Tally’s late pick seals vic­tory

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - SPORTS SUNDAY - mar­cus.gu­tier­[email protected] By Mar­cus Gu­tier­rez STAFF WRITER

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.”

Jerry Baker / Con­trib­u­tor

Cy-Fair’s Bayne Tryon, cen­ter, is con­grat­u­lated by team­mates af­ter scor­ing a first-quar­ter touch­down.

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