24-point lead plus op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance dis­ap­pear

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - SPORTS SUNDAY - By Brent Zw­erne­man STAFF WRITER brent.zw­erne­[email protected] twit­ter.com/brentzw­erne­man

COL­LEGE STA­TION — Coach Ja­son Glenn hud­dled up his 11 de­fend­ers on the field where he had once played col­lege ball, and put his arm around se­nior line­backer A.J. Roberts, in of­fer­ing en­cour­age­ment even as the fi­nal sec­onds ticked off of Klein Oak’s sea­son.

“We have some­thing to build upon — we’re go­ing to be OK,” a res­o­lute Glenn later said in the af­ter­math of Klein Oak blow­ing a big lead in the play­offs. “These kids played their butts off. We’re go­ing to be fine.”

For one half against pow­er­ful Waco Mid­way at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, Klein Oak was more than fine — it was out­stand­ing. Then the sec­ond half left Klein Oak with plenty to build upon in the off­sea­son.

In a bat­tle of Pan­thers on both sides, Mid­way pre­vailed 28-27 over Klein Oak in Class 6A Di­vi­sion I Re­gion IIl ac­tion, wip­ing out a 24-0 half­time deficit. Glenn, a for­mer NFL line­backer, is in his sec­ond year as Klein Oak’s head coach and he played for the Ag­gies from 1997-2000. Klein Oak, which fin­ished third in the rugged District 15-6A, was on a roll when it counted most, with six con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries en­ter­ing Sat­ur­day — all the way un­til run­ning in to the Mid­way jug­ger­naut.

“They found some matchups and they took ad­van­tage of them,” Glenn said of Mid­way con­tin­u­ing to at­tack Klein Oak even down more than three touch­downs in the sec­ond half. “They’re a good team that has lost one game all year.

“We just have to go back to work for next year.”

Mid­way (11-1) now will face Allen, a 31-24 win­ner over The Wood­lands ear­lier Sat­ur­day, in Waco’s McLane Sta­dium in the state quar­ter­fi­nals.

Klein Oak dom­i­nated Mid­way al­most from the start, as C.J. Wat­son caught a 7-yard touch­down pass from Mon­trell Bolton with 5:26 left in the first quar­ter, and five min­utes later Charles Gar­rett rushed in from a yard out to give Klein Oak a 14-0 lead be­fore the first quar­ter was com­plete.

Klein Oak kept its foot on the gas in the sec­ond quar­ter, as Seth Mor­gan booted a 27-yard field goal and John Diggins gath­ered in a 43yard touch­down catch from Bolton against a backpedal­ing Mid­way de­fense.

But mul­ti­ple mis­cues and a stalled Klein Oak of­fense led Mid­way to outscore Klein Oak 14-0 in the third quar­ter and 14-3 in the fourth quar­ter. Klein Oak’s Ken­dal Tay­lor led all rush­ers with 136 yards on 23 car­ries.

Klein Oak had reached the re­gional with a 66-59, dou­ble-over­time vic­tory over Round Rock. Mid­way had reached Glenn’s old stomp­ing grounds with a dou­bling up of Sachse (5628).

Glenn, 39, played for the Ag­gies when they won the pro­gram’s last con­fer­ence ti­tle 20 years ago, a come­back vic­tory over Kansas State in the Big 12 ti­tle game in 1998. This time, he was on the other end of a team eras­ing a dou­ble-digit deficit. Klein Oak loses about 40 se­niors off of a ros­ter of nearly 100.

“We want to win,” a dis­ap­pointed but proud Glenn told his play­ers gath­ered around him and on a knee on A&M’s field after­ward. “But we want to win at the game of life more im­por­tantly.”

Eric Chris­tian Smith / Con­trib­u­tor

Klein Oak’s Tay­ton Cof­felt, right, tries to haul in a re­cep­tion in the end zone as Mid­way de­fen­sive back Lance Jones de­fends Sat­ur­day in Col­lege Sta­tion.

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