Oak Falls to Rival

The Panthers win convincingly against Cypress Creek, but lose to the Bearkats.


Shaylee Majors

The Panthers rush to the field in their new gold uniforms for the first time to face the Klein High Bearkats. Photo by Shaylee Majors

Klein Oak against Cypress Creek

The Klein Oak Panthers started the second game of the season against Cypress Creek High School. Coming off a win against Langham Creek the previous week, the Panthers, looked to build off the momentum of the recent win in their second game of the year and the home opener against Cypress Creek.

After a muffled punt return by the Panthers, Creek had good looking field position to capitalize off their luck. But the Panthers defense held strong against the aggressiveness of the Creek offense and forced a field goal, that Oak ended up blocking, thanks to the shield the Panthers defense put up around the ball.

“I just remember going over our assignment each day in practice,” junior Clay Habermacher said, “When it came down to it, it felt almost normal that each of us did our job. The crowd really made it a good atmosphere, it set the tone for a victory.”

The Panthers offense didn’t start as hot as the defense did and gave up a pick-six to Creek giving them the lead early in the first quarter.

After an impressive kick return by junior Jamal Stephens, the Panthers offense took on a comfortable field position to redeem themselves from last drive. Following a few goods running plays by a handful of Oak running backs, the Panthers were able to go for a field goal, but Oak was unable to kick it through the uprights.

Oak’s defense came onto the field looking to make swift work of the so-far lackluster Cy Creek offense and with the rapid reaction of senior defensive end Dreydon Hall, not only was it a sudden end to Creek’s drive, it resulted in a score for Oak. Hall focused on the eyes of the quarterback and knew exactly when to put his hands up to intercept the ball and return to the end zone, tying up the game 7-7.

Moving into the second quarter, senior linebacker Tylan George came up with a big stop for the Panthers defense forcing Creek to punt.

The Panthers offense came alive later in the second quarter due to the outstanding duo in junior quarterback, Thomas Crowl, and senior wide receiver Dwight McGloltern. After getting close enough to the Cy Creek endzone, Crowl threw a fly ball to McGlothern which he caught.

After the touchdown reception from McGlothern, the Panthers took the lead for the first time in the game going up 13-7 mid-way through the second quarter.

Cy Creek couldn’t keep up with the Oak defense after a few big plays by senior Chanstyn Thomas and junior Austin Domino. The game moved into the second half with Oak up by six.

“It was an important play; it was fourth and short and we were about to go into half[time]. I was blitzing so I knew I was going to be in a position for a tackle,” Domino said.

Progressing into the third quarter, Oak’s Stephens showed an impressive amount of speed and agility while getting to the 50-yard line giving the Black and Gold great field position to extend their small lead.

Junior running back Troy Smith preserved the momentum of the kick return team with a high-speed run towards the right side of the field putting the Panther offense on Cy Creek’s eight-yard line.
Following a few botched plays by the Oak offense, the Panthers were forced to go for a field goal, which junior Gabe Alvarez completed, giving Oak a 16-7 lead two minutes into the third.

“It was honestly really nerve-racking,” Alvarez said “It meant a lot to me because we work on kicking every day and that was my chance to show hard I’ve worked and where I’m at with [my] development since freshman year.”

The lead for the Panthers didn’t keep growing for long as a blocked punt by Cy Creek gave them great field position deep into Oak’s territory. Creek scored quickly after the failed punt by Oak in the middle of the third quarter, tightening the score 16-14.

The Panthers offense couldn’t rebound from the Cy Creek’s score and throw their second interception of the game.

Fortunately, Creek couldn’t come up with a touchdown score and were forced to go for a field goal. Once again, the Panthers defensive shield showed up again and blocked the field goal, keeping the small lead Oak had.
The duo of Crowl and McGlothern appeared once again after an exhilarating catch by McGlothern granting the Panthers perfect field position.

But they weren’t done yet. The very next play McGlothern was given the opportunity to score by Crowl once again on nearly the same play. And yet again, McGlothern caught it, giving Oak a convincing lead 23-14.
“It was nice to have [McGlothern]. He was able to get open and make plays for the team which was important for us especially in third-down situations,” Crowl said.

Sadly, Cy Creek kept up with the Panthers accompanied by a touchdown of their own late into the fourth quarter, securing at least a nail-biter of a game.

Rotating to the Oak offense, McGlothern was hit with another dime from Crowl resulting in a nearly sixty-yard gain putting the Panthers into the Cy Creek side of the field.

However, Oak was unable to keep the ball in their hands after a fumble. Forcing the Panthers defense to come out and hold their ground.

After a few big plays from Creek, it was third down with 51-one seconds Oak needed a stop, and that’s where the Panthers secondary came in.

After a few seconds of scrambling outside of the pocket, Creek’s quarterback picked his target and let it fly. But sophomore AJ Broussard picked the ball off and returned it to the Cy Creek forty-yard line, fastening a win for the Panthers.

Oak improved to 2-0 overall in the 2019 season and took on the Klein High Bearkats the following week

Junior running back Jamal Stephens runs for a first down after offensive line creates big hole for the running back. Photo by Audrey Willard

Klein Oak against Klein High Bearkats

In a vigorous effort two weeks ago the Panthers gave the Klein High Bearkats a run for their money.
Klein started off hot early and after a few plays later Klein got down to the Panthers 17-yard line.

The Bearkats quarterback kept the ball to himself on a quarterback sneak up the middle of the field all the way to Oak’s endzone, giving the Bearkats the first score of the game.

The Panthers snapped back at the Bearkats relatively quickly after the Klein score with a pass from senior quarterback Montrell Bolton to senior Cameron Williams on a 14-yard gain.

McGlothern and Bolton capped off the drive with a touchdown after Bolton fled the pocket and launched the ball to McGlothern, tying up the game 7-7 late in the first quarter.

The astonishing pair of McGlothern and Bolton struck again with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Bolton to McGlothern. The Panthers took the lead for the first time late in the second quarter 14-10.

But the lead the Panthers established didn’t last for long. After a four-minute drive from Klein, it ended in a touchdown for the Bearkats, giving them a small lead of 17-14 late in the first half of play.

Klein once again had the ball very late into the second. After the clock was running out the Bearkats decided to go for a field goal, which was blocked by junior Clay Habermacher.

Heading into the third quarter the Bearkats battered the Klein Oak defense after scoring another touchdown,
strengthening their lead 4 minutes in the third quarter 24-14.

McGlothern with the help of Bolton once again, produced another highlight with a tremendous catch off two Klein High secondary personnel, handing Oak nearly perfect piece of field position.

Junior quarterback Thomas Crowl finished off the Klein Bearkats defense with a quarterback sneak of his own going nearly untouched all the way into the endzone, tightening the Klein High lead to 24-21 mid-way through the third.

“I felt like I was running and nobody was on the field but me,” Crowl said, “The play was called as an option but I kept it because of how I read the defense.”

The Black and Gold maintained its momentum on its next offensive drive with two big runs in a row compliments of junior Jamal Stephens and sophomore AJ Broussard.

The offense changed up their play calling with a pass going to McGlothern all the way down to Klein’s two-yard line.

McGlothern polished off the superb drive with his third touchdown of the night, awarding Oak its lead back once again.

with a four-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter, the defense needed a stop to win out this nail-biter of a game. Unfortunately, Klein powered through the endzone, returning the lead to their sidelines 31-28 with 2:45 left to go.

In the end, the Panthers offense couldn’t come up with a scoring drive and Klein took home the victory.