The Patriot Way shows progress despite 25-22 loss
Shannon Carter was hired to win football games at the new head coach at Goose Creek Memorial.
Yet, Friday night, as he watched his Patriots lose out on an opportunity to start his first season in charge with a 2-0 record and fall 25-22 at Stallworth Stadium to visiting South Houston, maybe he ended up winning the biggest challenge he’s had to date.
As far as the game, GCM saw themselves take a proverbial punch early as well while South Houston (1-1) rolled down the field with ease on its first drive and scored just 2:17 into the contest on a flutter ball pass that ended up in Cam’Ron Griggs’ hands and the Trojans led 7-0.
“You like to start the game well and they didn’t do anything we didn’t practice for,” Carter said. “We just came out flat on that first drive. It kind of woke us up.”
Yet, for the next 20 minutes, the GCM defense stiffened and shut down the South Houston attack behind a stellar defensive effort.
“They are getting better and better,” Carter said. “We have to shore up some tackling and communication breakdowns, but for a young defense, they played phenomenal and gave us a chance to win.”
GCM’s offense could not get into a consistent rhythm, but managed to lead 8-7 after 12 minutes after a South Houston snap on a punt went out of their end zone and later, Patriot receiver Jaylon Thompson hauled in a catch-and-run play for 55 yards off of a pass from Emerson Haywood.
Another bad snap on a punt later in the second quarter got the Patriots into ideal field position, starting a drive at the South Houston 11.
A few plays later, Brice Lane powered in for a four-yard run and a 15-7 lead with 4:29 remaining before halftime.
South Houston rallied with a scoring drive right before halftime to pull back within 15-13 at the break despite a dominant GCM defensive effort for most of the half.
The third quarter added some more missed opportunities for the Patriots as they ended up the game with five drives bogging down inside the Trojans 25-yard-line and four of them ended with a turnover, the other on a missed field goal.
That adds up to potentially 38 points left off the board.
“We realize we left some points and opportunities on the field and that’s part of being a young football team and coaching staff,” Carter said. “That’s going to make us greater later when we face those same situations and finish.
“I know what we left on the field. I know we are a good football team.”
South Houston took the lead at 18-15 with just over seven minutes left on a Joseph Phillips 25-yard catch-and-run touchdown, but GCM answered with a quick drive, getting to the Trojans’ 22, before the final Patriot turnover came on a fumble at the 17 after a third down reception.
“We had three and outs on almost every drive, but we messed up on our communication when they scored and that kind of flipped the script,” GCM linebacker Bryce Johnston said. “We were great on defense. This year everybody wants to be here and wants to work. We have a chip on our shoulder.”
The Trojans scored again on a long Phillips run to essentially cement the win, but GCM rallied with a drive of its own, finishing it with Dylan Pitre’s 22-yard dash to the house. That accounted for the final tally with 10 seconds left on the clock.
GCM’s onside kick was not successful and South Houston held on for the win.
Haywood ended up 7-for-21 passing for 163 yards and rushed for 63 yards. Thompson caught four balls for 132 yards and Lane ran for 71 yards on 17 carries and finished with 87 yards of total offense.
Carter has emphasized his need to build young men and change the attitude and culture - through what he calls 'The Patriot Way' = to one who rises above adversity and not create it for the program.
Early in the contest, a South Houston player took an exception to a hard, GCM (1-1) tackle and immediately bounced of the turf, lunged after the Patriot defender and threw a punch.
Instead of retaliation of any kind, GCM players reacted with calm and measured tones, making sure none of their players get in trouble, flagged or make the program look bad while the irate Trojan was ejected.
A loss on the scoreboard? Maybe. But a bigger win in the grand scheme.
“It’s something we harp on every single day,” Carter said. “You can only be the best you can be. We are trying to insulate ourselves and build our culture. We are going to represent this community and school well with no deviations. It’s a testament to the kids are buying in.
“We still got work to do and I am proud of them for showing character and class. They showed great sportsmanship and restraint playing hard through the whistles.”
The Patriots host Clear Falls 7 p.m. next Friday.
South Houston 25, Goose Creek Memorial 22
SH 7 6 0 12 = 25
GCM 8 7 0 7 = 22
SH – Cam’Ron Griggs 28-pass from Deondre Corbin, (Sabino Lozano kick), 9:43
GCM - Safety, punt snap out of end zone, 6:13
GCM - Jaylon Thompson 55-pass from Emerson Haywood, (PAT failed), 1:40
GCM - Brice Lane 4-run (Luis Acosta kick), 4:29.
SH – Brodrick Williams 2-run (pass failed), :50
SH – Joseph Phillips 25-pass from Corbin (pass failed), 7:19
SH - Phillips 38-run (kick failed), 1:13
GCM - Dylan Pitre 22-run (Acosta kick), :10
Aldine Nimitz 16, Sterling (0-2)14
Barbers Hill (1-1) 62, Montgomery 31
Baytown Christian (2-0) 54, Brazosport Christian 32
Edna 48, Anahuac (0-2) 33
Thursday night: Manvel 39, Crosby (0-2) 27