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Goose Creek Memorial Football
Goose Creek Memorial made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 last year. Shannon Carter enters year three of leading The Patriots as they aim to "Plant The Flag" in 2021 by making it back to the postseason and getting the first playoff win in program history.
The Patriots are off to a 1-2 start to the season and face Galveston Ball on Friday. We caught up with Carter prior to the beginning of the 2021 season. This article appears in the VYPE 2021 GCCISD Fall Edition.
VYPE: As you enter year three, do you feel your program and culture taking hold?
CARTER: Year one it was "Speak Victory", last year we wanted to "Wake'Em Up" and this year it is "Plant the Flag". To me we're saying we are here, operating on all cylinders and a program that needs to be reckoned with.
VYPE: How did you all come up with "Plant the Flag"?
CARTER: My wife, Gretchen, did. We were sitting there talking one night and I was like 'What should our motto or war cry be this year?'. She said 'Plant the Flag'. My wife is a great coach's wife and she gets credit for the slogan this year.
VYPE: What does "Plant the Flag" mean to you?
CARTER: For me, it's nothing at all close to war. I am a history major, and I know symbolically what that means from teaching World War II. The flag is very symbolic that we're staking our claim. So, that's what it means to me. We don't want last year to be an anomaly; we want that to be every year and we want to build off last year.
VYPE: What's the next step for your program?
CARTER: I think all of us we're scared of success. When you're fighting to hit a target and you haven't hit it, you stay motivated. But then what do you do when you hit that target? We want to be a playoff team again and we want to win the first playoff game in school history. That's our mark, hopefully we hit it.
Players to Watch
Mason Duke (QB)Josiah Rice (OLB)David Pierre (OLB)Jayson Gipson (TE)Riley Banks (OT)Ethan Dyson (OT)LaJewel McGilbray (ILB)
The Foster Falcons strike a pose after their Bi-District playoff win.
Every now and then, you watch a high school football player in action and you just know: This kid is going to be a star on the next level.
Foster wide receiver Cody Jackson is one of those players.
Jackson and the Falcons were dominant in their 49-7 win over Goose Creek Memorial in the Bi-District round of the 5A-I Region III playoffs.
"He's [Jackson] a once in a lifetime type of guy," Foster head coach Shaun McDowell said. "He's the ultimate competitor. He wants the ball….[Cody] is a matchup problem. That's why he's going to OU."
VYPE POSTGAME: @FosterFootball head coach (@coach_mcdowell) on his team’s effort tonight, Cody Jackson and what his… https://t.co/LFJqaFIvXz — vypehouston (@vypehouston)
Foster QB Philip Amy made sure to get the ball to him early and often.
Jackson, who finished the game with two touchdown receptions (23 and 15 yards), looked the part of a D1 recruit. Lining up in both the slot and on the outside, Jackson was explosive, efficient and demanded at least two defenders on him for the entire second half.
His first touchdown of the game could easily be on a segment of ESPN's "You Got Mossed." The senior OU commit floated in the air and snatched the ball from the top of his defender's head. His second score, he showcased his speed on a screen play he took 23 yards, blowing by four different Patriot defenders.
Jackson, though, wasn't the only Falcon to have himself a game.
Senior RB Xavier Smallwood opened the scoring with a 91-yard burst through a hole for a touchdown. Smallwood added his second TD of the game with 6 minutes left in the second quarter, giving Foster a 28-0 lead, which they took to half. Fellow senior Anthony Prowell added another score on Foster's first drive of the 3rd quarter. Prowell and Smallwood each finished the game just shy of 100 yards rushing. Senior Parker Hearon capped the game with a late TD scamper to put the finishing touches on a dominant ground performance by Foster.
In the passing game, Amy certainly did not shy away from using his weapons. Jackson, Taribbean Ramirez and Kendal Stewart consistently saw shots down the field as Foster stretched the GCM defense thin.
Like Jackson, Ramirez earned himself a Top-10 worthy highlight catch in the 4th quarter for a 30-yard score, ripping the ball away from a GCM defender in the back of the endzone.
For Goose Creek Memorial, it was a bittersweet game. The Patriots ended a seven-year playoff drought, winning their last four games of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth.
Foster, though, was too much for GCM on both sides of the ball.
The Patriots' lone score of the game came on a 75-yard drive, capped by 10-yard touchdown pass from Mason Duke to sophomore Ben Gaston in the third quarter.
Foster now moves on to the Area round of the 5A-I playoffs, where the Falcons will face the winner of Cedar Park and SA Veterans Memorial.
“He’s a once in a lifetime player.” @OU_Football commit @THECodyJackson3 breaks down his performance in… https://t.co/Rl7FSXAL8p — vypehouston (@vypehouston)
The Falcons did have over 100 yards of penalties in the game, something Coach McDowell acknowledged his team would have to fix moving forward.
"We're an aggressive team and we're going to continue to be an aggressive team. We'll try to eliminate those penalties. They didn't really hurt us…but we've got to clean that up a bit."
With one game down, Jackson and the Falcons are happy with the win, but have bigger goals in their sights.
"The ultimate goal is state," Jackson said. "We think we're the best in the state."