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Barbers Hill’s Christian Kaopua, 2, leaps past Crosby’s Michael Ray, 5, and Hunter Bailey, 27, during the Eagles 28-7 home win in District 12-5A II play. Barbers Hill remains unbeaten and tops the district standings.

Roll past rival Cougars

MONT BELVIEU — Following its recent method of operation, Barbers Hill took another step toward securing a District 12-5A II title. 

The Eagles jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and the defense did work on Crosby in a 28-7 win Friday night. Barbers Hill improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 to set up a big match-up at defending district champ Port Neches-Grove. The Indians moved to 6-2, 4-1 with a 20-7 win over Santa Fe Friday night.

“We came out and had a good start,” Barbers Hill head coach Tom Westerberg said. “We got behind the chains a couple of times and had to start throwing the ball into the wind in long yardage and didn’t do it as well. That really hurt us not scoring in the second quarter.”

Field position was key in the early scoring spurt. Crosby turned the ball over on downs at the Eagle 46. Barbers Hill promptly drove down the field and cashed in on a Christian Kaopua 1-yard run. The Eagles also scored on a 2-yard run by Cohn Betz and Kaopua 30-yard run in the first quarter.

The Cougars did little to help their cause, Kade McCall had an interception to key a touchdown and also recovered a fumble in the half. 

“We were a little shell-shocked at first,” Crosby head coach Jerry Prieto said. “They came out and jumped on us. Then our defense made corrections and played really well and gave us a chance. We just didn’t make enough plays offensively and had too many penalties.”

Crosby had a chance to go into the half with some momentum, driving inside the Eagle 10. Reggie Branch threw his second interception of the game as Rex Thompson picked off a deflected pass in the end zone. 

“We had a chance to score a touchdown right there to end the half and have some momentum going in so that hurt a little bit.”

The Cougars did pull within 21-7 in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Deniquez Dunn following a fumble by Christian Kaopua. The Eagle offense found its rhythm and answered on a 22-yard run by Garrett Hagler to account for all scoring. 

“Our defensive line is playing really good,” Westerberg said. “Just the whole defense is playing well tackling and putting pressure on the quarterback.”

Kaopua had 20 carries for 122 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles. He also completed 10 of 17 for 81 yards. Dunn led Crosby with 70 yard rushing, 28 receiving and 11 of 20 for 99 yards passing. Branch was 2 for 10 for 42 yards and two interceptions.

Crosby fell to 3-5 and 3-2. The Cougars will host Nederland Friday looking to improve their playoff chances. 

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