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Devils win annual battle for city

Mustang RB Lincoln Pare looking for a hole in the Red Devil defense before breaking off a long run for a TD



From Kendal Badgett’s flip running onto the field at the beginning of the game to “Celebration” blaring over the PA system at the end, Germantown let the good times roll against Houston on Friday, which left the Red Devils hearing these words:

“There’s a party goin’ on right here. A celebration to last throughout the years. So bring your good times, and your laughter too. We gonna celebrate your party with you.”

After the 49-28 victory, Germantown quarterback Ethan Payne said, “It’s a great win. Last year we beat them twice. It felt really great then. To beat them this year at home is a really big deal. It could be my last time playing Houston.”

Cameron Baker, Germantown wide receiver, said, “It’s exciting to win over a rival, especially since they’re crosstown.”

In the battle for the city title, both teams were intense.

“When we play Germantown that is pretty much our biggest game of the year. We really have got to put it on the field,” said Houston punter Nick Anewalt.

Germantown Head Coach Chris Smith said, “Houston week is always big. This is a game they really wanted to win. I can see it in their eyes.”

Houston running back Lincoln Pare did some celebrating of his own. A career game, Pare scored two touchdowns and had 250 all-purpose yards, including 180 yards rushing on 17 carries.

With his 4.51 speed in the 40, Pare ran 77 yards for a second-quarter touchdown and 80 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown and later returned a kickoff 66 yards that set up a fourth Houston touchdown.

“I can’t give credit to myself. I have to give credit to my five down-linemen. Without them, I couldn’t do any of this,” he said.

Houston offensive and defensive lineman Kip Frankland said, “Linc’s a beast. I love him to death. I feel like we didn’t do nearly enough as we should have and he was still running all over them. He put us on his back which should never have to happen but he is going to make plays no matter what.”

Houston quarterback Ethan Burns said, “Lincoln had the best game he’s ever had. Unfortunately the rest of the team wasn’t on his level.”

Payne watched Pare’s impact.

“Lincoln is very, very underrated. He is fast as lightening. He is a hard runner. Our defense ain’t no joke. He ran through us. Give him credit. He kept them in the game.”

Smith said, “He is a good, tough running back. You think you have got him wrapped up and have got him down but he squirts lose.”

Houston Head Coach James Thomas said, “Lincoln did a lot. He had a lot of yards on a lot of great runs.”

Germantown also had a lot of great runs, rushing for 316 yards. Eric Foster rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.

“He was mowing people down. Nobody wanted to tackle him,” said Payne.

Said Smith of Foster, “I thought Eric did a phenomenal job. In the second half he finished runs off. He ran hard. He carried people. I was really proud of him.”

B.J. Gardner had 17 rushes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Jamal Frazier had 81 yards on 4 rushes and T.J. Dorsey 16 yards on 3 rushes. Payne had 9 yards rushing. Baker scored two rushing touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass.

“Our offensive line was probably one of the best performances they have had since I have been playing here,” said Payne, applauding O-linemen left tackles Michael Goodwin and Charles Tony-Egbuniwe, left guards Jairus Mitchell and Henry Castillo, center Cole Cocroft, right guard Nick Ferri, right tackle Curt Garrett.

“I thought the whole offensive line as a unit made great improvements from week one to week two,” said Smith. “Cameron and Ethan looked good as they always do. The tight ends blocked really well.”

Completing 15 of 21 passes for 154 yards, Payne threw the TD pass to Baker, who had 6 receptions for 59 yards. Gardner had 3 catches for 38 yards, Orlando Hairston 2 for 14 yards and Jaleel Lake one for 11 yards. Richardson added 32 yards on his three receptions.

Germantown kicker Marshall Ware was perfect on seven PATs.

“Marshall had a great night kicking the ball, exploding off his foot. We knew that he was going to be a weapon this season,” said Smith.

Ware said that he improved from the first game because of a well-managed field in an electric atmosphere.

He added that the key to the win was the team’s running backs.

“They had an outstanding game and you can always count on them,” he added. “They have different characteristics turning them into the perfect set of backs.”

Thomas bragged on Anewalt, a senior who led Shelby-Metro in punting last season and was nominated all-state.

“I thought Nick did a tremendous job punting tonight. He got us out of a couple of bad situations,” said Thomas.

Anewalt said, “When they call a punt, you don’t really think about it. We were down pretty bad (42-14) but we still kept fighting and got some points on the board.”

“Relentless” is the motto the Mustangs (1-1) have this season.

“We never quit,” said Pare.

Germantown defensive end Ashton Pachucki said big plays on defense and moving the ball with a no-huddle tempo offense were keys to the win.

“Our defense is aggressive, quick and disciplined with playmakers like Shomar (Michael), K.J. Hatch, Duke Hill and Trey Boyd in the box with us. We’re a dominant defense,” he noted.

A first-team all-region nose guard last season, Boyd would finish with 9 tackles (6 solo), 3 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

“He is not the biggest but he is very good. He gets off blocks, is good with his hands, has a great first-step and makes a lot of plays for us in the backfield. He is real gritty,” said Smith.

Houston trailed the Red Devils 35-14 early in the fourth quarter when Jordan Kirby intercepted Burns and scored a touchdown with 10:30 left giving Germantown a 42-14 lead.

On their next possession, the Mustangs scored when Pare ran up the middle for 80 yards and Houston came within 42-21.

“I’m thinking, ‘get to the end zone,’ always,”he said.

Thomas said, “Our kids are resilient. The third quarter was tough on us. We were down seven at halftime and we turned the ball over and then it unfolded from there.

“We have got another big one next week with Arlington,” he continued. “We will find a way to get these kids to believe in themselves and win a region game.”

Houston took a 7-0 lead with 9:44 left in the first quarter when Landon Schmidt intercepted Payne’s pass and returned it 8 yards to the Red Devils’ 21. After a 3-yard loss, Burns threw a perfect 24-yard pass to Jordon Monk. Anewalt kicked his first of four extra points.

“I made a bad decision,” said Payne of the intercepted pass. “I forgot about it and stuck with it and did what I had to do to win the game.”

Smith told Payne that the team was still in good shape and that he was going to make plays.

“He knows that is part of the game. You are not going to be perfect when you are playing 6-A competition. Give him credit. He kept a positive mentality and kept leading us and we ended up scoring 49 points. I was proud of him,” said Smith.

Payne’s passing led the Red Devils to their first score on an 80-yard drive.

He threw a first-down pass to Hairston at the Houston 41 and another to Lake to the 14. Gardner later scored a 15-yard touchdown. Ware tied it at 7.

A 65-yard run by Frazier got the Red Devils to the Houston 5 and Baker scored from there for a 14-7 lead with 1:57 left in the first quarter.

“Jamal’s big play sparked our offense,” said Baker.

A Houston highlight in the first was sophomore R.H. Frankland catching a 26-yard pass from Burns.

“He sets a good example for the young guys that if you can play you are going to be put in those situations to show out,” said Kip Frankland of his brother.

In the second quarter, Payne threw a 26-yard pass to Gardner to the Houston 19 and then threw a 10-yard pass to Richardson at the 9. Foster’s 1-yard TD extended the lead to 21-7 with 5:07 left.

Pare’s 77-yard TD with 4:21 left cut the lead to 21-14.

Working off-season, Pare has become more consistent and has bonded with his team to become family.

“When you play together as family, it’s really hard to stop you,” he said.

On Houston’s offensive line is Morgan Scott, Nathan Havrda, Jaren Alnutt, Kip Frankland, Matt Needham. Frankland plays defensive line along with Havrda and Harrison Wilkes.

“You put everything on the line and remember all the guys would do the same. I have to play for them,” said Frankland.

Houston had an interception by Monk in the second quarter and an excellent punt by Anewalt as he recovered from a high snap in the end zone that went to the 50.

“We felt the momentum starting to swing at halftime and felt like we still had a lot of gas left in the tank for the second half. We thought we saw them wearing down a little bit in the second half,” said Smith.

After recovering a fumble in the third quarter, Germantown later scored on a 4-yard touchdown by Baker to make it 28-14.

In the fourth quarter, Germantown topped a 59-yard drive when Payne threw a 6-yard pass to Baker with 10:40 left for a 35-14 lead. Payne had an 18-yard pass to Richardson in the drive. Foster had runs of 12 yards, 7, 4.

“I think our guys were now. ‘We have them where we want them’ and started to finish runs harder and they seized the opportunity and put the game away,” said Smith, citing Foster’s dominant running.

Kirby’s 15-yard interception for a touchdown made it 42-14 with 10:30 left.

“That was a pretty big touchdown pick by Jordon Kirby. That was awesome and helped us solidify the game,” said Smith.

Completing 5 of 18 passes for 74 yards and two touchdown passes, Burns said, “I tried my best but I didn’t have much time. I threw two interceptions, which of course is bad but stuff happens.”

Pare’s 80-yard run cut the lead to 42-21 with 10:14 left.

A 16-yard run by Foster gave the Red Devils a 49-21 lead with 6:08 left.

Pare then returned the kickoff to the Germantown 29. Chris Colebank ran 12 yards for a first down to the 9 and took it to the 7 before Burns threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Grayson Hitt. The Mustangs were within 49-28 with 3:49 left.

Hitt caught 2 passes for 18 yards, Monk 2 for 30 yards, Frankland one for 26.

Houston had 185 yards rushing and with 74 passing a total offense of 259 yards.

“We can keep building on Lincoln and Chris Colebank and our really good wide receivers. Once our line figures some stuff out we will be unstoppable,” said Burns.

Thomas said, “We have an offensive line that has to learn responsibility and play as a unit.”

Germantown’s defense was outstanding.

“They are really good at 11 people flying to the ball,” said Pare. “I have never played a team where all 11 people fly to the ball at one time. It is very hard to run against.”

Frankland said, “ I tip my hat to their defense. They had all 11 players on our ball carrier every play.”

Germantown forced 3 turnovers, 2 interceptions with one by Marcus Askew who also had 3 tackles. The Red Devils had 3 sacks with 8 yards loss.

Dannie Towles had 7 tackles (4 solo), 1 for loss, 1 sack; Hatch 6 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss; Kirby 4 solo tackles plus the TD INT.

Smith was impressed with the play of Frankland, who “blocked really good up front” and Monk, who “played through some pain. He is a good player who played both ways.”

Of his team, Smith said, “We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things. This team can get physical and make some big plays when they need to. We have a good base moving forward.”

Thomas said the Red Devils were more physical.

“What didn’t they do well. They were able to match us pretty good up front,” said Thomas. “It’s easy to get down after a game like this but the beautiful thing is we have another big game next week and that will get our focus back where it needs to be.”

Ware was pleased with his team, “Overall the team worked better together and drove with more heart since it was a rival game.”

Pachucki said, “I don’t think it can get any better than a packed stadium in a rivalry game.”

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