High School Football

Morton Ranch outlasts Cinco Ranch in offensive slugfest

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 9/23/22

“I only told those guys on offense one thing before the game,” said Morton Ranch head coach Ron Counter. “I told them ‘plus one,’ we needed to end the night plus one in points. Whatever Cinco ended at, we didn’t care, we just needed plus one what they had. They did even better than that."

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High School Football

Morton Ranch outlasts Cinco Ranch in offensive slugfest


Morton Ranch came into this week with a sense of determination.

The Mavericks had competed with Paetow and they had competed with Katy to open district play, but ultimately fell short in both matchups. People had told them they played well, to be proud of competing and being able to keep with two good teams like Katy and Paetow, but for the Mavericks, that fact was not enough.

The Mavericks had one thing on their mind heading into this week, beat Cinco Ranch.

That message permiated throughout the entire program. Morton Ranch knows they have a roster that can compete for and potentially make the playoffs, they know that they have what it takes to beat good teams, and they knew that a win against Cinco Ranch would be huge in boosting those playoff chances.

And the Mavericks (3-2, 1-2)  came out and did everything in their power to get that win and succeeded, outlasting Cinco (3-2, 2-1) in a crazy shootout, 77-63, and notching their first district win of the year.

The 77 points from Morton Ranch was the most scored in a game in the schools history. 

“I only told those guys on offense one thing before the game,” said Morton Ranch head coach Ron Counter. “I told them ‘plus one,’ we needed to end the night plus one in points. Whatever Cinco ended at, we didn’t care, we just needed plus one what they had. They did even better than that, they did better than plus one and it got us the win.”

It was an offensive explosion for Morton Ranch. Senior quarterback Josh Johnson had six touchdowns while passing for 243 yards and rushing for 53 more yards. And Johnson wasn’t the only one that led the Morton Ranch offense, as senior running back Santana Scott ran for 219 yards while having 86 yards receiving and also scoring six touchdowns in the win.

“At the beginning of the game, we had a gameplan that we knew we had to execute flawlessly the whole night and we were able to do that,” Scott said. “We knew that we needed one more point than them just like coach said and every time we had the ball we just took that approach, we knew we had to score every time we had the ball and keep Cinco behind.”

Scott opened the scoring in the first quarter before Cinco Ranch quarterback Gavin Rutherford answered back with a touchdown of his own.

The Mavericks and Cougars traded scores back and forth until eventually Morton Ranch led 21-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Rutherford though quickly tied things up in the second quarter though with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Noah Abboud, and the teams traded scores twice more before Rutherford tied the game at the end of the half on a 5-yard pass to Sam McKnight.

“I had confidence in all my guys,” Johnson said. “My lineman, my receivers, I know I’ll get enough time back there and when I throw the ball, its going to be caught and they are going to go score. We just did that every single time tonight. Having that confidence coming out there and knowing that we were going to score, it really led us to our success.”

The third quarter was the turning point of the game for Morton Ranch. After trading scores to start the half, Johnson put the Mavericks ahead on a 3-yard run and then the Mavericks got an interception from Carsen Luna. Morton then came down and took a two score lead on a 19-yard pass from Johnson to Scott, making things 56-42.

Cinco tried to get back into it, and scored twice more in the third quarter sandwiched around a 41-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Scott, but Morton Ranch was not going to be denied in the fourth quarter.

Scott ran in a 20-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Cinco answered back with just 1:41 left in the game on a Rutherford 1-yard run.

But in the end it was Johnson and Scott once again to seal things, as the seniors connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass play on a fourth down with just 27 seconds left to put the game beyond a doubt.

“Santana and I, we’ve been playing since second grade, and everything is just second nature to us, we know each other so well,” Johnson said. “Having that chemistry is so awesome, we know what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do. When you have that, not a lot of people can stop you.”

The win was a huge one for Morton Ranch, as it got them in the win column in district and gave them a win during the gauntlet the team faced early in district play of Paetow, Katy and Cinco Ranch back to back to back.

But the work isn’t done for the Mavericks, as they know how tough it is every week in District 19-6A and they still have lots to do if they want to end a six-year playoff drought.

“We played three teams right off that bat that made playoff runs last year and we didn’t get the luck of the draw, but it doesn’t matter with this district,” Counter said. “You have to go out there every week and be ready to play or whoever you’re playing is going to beat you.


Gavin Rutherford broke his own school record for single game passing yards and total touchdowns on Friday, throwing for 464 yards and scoring seven total touchdowns in the Cinco Ranch loss. Counter heaped praise on the senior signal caller after the game.

“He’ll play on Sunday’s, I really believe that,” Counter said. “He’s a great kid and they have some great receivers and coaches. I’m just glad I won’t ever have to play him again. He’s a fantastic player, Cinco have had some really good ones, but he’s definitely in the top two or three ever at Cinco.”

Morton Ranch 77, Cinco Ranch 63

Cinco Ranch







Morton Ranch







First quarter

MR: Santana Scott 3 run (Angel Rincon kick) 9:48

CR: Gavin Rutherford 11 run, 8:43

MR: Ryan Hall 4 run (Rincon kick) 5:15

CR: Rutherford 43 pass to Seth Salverino (Santiago Taborda kick)

MR: Scott 9 run (Rincon kick) 0:52

Second quarter

CR: Rutherford 5 pass to Noah Abboud (Taborda kick) 11:02

MR: Johnson 36 pass to Mike Gerald (Rincon kick) 8:51

CR: Rutherford 36 pass to Abboud (Taborda kick) 4:33

MR: Johnson 15 run (Rincon kick) 0:47

CR: Rutherford 5 pas to Sam McKnight (Jack McCall run) 0:08

Third quarter

MR: Hall 66 run (Rincon kick) 10:01

McKnight 1 run (Taborda kick) 7:33

MR: Johnson 3 run (Rincon kick) 6:15

MR: Johnson 19 pass to Santana Scott (Rincon kick)

CR: McKnight 7 run (Taborda kick) 1:23

MR: Johnson 41 pass to Scott (Rincon kick) 0:39

CR: Rutherford 39 to Salverino (Taborda kick) 0:00

Fourth quarter

MR: Scott 20 run (Rincon kick) 10:05

CR: Rutherford 1 run (Taborda kick) 1:41

MR: Johnson 26 pass to Scott (Rincon kick) 0:27

Team stats

Cinco Ranch

Morton Ranch

  First downs



  Yards rushing



  Yards passing















Individual Statistics

Rushing –Morton Ranch: Santana Scott, 29-219-3; Ryan Hall, 16-153-2; Josh Johnson, 6-53-2; Cinco Ranch: Sam McKnight, 7-33-2;Eric Eckstrom, 5-24; Gavin Rutherford 11-21-2;  Noah Abboud, 1-(-3)

Passing – Morton Ranch: Josh Johnson, 10-14—243-4; Cinco Ranch: Gavin Rutherford, 25-28-464-5-1;

Receiving – Morton Ranch: Santana Scott, 3-86-3; Mike Gerald, 2-85-1; Cameron Hudson, 4-67; Jairon Dvis, 1-5; Cinco Ranch: Seth Salverino, 9-228-2; Noah Abboud, 8-131-2; Sam McKnight, 6-59-1; Fischer Reed, 2-46;

Katy ISD, football, Morton Ranch, Cinco Ranch, Santana Scott, Josh Johnson, Gavin Rutherford