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Red Devils conquer Mustangs in crosstown battle

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By Michael Ward

In a heated rivalry game, Germantown High School staked its claim as Germantown’s team last Friday night at Houston High’s Landers Ford Stadium.

With a narrow halftime lead, the Red Devils exploded for three touchdowns in the third quarter en route to a 35-24 victory over the Mustangs.

“This isn’t an easy place to come in and play,” said Germantown Head Coach Chris Smith following his team’s victory. “It’s tough to come in here – when you’re Germantown – to come into Houston and win.”

Down 10-7 with 2:50 left in the first half, Germantown drove 45 yards, with sophomore running back Rezimond Robinson adding his second rushing touchdown of the game with 35 seconds remaining, to take a 14-10 halftime lead.

Despite his team having the lead, Smith said he thought his players were looking a little gassed and told them at the half that they were either going to make the plays or not.

“The pen is in your hand. You write the story,” he recalled.

Germantown RB #28 Jaylen Givens finds a wide open hole in the JNS defense

Germantown completely controlled the narrative in the third quarter, with junior quarterback Ethan Payne tossing three touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Payne led scoring drives of 70, 41 and 80 yards in the third, capped by passes of 28 yards to junior Cameron Baker, and 28 and 76 yards to senior Jaylin Williams.

“Big-time players make big-time plays in big games,” Smith acknowledged.

Houston sophomore running back Lincoln Pare tore through Germantown’s defense on a 30-yard scoring run in the third, and the Mustangs added another score in the fourth on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Burns to Grayson Hitt, but it was too little, too late.

“It is what it is,” said Houston Head Coach Will Hudgens after the loss. “At the end of the day, you have to make plays to win. Hats off to (Germantown).”

Now 2-0 to start the season – and with big win over the Mustangs under its belt – Smith is confident and pleased with the direction of his team heading into this week’s game at Millington (1-1).

“They should have a lot of momentum” he said of his players. “Guys are a lot more coachable when winning.”

Houston (1-1) will look to pick up the pieces Friday night as it hosts an Arlington team that rebounded from a tough loss in its season opener against Raleigh-Egypt with a 48-29 drubbing of St. George’s last Friday.

When asked what it would take for his players to overcome such a disappointing loss to Germantown, Hudgens didn’t mince his words.

“We’ve already moved on to Arlington. It’s over.”