Wildcats make a statement, thump Lobos 55-7


Jill Chumley

The Wildcats let their play on the field do a lot of talking in a 55-7 rout of Langham Creek.

Adeen Rao, Staff Writer

Going into Thursday night’s matchup vs. the Langham Creek Lobos, the Wildcats looked to carry momentum from last season’s astounding 11-2 record – the best in the school’s short history – and lasso out the Lobos.

And boy did they.

An offensive onslaught from the Wildcats, which saw eight of the nine Wildcat drives end in the promised land, started the season with a 55-7 shellacking of the Lobos.

The team was clearly adamant on establishing the run, with all but one offensive drive starting off with a run between the tackles. Shifty running from tailbacks Richard Rodriguez and Chase Lovick kept the Lobo defense honest, leaving big opportunities for the passing game. The running game accounted for five of the eight Wildcat touchdowns in the season opener.

Regarding the passing game, star senior wideouts Joseph Manjack and John Boehning were unstoppable, with both combining for 10 receptions on 11 targets with three touchdowns and Manjack drawing a holding penalty in the end zone as well. The Wildcats did an efficient job utilizing the bubble screen and letting the duo of speedsters get as much open space as possible to make their elusive plays.

Quarterback Colton Marwill was 16 of 19 with three touchdowns and an interception. He showed great poise in the pocket the whole night, trusting his offensive line and finding his playmakers. Marwill was especially good at selling the play action pass and giving his wideouts that split second advantage on the Lobos secondary, which led to quite a few deep touchdown passes.

Defensively, the Wildcats were relentless, putting the Lobos in very difficult third and long situations after refusing to let them establish the running game. The Wildcats often blitzed on third and long, which was seldom unsuccessful barring a few scrambles by Lobos quarterback Tanner Murray. Murray accounted for the Lobos only score of the night, a 70 yard scramble which featured four broken tackles.

Players engage on the field.

A unit that commonly goes under the radar, the Wildcat’s special teams were very fundamentally sound. The unit limited the Lobos average starting field position at around their own 27 yard line. They even forced a fumble on the Lobos third return of the game, setting up the offense just outside the redzone for an easy touchdown drive.

The return game set up the offense very comfortably, giving the Wildcats an average starting field position at about their own 38 yard line. They even forced a blocked punt, which somehow bounced to the Wildcats 37 yard line, the most astounding stat of the night.

The kicking game was seldom on the call as the Wildcats were eager to go for the two point conversion after finding the endzone. However, the Wildcats were 3/4 on point-after’s, with one being blocked and returned all the way to the end zone by the Lobos, all to be called back by a flag for offside.

Tomball Memorial only punted twice on the night, both resulting in penalties by the Lobos that forced a Wildcat first down. However, the Wildcats made a bold move utilizing senior wideout Joseph Manjack on a pooch kick, which resulted in Manjack injuring his leg on the play. Fortunately, Manjack ran off on his own power.

Regarding the stadium atmosphere, social distancing rules were frequently enforced by staff. This didn’t stop the crowd from getting riled up, however, with upperclassmen encouraging everyone to stand up and cheer on the team.

As for the Lobos, some high points in the game include the aforementioned 70 yard scramble at the start of the second half, an interception which ended up being the only non-scoring Wildcat drive, and the clock hitting 00:00.

UP NEXT FOR TMHS: A home non-conference tilt vs. the West Brook Bruins (1-0, 0-0 conference).