Tally’s late pick seals victory
Payton Tally had watched film all week on Atascocita’s high-scoring offense.
The Cy-Fair junior defensive back watched Eagles quarterback Brice Matthews’ eyes moves in the fourth quarter with 4:29 seconds left in Saturday’s game.
Once the ball left Matthews hand Tally knew exactly where to be.
“I had seen that play on film all week,” Tally said. “I baited the quarterback, and I knew when he threw it, it was going to be mine.”
Tally’s interception in the fourth quarter helped sealed the Bobcats’ 41-38 victory over Atascocita in the Class 6A Division I Region III semifinal game at NRG Stadium.
Cy-Fair (11-2) will take on North Shore in the regional final at 6 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.
“I’m so proud of this team and what we have done this season,” Tally said. “We get to play another week.”
Tough end for Eagles
Atascocita ended the season 11-2 and had its 10-game winning streak snapped by the Bobcats.
“I told the team to find a senior and ask them how fast this moment came,” Atascocita coach Craig Stump said. “We have a lot of young players on this team with sophomores and juniors. We will have a lot of guys coming back next year.”
The Bobcats went all out on the first play of the game.
Quarterback Ryan Nelub threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Christian Richmond.
“We run the ball quite a bit and they stacked the box,” Cy-Fair coach Ed Pustejovsky said. “We thought we take a shot and go up top. Fortunately for us it worked out.”
Nelub connected with Bayne Tryon for an 8-yard score, and Nelub finished the first quarter with an 8yard touchdown run that put the Bobcats up 21-0.
Cy-Fair seemed poised to cruise to a win, but the Eagles’ offense came alive in the second quarter, outscoring the Bobcats 17-0.
Brice Matthew threw touchdown pases of 33 and 12 yards to receiver Dylan Robinson, and Tristan Heaton made a 25-yard field goal to cut the Bobcats’ lead to four heading into halftime.
Matthews finished the game 33-of-44 passing for 437 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Robinson finished with five receptions for 123 yards and three touchdowns, and Darius Edmonds had seven receptions for 139 yards.
“Nothing really changed; we just started throwing the ball,” Stump said. “We felt like we could move the ball throwing it, and we kept throwing the ball until we got back into the game.”
Pustejovsky said he reminded the Bobcats at halftime in the locker room that they still had the lead.
“I told them we’re still ahead 21-17,” Pustejovsky said. “They had the momentum, and we had to get it back. Coming out in the second half, we had to set the tone. I felt that was important to start the second half strong and get the momentum back on our side.”
The Bobcats regained the momentum with a 10-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Nelub’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Johnson leads the way
Cy-Fair had 271 yards rushing on the ground. The Bobcats were led by sophomore tailback L.J. Johnson, who finished with 24 carries for 152 yards and one touchdown.
“It was hard, and it got tough at the end of the first half,” Johnson said. “But we came back in the second half and talked it over with our coaches and just executed our game plan.”
Atascocita running back T.J. Thomas scored on a 2yard touchdown on fourth down to make it 31-all with 8:21 remaining in the game.
Johnson used his quick feet and went 63 yards through the heart of Atascocita’s defense to put the Bobcats back up 38-31.
Jake Ruiz hit a 26-yard field goal to give the Bobcats a 41-31 advantage.
Now, Cy-Fair will turn its attention toward North Shore, which defeated Katy 49-38 on Friday night.
“They’re an awfully good football team, and they do a great job,” Pustejovsky said. “It’s going to be a challenge, and we’re excited for it.”
Cy-Fair’s Bayne Tryon, center, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a first-quarter touchdown.