Sophomores step up in Tompkins district opening win over Cinco Ranch

By Tyler Tyre, Times Sports Editor
Posted 9/24/21

“I think it’s awesome the way they’ve stepped up” said senior quarterback Cole Francis. “Being sophomores up on the varsity is big and I think they’ve settled in really well and taken up their roles. It’s a great feeling to have weapons in the backfield.”

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Sophomores step up in Tompkins district opening win over Cinco Ranch

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Tompkins wanted to come out and make a statement in its first District 19-6A game.

The Falcons are the reigning district champs, they know it will be a tall task to defend the title, but they expect to find a way to do it again and they knew the way they needed to open district play with a bang.

“It was very important for us to come out with a strong game,” said senior defensive lineman Sean DuBose. “We knew we needed to keep that intimidation factor with our team going. We want to make every team fear our name and show that we are the strongest and hardest working team out there.”

The Falcons faced a test in Cinco Ranch to start district, but rebounded after early struggles to come away with a 32-28 victory on Thursday at Rhodes Stadium.

Two sophomores made major impacts for the Falcons, as Caleb Blocker ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and Wyatt Young caught five passes for 119 yards and a score.

“I think it’s awesome the way they’ve stepped up” said senior quarterback Cole Francis. “Being sophomores up on the varsity is big and I think they’ve settled in really well and taken up their roles. It’s a great feeling to have weapons in the backfield.”

Tompkins forced a three-and-out to start the game, but on the Falcons first play from scrimmage, the team fumbled and lost the ball, giving the Cougars the ball inside the redzone.

Gavin Rutherford took advantage of the mistake, connecting with Seth Salverino on an 11-yard pass to give the Cougars the lead.

Tompkins answered back quickly, as they put together a drive culminating in a 42-yard pass from Francis to Young that tied things. Tompkins put together another scoring drive earlier in the second quarter and got a field goal, but Yextiel Perez-Gilbes took the ensuing kickoff 95-yards as the Cougars regained the lead.

“Wyatt has played quarterback, so he understands where everyone is better than a regular receiver. I think that help him and Cole does a great job of finding whoever’s open,” said Tomkins head coach Todd McVey. “That’s the best part about it is people can’t lock in on one guy. It’s a good combination to have those different weapons.”

Francis and Tompkins were unphased, as the senior quarterback led the Falcons on another drive and connected with McMillan on a 21-yard touchdown to take back the lead, a lead which Tompkins wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. After a Cinco Ranch three-and-out, Mario Garcia hit his second field goal of the night, a 31 yarder, as Tompkins went into the locker room with a 20-14 lead.

“We just had to calm down after the start and keep levelheaded,” DuBose said. “We had to make sure we kept going out there and not give anything up. That’s always our mentality that coach McVey gives us.”

The run game took over in the second half for the Falcons as Blocker scored two touchdowns in the third quarter in a balanced approach from the Tompkins offense.

Blocker finished off a drive with a 3-yard touchdown plunge with six minutes remaining in the quarter and then scored from eight yards out just two minutes later.

“Really I just tried to trust my offensive line,” Blocker said. “I knew they would block their man and every time I saw a hole or crease I tried to hit that hole and run downhill.”

Rutherford cut into the lead when he escaped the pocket and found Fischer Reed for a 32-yard score, but Tompkins did a good job with its defense and burning the clock in the fourth quarter to close things out.

Cinco Ranch got a final touchdown as time expired, but the game was already decided by that point.

“We had to respond to a lot of adversity,” McVey said. “I give Cinco Ranch a lot of credit, they came out and played very hard with great energy. The coach has done a great job over there, they were 3-1 for a reason and we knew that. You’re always going to get everyone’s best in district play and they gave us theirs.”

Cinco Ranch will have a chance to bounce back against Mayde Creek next week while Tompkins will be in a battle with the only other undefeated team left in district, Katy, which comes off a 45-3 win over Seven Lakes.

“It’s the next game, that’s how you have to treat it,” McVey said. “We know that they are a very good football team just like everyone else. Everyone is going to get everyone’s best in 19-6A.”

Tompkins 32, Cinco Ranch 28

Cinco Ranch

7  

 --

 28 

Tompkins

 7 

13 

12 

 --

 32 

First quarter

Cinco: Gavin Rutherford 11 pass to Seth Salverino (Santiago Taborda kick), 5:36

Tompkins: Cole Francis 42 pass to Wyatt Young (Mario Garcis kick), 10-7

Second quarter

Tompkins: Mario Garcia 21 field goal, 7:13

Cinco: Yextiel Perez-Gilbes 95 kickoff return (Taborda kick), 6:56

Tompkins: Francis 21 pass to Josh McMillan (Garcia kick), 2:35

Tompkins: Mario Garcia 31 field goal, 0:09

Third quarter

Tompkins: Caleb Blocker 3 run, 6:47

Tompkins: Blocker 8 run, 4:12

Cinco: Rutherford 32 pass to Fischer Reed (Taborda kick) 1:56

Fourth quarter

Rutherford 23 pass to Thomas Kangieser (Taborda kick), 0:00

Team stats

Cinco Ranch

 Tompkins

  First downs

 10

 25

  Yards rushing

 24-23

  46-230

  Yards passing

 193

  228

  Passes

 13-21-3-0

 12-18-2-0

  Punts

  6-29

 1-34

  Fumbles-lost

  1-0

  3-2

  Penalty-yards

  3-29

 6-70

Individual Statistics

Rushing -- Tompkins: Caleb Blocker, 20-120-2; Collin Marshall, 13-65; Cole Francis, 11-49; Wyatt Young, 1-0; Julius Mourning, 1-(-4); Cinco: Samuel McKnight, 6-11; Gavin Rutherford, 16-7; Eric Eckstrom, 1-5; Seth Salverino, 1-0;

Passing -- Tompkins: Cole Francis 12-18-228-2-0; Cinco: Gavin Rutherford, 13-21-193-3-0;

Receiving – Tompkins: Wyatt Young, 5-119-1; Josh McMillan, 5-98-1; Matthew Ogunrin, 1-8; Caleb Blocker, 1-3; Cinco: Seth Salverino, 4-59-1; Samuel McKnight, 4-44; Fischer Reed, 1-32-1; Thomas Kansieser, 2-26-1; Dylan Kripki, 3-19; Dylan Crosby, 1-7; Zach Franco, 1-6;

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