PORTER — New Caney has created a gallery of offensive brilliance through five games this season, and the Eagles’ homecoming game on Friday evening was just the latest masterpiece added to the collection.
Senior quarterback Zion Childress and the rest of the Eagles were zooming past Galena Park defenders all night en route to a 63-6 victory in District 9-5A (Div. I) action at Randall Reed Stadium.
“We’ve been blessed,” New Caney coach Brady Pennington said. “We were 4-0 coming into tonight, but there were so many things we could get better at, and I think we took positive steps tonight in that direction in all phases — special teams, offense, defense. Everybody played really well.”
Childress was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter and finished the game with 318 total yards (143 rushing, 175 passing), all of which came in the first half. Running back C.J. Sanders piled up 156 yards (85 rushing, 71 receiving), and Anthony Robles added another 85 yards on the ground for the Eagles.
New Caney (5-0, 2-0) entered the night ranked No. 5 in the Class 5A Houston-area media poll and kept its foot on the gas against the visiting Yellowjackets (1-4, 0-2). The Eagles had the top-ranked offense in the district through four games at 476 yards per contest, and that trend continued. New Caney led 42-0 at halftime and had outgained Galena Park 348-57.
“First of all, I just want to give all the praise to our coaches for preparing us all week and giving us the right plays to execute,” Childress said. “And then the most important shoutout behind the coaches is to the O-line. If they don’t do their job every single play, we don’t have any of those yards we had. And then my other teammates around me, just allowing me, as an individual, to succeed, and also the team to succeed as a whole. It starts in practice, and if we don’t come ready to practice, it won’t show like this in the game.”
Childress collected four first-half touchdowns, including three on the ground. The Eagles’ signal-caller had touchdowns jaunts on 49 and 56 yards, respectively, within his first four carries. He reached paydirt on a 20-yard run and connected with Sanders on a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.
Sanders also found the end zone on a 14-yard run, and Derrick Harris Jr. returned an interception 39 yards in the opening frame to account for the rest of the Eagles’ points.
New Caney was stout on defense in the first half, surrendering just 2.1 yards per play to Galena Park. The Yellowjackets entered the night with the No. 3 offense in the district at 435 yards per game.
The Eagles delivered a second turnover in the opening period as Caleb Rhodes forced a fumble on a sack. Tyler Trout pounced on the ball at the Yellowjackets’ 25-yard line to give New Caney prime field position.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Childress said of the defense. “They’re good, but they’re young. There’s a lot of new faces, so once everybody gets a grasp of the defense, that’s going to be a tough unit to score on.”
Sanders and Robles scored on touchdown runs of 63 and 68 yards, respectively, in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 56-6 with 5:30 on the clock. Jose Barrientos rumbled to the end zone on a 33-yard run earlier in the period to break up the shutout for Galena Park.
The Eagles collected another takeaway late in the third quarter as Cameron Cooper recovered a fumble. That turnover led to another touchdown as Phillip McDaniel outraced the defense for a 31-yard score.
New Caney has one of its toughest remaining tests next week as the Eagles travel to play Port Arthur Memorial. The Titans were the district runners-up last season with their only loss coming against New Caney. The Eagles won that game 38-21 at home en route to a third consecutive league championship.
“Everybody knows that’s going to be a big ballgame,” Pennington said. “I feel like they’ve had us circled ever since last year. They were really picked to win the district last year, and we were very blessed and fortunate to beat them over here at our place. Now we’ve got to go to them, so I guarantee they’re going to be ready.”