HS Football: Conroe's passing game takes down College Park in district opener
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Conroe Tigers’ electrifying offense lit up Woodforest Stadium during their 28-17 win over College Park on Friday night. The Tigers’ strong performance gave them a 1-0 start in district play and their first win over College Park since 2017.
Conroe opened the game with a tone-setting 71-yard drive that was capped off by Conroe quarterback Christian Pack’s 18-yard rushing touchdown. With College Park’s strong running game, a fast start by the Tigers would be needed to force the Cavaliers to throw more than they would want to. That fast start was achieved when Pack connected with a wide-open Marcus Thomas on a 25-yard fade route to put the Tigers up two scores in the blink of an eye.
College Park was up to the challenge and answered the Tigers’ touchdown with a big play of their own. Quarterback Ty Buckmon hit tight end Cody Mladenka across the middle for a 57-yard strike that would bring the Conroe lead down to one score late in the opening quarter.
What made Friday’s win possible for Conroe was their constant resiliency all night long. After CP chipped away at the lead with a 39-yard field goal from Andrew Lutz, it was looking like Conroe would only lead by four going into the locker room. However, the Tigers offense orchestrated a clutch drive that ended with Pack’s second rushing TD of the game to extend their lead to 21-10 with a minute remaining in the half.
Once again, the Cavaliers would not go away. Sophomore kick returner Holden Rook ignited CP nation with a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown to cut Conroe’s lead to four once again. However, midway through the third quarter, a pivotal special teams mistake would set up one of the biggest and best plays of the night. College Park’s punt team botched the operation and turned the ball over on downs inside their own 40-yard line.
With five minutes to go in the quarter, Christian Pack tossed up a jump ball to Marcus Thomas from six yards out. The big play wide receiver went up and grabbed a contested ball and somehow managed to drag a toe near the back pylon with no room to spare. The score was the second of the night for the Tigers’ duo and it stretched their lead back to two scores for the third time.
The College Park defense stepped up in the fourth quarter with a Nick Vetere interception that flipped the field and set up the Cavaliers inside the Conroe 40-yard line. However, another special teams mishap on a late field goal ended any chance of a late-game comeback.
Conroe’s great passing game finished with 240 yards through the air. Thomas racked up 143 of them, while WR Michael Phoenix added 73 yards on the night. This offensive production was enough to give Conroe a 1-0 start in district play for the first time since 2009.
Next week, the Tigers (2-1 / 1-0) will host Klein Oak at Moorhead, while College Park (2-1 / 0-1) will have a showdown with their rivals, The Woodlands, at Woodforest Stadium.
Tonight’s game was a Woodlands Online on-demand broadcast sponsored by Hal Watson Air Conditioning and TeamSinisi Real Estate.