High School Football

Cinco Ranch takes down Tompkins in important district matchup

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 9/17/22

“We came in this week and we knew how important this was,” said senior linebacker Braden Williams. “We set that bar high and we came out and did what we needed to. Now we have to keep that bar as high as it was this week and keep improving."

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High School Football

Cinco Ranch takes down Tompkins in important district matchup


Cinco Ranch is making a name for itself.

The Cougars earned respect last year, making it back to the playoffs and advancing to the regional semifinals in Class 6A-Division II, but this year’s group has even bigger goals.

The Cougars this year are determined to blow past any doubter in their way and compete with the best teams in District 19-6A and beyond.

The first step towards doing that came on Friday, as the Cougars (3-1, 2-0) faced their toughest test of the season so far in Tompkins (2-2, 0-2), and the Cougars answered any critics in emphatic fashion, topping the Falcons 42-14 in a game where the entire Cinco Ranch team made their presence felt on the field.

“We came in this week and we knew how important this was,” said senior linebacker Braden Williams. “We set that bar high and we came out and did what we needed to. Now we have to keep that bar as high as it was this week and keep improving and pushing ourselves. This is the type of game we need to play.”

For Cinco, it was the most complete game the team has played all year, with the offense clicking on all cylinders in the pass and run game and the special team doing its job.

But the most impressive performance of the day went to the Cougars defense, after giving up two first quarter touchdowns, the Cinco defense adjusted and dominated for the rest of the night, not allowing another touchdown and forcing Tompkins to punt on five straight possessions to close the game.

“We made those adjustments and the kids really locked in to what we were telling them to do,” said Cinco Ranch head coach Chris Dudley. “The guys really went out, played within themselves and understood the scheme, we knew we had to stop (Caleb) Blocker and force them to throw it and the confidence really just buil from the end of the first half and into the second half. We strung together a bunch of three and outs and when you do that as a defense it’s huge. I’m really proud of our defense and how they responded.”

Tompkins got the opening kickoff and went straight down and scored, with Caleb Komolafe running in a 21-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. Cinco Ranch responded with a 14-play, 75-yard drive in which Eric Eckstrom tied things on a 2-yard touchdown run, but Tompkins came right back as Caleb Blocker took the Falcons the length of the field on three runs before scoring an a 31-yard dash to the endzone.

From there though, the Cougars took things to a different level.

Cinco went on a long drive that culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run from Sam McKnight before Gavin Rutherford gave Cinco the lead with just ten seconds left in the second quarter on a 12-yard pass to Fischer Reed.

Both touchdowns were set up by fourth down conversions, which the Cougars pride themselves on and which the coaching staff trusts the players in completely.

“We got the ball back with just under two minutes left for our offense and we knew that was the perfect amount of time for us to go score and get the ball back to start the second half,” Dudley said. “They didn’t blink, they went out and executed, that was huge because we got the ball to start the second half. Getting those two for one opportunities is such a huge thing and our defense just allowed us to keep it rolling.”

McKnight added to the Cinco lead early in the third with a 4-yard touchdown run before Rutherford all but put things away later in the quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Seth Salverino. Rutherford capped things off in the fourth quarter with a final 8-yard touchdown to Noah Abboud.

Rutherford was once again dominant on the night, going 22-30 for 286 yards and three touchdowns, and McKnight provided balance with the run game, carrying it 15 ties for 99 yards and two scores.

“It’s a team effort, everyone is in this together and no one on this team can do it by themselves,” Rutherford said. “It all starts with the offensive line too, they played their butts off today and I’m so grateful for them to do that. Every time I was back there I had so much protection and then all of the weapons we have just makes it even easier to go out and execute. I’m just so glad to be a part of this team.”

The win puts Cinco at 2-0 in district play as they march through the season. Now, it’s about how the Cougars can continue to improve and make the most of every week going forward.

“We know that this isn’t the end goal,” McKnight said. “We’re going to enjoy this tonight but be back working hard early tomorrow in practice. We’re going to keep pushing and try to come back and do it over and over again.

Cinco Ranch 42, Tompkins 14








Cinco Ranch







First quarter

T: Caleb Komolafe 21 run (Andrew Horner kick) 9:02

CR: Eric Eckstrom 2 run (Santiago Taborda kick) 3:00

T: Caleb Blocker 31 run (Horner kick) 1:08

Second quarter

CR: Sam McKnight 10 run (Taborda kick) 1:08

CR: Gavin Rutherford 12 pass to Fischer Reed (Taborda kick) 0:10

Third quarter

CR: McKnight 4 run (Taborda kick) 9:45

CR: Rutherford 28 pass to Seth Salverino (Taborda kick) 3:57

Fourth quarter

CR: Rutherford 8 pass to Noah Abboud (Taborda kick) 11:31

Team stats


Cinco Ranch

  First downs



  Yards rushing



  Yards passing















Individual Statistics

Rushing – Cinco Ranch: Sam McKnight, 15-99-2; Eric Eckstrom, 16-42-1; Gavin Rutherford, 12-29; Reite Nesiama, 1-17; Seth Salverino, 1-2; Tompkins: Caleb Blocker, 20-180-1; Caleb Komolafe, 4-42-1; Chris Gilbert Jr., 3-6;

Passing – Cinco Ranch: Gavin Rutherford, 22-30-286-3-0; Tompkins: Chris Gilbert Jr., 3-10-16-0-0

Receiving – Cinco Ranch: Fischer Reed, 9-99-1; Seth Salverino, 5-76-1; Noah Abboud, 5-67-1; Dylan Kripki, 2-39; Sam McKnight, 1-5; Tompkins: Rhys Phillips, 2-16

Katy ISD, Cinco Ranch, sports, football, District 19-6A