Your password needs to be at least 8 characters and one number.
Cinco Ranch is 6-2, 5-1 in District 19-6A, heading into next week's showdown with undefeated Katy.
KATY—A lot has gone Cinco Ranch’s way this season.
The prolific offense has looked spectacular every game. The defense has held its own when it matters most, coming up with clutch, timely stops as needed.
But Friday, the Cougars showed they can win when things aren’t going as desired.
In a game that featured three lead changes and a relentless Paetow team desperate for any positive news after a tumultuous week, Cinco Ranch pulled out a 35-24 win at Rhodes Stadium to go to 6-2 overall, 5-1 in District 19-6A.
Paetow lost its third straight game and fell to 3-4, 2-3.
“We know every game is going to be different,” said Cinco Ranch senior quarterback Gavin Rutherford, who only competed nine of 30 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns to two interceptions but had a career-night rushing with 191 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. “Not every game is going to be a blowout and not every game we’re going to be clicking. But these types of games help us grow. We didn’t do our best, had some busts and missed passes, but it’s a good win. One more point than them is what matters.”
\u201c.@cincofb 2023 QB @GavinRutherfo12 talks about tonight\u2019s 35-24 win over Paetow. Rutherford completed only nine passes for 130 yards and 2 TDs to 2 INTs but had a career-best night with 191 yards and 3 TDs on 12 carries. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @CincoAthletics @KPRC2RandyMc\u201d — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
The win sets up a huge showdown next week against Katy for the Cougars, reviving a once-intense rivalry. Cinco Ranch finds itself back where it was in the 2000s and mid-2010s when it was challenging the Tigers consistently for district championships.
A win next Friday can tie Cinco Ranch with Katy in the district standings with one game left. The Cougars’ last district title was 2008. From 2004-2017, Cinco Ranch was runner-up to Katy in the district 11 times.
“It’s a big game and we’re not shying away from that,” Cinco Ranch coach Chris Dudley said. “Our kids are embracing that. They’re a team that’s really good, like they always are. But we expect to go out there and compete. Just for Katy ISD and the area, it’s great to have Katy, who’s been there consistently, and now us back to where we’re in those games.”
To get there, Paetow—now under interim head coach David Hicks Sr., who took over this week when former head coach Lonnie Teagle resigned amidst allegations of inappropriate behavior with a student—gave Cinco Ranch all it could handle.
The Panthers’ talented and highly-recruited secondary was a problem all evening, with sophomore Deyjhon Pettaway, senior Christian Paz, senior Christian Hurd and senior Cortez Hunter swarming the perimeter, while junior Loghan Thomas, senior David Hicks Jr. and others up front got pressure on Rutherford early and often.
\u201c.@PaetowFootball takes the lead in spectacular fashion. @christian_hurd1 91-yard pick-6. Panthers up 14-7, 7:45, 3Q. Second takeaway for Paetow tonight. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @PaetowHS_ABC @PaetowAthletics\u201d — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
At halftime, the Panthers limited a Cinco Ranch offense that entered averaging 49.7 points per game to seven points, with Rutherford completing just five of 20 passes.
“They’re a really solid defense,” Rutherford said. “They’re good in coverage. You see the stars out there. We just have to do better.”
In the second half, however, the Cougars turned Katy ISD’s career leader in passing yards, completions and touchdowns loose in a different way—with his legs.
\u201cThere\u2019s that man again! Katy ISD\u2019s career leader in passing yards and TDs @GavinRutherfo12 gets his second rushing TD of the quarter, this one a 62-yarder that puts @cincofb ahead 21-14, 2:15, 3Q. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @ChrisDudley40 @CincoAthletics\u201d — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
Rutherford had seven carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns in the final two quarters, adding a 15-yard touchdown throw on a screen pass to senior Noah Abboud for good measure for his second passing touchdown.
“Gavin was able to find some looks and extend plays with his legs,” Dudley said. “It’s a strength for him. He’s not too proud to just stay back there and chuck it all the time. If he sees an opening, he’s going to scramble. He’s not afraid to lower his shoulder against everybody. It’s the competitor in him.”
After Hurd began the third quarter with a dazzling 91-yard interception return for a score, Cinco Ranch scored on its next three drives, the first two on Rutherford runs.
Whenever the offense got stale, the Cougars’ defense amped up, forcing two turnovers and two turnover-on-downs in the second half.
Junior defensive back Taytum Johnson’s interception of Brock Nichols with 3:23 left in the fourth quarter and senior Eric Eckstrom’s recovery of a muffed punt on the next drive were big-time.
“Paetow’s coaching staff was talking crazy the whole game,” Johnson said. “They tried to throw it a couple times. He threw it and it was just floating in the air. I knew I could come down with it.”
Johnson, whose instincts and athleticism Dudley praised after the game, has an interception in each of the last three games.
“I’m reading my keys better, taking better read steps,” Johnson said. “Just doing what my coaches told me to do. Just read the quarterback’s eyes. They take me to the play every time.”
\u201c.@cincofb 2024 DB @TaytumJohnson discusses tonight\u2019s 35-24 win over Paetow. Johnson has interceptions in each of the Cougars\u2019 last three games, including a huge one tonight late in the fourth quarter that helped secure the win. #txhsfb @CincoAthletics @ChrisDudley40 @KPRC2RandyMc\u201d — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
Now the Cougars can focus on Katy, a matchup they were clearly excited about after the Paetow win.
“Everybody wants to beat Katy,” Rutherford said. “Cinco was the last one to do it before Tompkins two years ago. It’s our turn to do it again. We have to execute. We’re going to have to play good, but so do they.
“It’s going to be a dog fight next week.”
Paetow head football coach Lonnie Teagle, middle, is pictured with players at VYPE's Media Day in June at Tomball ISD Stadium. Sources confirmed Tuesday that Teagle has stepped down from his position.
Paetow head football coach Lonnie Teagle stepped down from his position Tuesday during an inquiry by Katy ISD Police into an allegation of inappropriate contact with a student.
Assistant coach David Hicks Sr. has been named interim head coach.
Teagle was in his first year at the helm of the Panthers. Paetow is 3-3 overall, 2-2 in District 19-6A play.
Teagle’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are no longer active. Katy ISD’s Paetow coaches directory shows the campus athletic coordinator, which Teagle served as, as “TBD.”
Katy ISD said in a statement released to VYPE Tuesday afternoon:
"The Katy ISD Police has investigated an allegation concerning a former head football coach. The individual resigned during the inquiry and the case has since been referred to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The safety of Katy ISD students and staff is the District’s top priority. Whenever the District is made aware of an allegation, the accused is immediately removed from their District assignment(s), while District personnel work swiftly with law enforcement and other agencies to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the safety and well-being of all students."
Offensive coordinator Trey Payne is also no longer with the program.
\u201cLet it be know that Trey Payne\u2019s resignation was completely separate from Lonnie Teagle\u2019s resignation. Two separate entities. Thank you.\u201d — Trey Payne, M. Ed (@Trey Payne, M. Ed)
The coaches directory states Matt Rhodes as the new offensive coordinator.
Defensive coordinator Stephen Howard remains.
Teagle took over a Paetow program in the spring that won the Class 5A-Division I state title last year, the second school in Katy ISD to win a football state championship. He was hired following the departure of B.J. Gotte to Pearland High School.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Teagle, a Missouri City native and 2001 graduate of Fort Bend Elkins High.
“Our family has desired to come back home and back to the Houston area where all of our family is,” Teagle said at the time of his hiring. “This is an unbelievable opportunity to come to Paetow, where they’re coming off winning a state championship, in Katy ISD, one of the premier districts in the state of Texas. It was a no-brainer.”
Teagle spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Denton Ryan. He was hired as running backs coach in 2019 before being promoted in the summer of 2020. He helped the Raiders to the Class 5A-Division I state runner-up finish in 2019 and the state championship in 2020.
Hicks Sr., a former standout linebacker at Grambling State who spent time in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, is the father of Paetow senior defensive end David “DJ” Hicks Jr., a five-star recruit, Texas A&M commit and the No. 9 overall prospect in the nation for the Class of 2023.
Hicks Sr. has also been an assistant coach at Allen High School and defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Morton Ranch High School, where Hicks Jr. spent the first two years of his high school career.
Paetow plays Cinco Ranch (5-2, 4-1 district) in a game with considerable District 19-6A playoff implications at 7 p.m. Friday at Rhodes Stadium in Katy.