

Cinco Ranch started to pull away in the second quarter as Gavin Rutherford ran in a 13-yard score before Taylor answered with a 19-yard pass from Ingram to Michael Whitaker. But Rutherford came back and threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Salverino late in the half to make it 28-13 Cougars.

Cinco Ranch’s defense was strong most of the day, and the team made its biggest play early in the third quarter, as Taylor bobbled a snap in the endzone, Cinco stripped the ball away and Braden Williams fell on it in the endzone for a touchdown.

“It was one of the best feelings of my life,” Williams said. “I’ve been waiting for a moment like that all year and I’m just glad my defensive line made that play and got the strip sack to let me get the touchdown. It was one of the highest moments of my life.”

Cinco Ranch had three takeaways in the game and currently leads all of District 19-6A in turnover margin, a point of pride for the team.

“We talk about that a lot,” Dudley said. “We challenge our kids every week on the defensive side every week to limit the possessions of the opposing offense. Whether that’s taking the ball away on a strip or making interceptions. Us taking the ball away from teams and us protecting the ball have been one of the strongest parts of our team this year so that was good to see some of that continue tonight.”

Rutherford continued to scorch the Taylor defense as he threw a 50-yard touchdown to Grayson Williams to put the game completely out of reach before Ingram threw a 48-yard pass to Alei Sabek in the fourth quarter.

It was a big bounce back win for Cinco Ranch, which lost to Katy the week prior, as the team is close to clinching a playoff spot.

“I love this defense,” McKnight said. “They know how to make these stops happen and then on offense when we have short fields it’s easy for us. I just love my defense.”

Cinco Ranch will play Morton Ranch next week in a game that could clinch the Cougars a playoff spot, but the team knows Morton Ranch will give everything it has.

“We have to keep playing up tempo and keep raising our standards,” Williams said. “We have to keep pushing and keep working harder every day because we know they are too.”

Cinco Ranch 49, Taylor 20

Taylor

 21

14

14

0  

 --

 49 

Cinco Ranch

 7

6

 --

 20 

First quarter

Cinco: Seth Salverino 108 kick return (Santiago Taborda kick) 11:47

Taylor: Jackson Ingram 80 pass to Hollis Robinson Jr. (Alei Sabek kick) 11:36

Cinco: Sam McKnight 12 run (Taborda kick) 7:53

Cinco: Sam McKnight 71 run (Taborda kick) 4:15

Second quarter

Cinco: Gavin Rutherford 13 run (Taborda kick) 2:47

Taylor: Jackson Ingram 19 pass to Michael Whitaker, 1:05

Cinco: Rutherford 64 pass to Salverino (Taborda kick) 0:49

Third quarter

Cinco: Braden Williams fumble recovery (Taborda kick) 7:13

Cinco: Rutherford 50 pass to Grayson Williams (Taborda kick) 4:31

Fourth quarter

Taylor: Ingram 45 pass to Sabek (Sabek kick) 9:10

Team stats

Taylor

 Cinco Ranch

  First downs

 9

 17

  Yards rushing

 28-24

  25-174

  Yards passing

 329

  327

  Passes

 14-29-3-1

 21-31-2-1

  Punts

  7-39

 4-36

  Fumbles-lost

  4-2

  1-1

  Penalty-yards

  2-10

 7-65

Individual Statistics

Rushing – Cinco Ranch: Sam McKnight, 12-121-2; Gavin Rutherford, 7-47-1; Eric Eckstrom, 6-6; Taylor: Tyler Irving, 6-26; Michael Whitaker, 7-16; Dante Archie, 4-14; Chase Cobbin, 3-6; Jackson Ingram, 5-(-24)

Passing – Cinco Ranch: Gavin Rutherford, 19-28-323-2-1; Jack McMall, 2-3-4-0-0; Taylor: Jackson Ingram, 13-22-318-3-1; Chase Cobbin, 0-5-0-0-0; Jake Webster, 1-2-11-0-0

Receiving – Cinco Ranch: Seth Salverino, 4-133-1; Grayson Williams, 2-87-1; Fishcer Reed, 8-69; Noah Abboud, 4-29; Colten Michalec, 1-5; Jackson Moore, 1-4; Walker Sheppard, 1-4; Taylor: Wyatt Fahey, 6-109; Hollis Robinson Jr., 1-80-1; Alei Sabek, 2-77-1; Jamon Hines, 1-30; Michael Whitaker, 2-26-1; Dante Archie, 1-7; Tyler Irving, 1-0

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