The Channelview Falcons did just enough to get into the 2016 playoffs. After a lackluster 1-2 jaunt in non-district, the Falcons went 4-3 in District 21-6A to grab the fourth playoff spot with an even 5-5 record.
Channelview beat the teams it should’ve beaten and lost big — really big — to the three teams ahead of them in district. The Falcons lost to district champ North Shore (68-0), runner-up Atascocita (52-0) and third-place Kingwood (56-23). But, the Falcons made the playoffs and lost a shootout to La Porte, 63-49, in the bi-district round.
It was a run-heavy offense for Channelview, led by senior back Demontre Tuggle with a team-high 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Gerald Gardner completed 52 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and 1,500 yards.
Channelview allowed 40 points a game while averaging 28 on offense. Regardless, the Falcons made the playoffs for the third-consecutive season.
RB Demontre Tuggle, ATH Tuciano Pope, OT Roberto Varvelo
Tuggle rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and was the piston that turned the offense behind Varvelo and the Falcons offensive line. Pope did everything. He was named all-district as a free safety, wide receiver and punt returner.
QB Gerald Gardner, DT Tayvien Green, WR Devin Jennings, FB Dawson Nobriga
Gardner was an all-district selection after throwing for 1,530 yards and 14 touchdowns. He added two rushing touchdowns. Nobria was an all-district pick as a sophomore after running for 633 yards and seven touchdowns, all while not being the featured back but rather a blocker.
Jennings averaged 17 yards per catch and led the Falcons with 449 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
The Falcons made it to the playoffs in 2016 with several underclassmen playing key roles. Now those juniors and sophomores will be expected to step into leadership roles.
Channelview is set up to make a playoff run for the fourth year in a row. To do it, Gardner needs to cut down on turnovers and the Falcons defense needs to shore up gaps and not give up big plays in 2017.
Though the Falcons have to travel to both Atascocita and North Shore, they get Kingwood, King and Summer Creek at home, which could give them an advantage.
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