Dr. C.A. Thomas Multipurpose Center was suppose to be the site of a closely contested game between two undefeated teams vying for the District 12-6A title, not a one sided blowout. The fans in attendance got just that with The Woodlands traveling to Beaumont with something to prove, that they are for real.
The Woodlands came into this matchup ranked number nine in the state, painting a target on their back for teams like the 5-0 West Brook Bruins. The Highlanders had other plans though and wasted no time in racking up points on the scoreboard; the score was 30-7 before the Bruins realized what hit them.
The Woodlands used the ground game to get on the board early after breaking off a 64-yard touchdown run, but managed to find other ways to deflate the West Brook crowd’s spirit too. With 8 minutes to go in the first, The Woodlands forced a West Brook safety which started a flurry of unanswered points that didn’t stop until the Bruins had a 58-yard touchdown run of their own to make it 23-7. This scamper was just about the only positive that West Brook had in the ball game, the Highlanders proceeded to step on the gas and not let off until the final whistle. After posting 30 points in the first, The Highlanders added 14 points in each of the next three quarters to cruise to the victory.
The Woodlands was hitting on all cylinders Friday night, finding ways to score in all facets of the game. They were able to convert through the air as well on the ground, the defense played well and the special teams were sharp. This victory moves the Highlanders to a 2-0 start to district play for a team that has goals far beyond a district title. With 5 teams in District 12-6A having only one district loss or less the race is nowhere near over, but the road is a little bumpier for some. The Highlanders have assumed command of the first place slot and control their own destiny moving forward with the likes of Montgomery, Oak Ridge, Lufkin and West Brook trying to play catch-up.
The Highlanders have to feel confident seven weeks into the season after cruising to 6-0, including a 26-3 home win over perennial powerhouse Katy. The latest victory only adds to the resume for The Woodlands squad who is eying a deep playoff run for the 2016 campaign. The Highlanders gave up only 7 points to a team West Brook team averaging over 300 YPG and over 40 points a game on offense. A stiff defense to lean on is a major component in a championship caliber team, The question remains whether the hype is real or not, given the combined 135 points scored in the first two district match ups it is safe to say the Highlanders are hitting their stride during a very pivotal point in the season.
If the Highlanders can come out of their next 4 games relatively unscathed, they will be looking to represent Region II as a legitimate contender. The Woodlands have the tools for success to contend for a title, with a stout defense that is only giving up 15.5 PPG and a highflying offense posting just under 44 PPG. If they can stay healthy and hot, there is no reason to doubt The Woodlands and their 2016 state title aspirations.