Despite all the adversity the Kingwood Mustangs faced this season, the team has stuck together behind head coach Barry Campbell and are headed for the playoffs.
Displaced from their high school by Hurricane Harvey, the Mustangs persevered through the 2017 football season and on Friday defeated C. E. King, 28-20, to secure the fourth and final playoff berth from District 21-6A.
Winning for the third time on the road in district play, Kingwood held off the hosting Panthers with a solid defensive effort and a ball-control run game in the playoff-clinching victory.
Kingwood’s entry into the postseason made it a clean sweep for Humble ISD as all three 6A teams are now qualified for the playoffs. The Mustangs are joined by district champion Atascocita, as well as Summer Creek, which finished third in the league standings.
Kingwood completes the regular season 4-3 in district play and 4-5 overall and will take on South Houston (5-3) in a bi-district playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday. The Mustangs defeated the Trojans, 48-13, last season in a playoff opener.
Kingwood punched its ticket with a big defensive effort that limited the Panthers to just one touchdown on offense, a late first-half score. However, the home team kept it close with a pick-6 and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
But the Mustangs were in control from the outset. Quarterback Matt Slayton, who was a very efficient 8-for-12 passing (86 yards, two touchdowns) threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Nolan Powell giving Kingwood a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter.
John Powell put Kingwood on the scoreboard first with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Both of Powell’s carries went for touchdowns. He scored again in the final minutes of the game on a 4-yard run to seal the victory.
Slayton extended a 14-7 halftime lead early in the third quarter with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Tre Richardson. Kicker Connal Fisher booted his third of four PAT kicks.
Slayton also keyed a strong running game. He combined with Carson Amerentos for 114 yards rushing on 29 carries.