Taylor scores 38-31 knockout in bi-district win over Chavez

Great article about big Taylor win from the Katy Times.

Mustangs advance to area playoffs for second time in three years as Ashaka leads Taylor to pair of fourth quarter touchdowns

By R. Dana Roark
Special to the Times

Saturday, November 13, 2010 9:24 PM CST

Taylor picked a good week to score a season high point total of 38 against Chavez on Friday night at Rhodes Stadium. The Mustangs would need every single one of those points in their Div. 2 bi-district game against the explosive Lobos.
When it was over, Taylor (6-5) went home happy with a 38-31 win and will now face Cy Woods in a second round game to be played next Saturday at Tully Stadium. Kickoff with the 8-3 Wildcats is 7 P.M.
“That was a great, great win for us, for our program and for the school. I’m very proud of our players. They did a heck of a job,” Taylor coach Flint Risien said. “Defensively it was tough, but I think our scout teams did a great job of mimicking some of the speed and the guys did a great job of playing assignment football in limiting their big, explosive plays. Offensively, we knew what we had to do to be physical and come right ahead with them, and we accomplished that. Now we get to play again next week.”
It will be the second time in three years that Taylor has advanced into the second round in the three seasons that Risien has coached the Mustangs. In 2008 Taylor defeated Lamar 17-3 before falling to Pearland in the third round of the Div. 1 bracket.
Bright Ashaka was once again the player who got it done for the Mustangs. Ashaka ran for 151 yards on 36 carries and scored three touchdowns, with none being more important than his fourth quarter score from one-yard out with 3:24 left to snap a 31-31 tie and give the Mustangs back the lead at 38-31. The lead had changed hands four times prior to the final 15-play, 62-yard march. His 36 carries was an all-time best and Ashaka ran a number of plays out of the wildcat formation in the final quarter.
“It was part of the game plan all week,” Ashaka said. “We knew that they had athletes and were going to be faster and were a little more athletic than we were, so we just decided to just bang it up the middle and bang it, bang it, bang it. We saw on film that it proved to work, so we just came out and did it tonight.”
In addition to his rushing exploits, Ashaka also caught three passes for 56 yards and completed two passes of his own for 37 yards, including a 25-yard completion to Chris Logan early in the fourth quarter to set up a one-yard plunge by Bryan Washington to tie the game at 31-31 with 10:36 to go.
“We practice both of those (passing) plays,” Ashaka said. “I don’t want to take any credit for my arm, because who knows where the ball’s going to go when I throw it? It was a good play by the receiver (Chris Logan) and was a bad ball (thrown) by me. He hung in on the sideline and got his foot in and kept the drive moving for us with a big play.”
The teams battled to a 17-17 tie in the first half as Tim Gay of Chavez and Ashaka each scored a pair of touchdowns. Gay, who had gained over 300 yards in a win last week against Westbury, had a 34-yard run on the opening drive and a seven-yard score midway through the second period to give the Lobos a 14-10 lead. Ashaka capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a nine-yard score with 1:00 remaining to give the Mustangs back the lead, but the Lobos tied the game at halftime on a 26-yard field goal by Uvaldo Resendez with three seconds to go.
Shey Akingbade gave the Taylor fans a lot to cheer about as the third quarter began. Hunter Riggs heaved the ball to the left sideline where Akingbade made a leaping catch surrounded by three defenders and sped 77 yards for a go-ahead score on the third play of the half.
But Chavez came back in the quarter and went ahead 31-24 as quarterback Demun Mercer scored on a 10-yard run and later fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jafus Gaines on a fourth-and-12 play.
After Ashaka gave Taylor its final lead in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs defense once more came up with a big fourth period stop when linebacker Max Guarniere nailed Mercer for a 12-yard loss, forcing the Lobos to go for a fourth and 23 miracle from their own 30. A screen pass completion came up 13 yards short and Taylor was finally able to run out the clock.
“I have a great team behind me. The defensive line had been getting into their offensive line all game,” Guarniere said of his sack. “They pretty much opened it up, no one came to me because they were so occupied by our defensive line.  We stepped it up on the edge of the defense, because the edge of the defense was looking a little weak, and then we got it done. It feels great. It always feels good to win a playoff game and keep your season going.”
Taylor ended with 423 yards in total offense while Chavez had 340. Riggs completed nine of 22 passes for 207 yards with one interception. Akingbade ended with four catches for 134 yards. Gay led Chavez with 118 yards on 23 carries.

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