BETWEEN THE LINES: Klein Cain has program-changing TEAM win
A game is just a game, right?
Especially a Thursday night cold, rain-soaked game with only the band, dance teams, parents and some die-hard students in the stands.
Just the last regular season game of the year in the Klein area.
This game was different. And I need to remind you, anything can happen on the KUBE 57's Thursday Night Game of the Week with Todd Freed and Matt Malatesta.
Let me set the scene.
1. Klein Oak was going for its first district title since 2008. A win would also make the Panthers the district's No. 1 DII seed. A loss would push Klein Oak into the DI bracket. Ughhhh.
2. Klein Cain and coach James Clancy were aiming for another first… The 'Canes beat Klein and The Woodlands this year, both firsts. But this game would be a program-changer – a win would get Cain its first ever playoff berth in its second year of varsity play.
3. Throw in the fact that one of the city's leading rushers Jaydon Blue (1,500 yards) would NOT be available, according to Clancy.
With that being said, some might think that Cain had no shot facing the established Panthers.
So, what happened?
I've never seen a game so effected by the wind. With it blowing 20-plus miles per hour, neither team would score going into the biting wind coming from the NORTH. Weird, right?
Wind aside, what I've also learned is that football is a TEAM sport.
Earlier in the season, we had the Travis-Ridge Point game on the KUBE. Travis had NEVER beaten Ridge Point, ever. Ridge Point had gone undefeated in district play for four years.
Travis would be without superstar WR Parker Washington (Penn State-commit), who was held out by his coach due to several unsportsmanlike conduct penalties the week before.
No way Travis could overcome that, right? Wrong. A charged up Travis squad came out motivated as a TEAM and beat their rival Ridge Point. They would go on to win district due to this pivotal game.
But back to the Klein Cain vs Klein Oak game…
Cain came out hot (also with the wind) as another super soph Matthew Golden caught a deep ball for a score and ran one over from short yardage.
No Blue, no problem as Charles Jones and Aaron Jordan picked up the slack on the ground. QB Luke Pardee showed tremendous leadership running the show and the OL pushed around the Panthers.
The defensive line for Cain also played BIG. Another super soph Lukia Rawls was a beast along with Brayden Espinosa. LB Dylan Stevens and DB Jalen Thomas balled out.
Klein Oak's 4-star WR Dwight McGlothern showed out with a pair of long touchdown scores and the Panthers put a great fight.
But the night belonged to the Klein Cain football TEAM, winning 21-20.
After the game, players, coaches, families, trainers and cheerleaders stormed the field. Hugs, even tears of joy. It was so apparent that it had been a tough week at Cain after a disappointing loss to College Park among other things.
Coach James Clancy rallied the TROOPS in a SIGNATURE win for his program. Whether it's facing adversity or helping promote his players for their futures beyond Cain, Clancy is doing it the right way.
And remember, whether you are a bench-warmer role player or a DI recruit, this is a TEAM sport.