War of the Woods Ends In Cavalier Victory

Isabella Carlin , Reporter

It was a game like no other. One that TWCP students new and old will always remember. The Woodland Highlanders and College Park Cavaliers entered the district championship Friday night with equal district records (4-0) and crowds of fans ready to cheer their teams to a victory. The Cavaliers had a slight advantage over the Highlanders as their overall record was 7-1 and the Highlanders’ was 5-2. This matchup was sure to be nothing short of exciting for the two teams. 

Ever since College Park first opened its doors in 2005, the Cavaliers have never won a district title and have only won once against their neighboring rivals, The Woodlands Highlanders. The 2020-2021 powerhouse team changed that on Friday night. 

College Park began the game quickly as junior, Joe Golden was able to intercept The Woodlands and give CP their first possession of the night. However, that would only begin the battle of the turnovers as the ball was recovered by the Highlanders after a CP fumble. Both offenses struggled to get something started throughout the first quarter. That was until The Woodland’s Teddy Knox was able to sprint 93 yards to score the first touchdown of the night with 4.5 minutes left on the clock. Even though the Woodlands was able to strike first, CP’s passion and energy on the field would drive them to fight even harder for the title. 

Before the 1st quarter concluded, a 37-yard rush by CP junior, Holden Rook allowed for Alex Brigman to make it to the end zone at the beginning of the second quarter. This play tied the game (7-7). Harrison Helton’s interception set up the next big move by the Cavaliers as quarterback, Hank Hudson was able to connect with Rook on a 45-yard reception. This gain by the Cavaliers gave them the lead for the first time of the night. However, a big 3rd down play by The Woodland’s Cade Moore set up the Highlander’s 8-yard touchdown run by Mabrey Mettauer and tied up the game once again (14-14) heading into halftime. 

The first half of the game consisted of the teams trading touchdowns and multiple turnovers. CP’s Golden and Helton were responsible for interceptions while Harris was involved in a fumble recovery. Bradley Warren of The Woodlands recovered two fumbles for the team as well. 

The 3rd quarter began slowly as the Cavaliers waited until the last few minutes to work their magic. A good punt by CP gave TWHS 91 yards to find the end zone. CP’s Conner Dunphy throw to Alex Brigman allowed for CP to be situated at the 4-yard line. This allowed for Cody Mladenka to easily score and put more points on the board for CP (21-14). However, The Woodlands were looking to respond and they did just that. Ben Ferguson completed a 48-yard touchdown reception tying up the game once again (21-21). 

Heading into the 4th quarter, each individual play was becoming more and more important as the teams consecutively continued to respond back and forth with one another. The Highlander’s Mettauer broke the tie with another touchdown and The Woodlands finally gained their lead from the first quarterback. That was until a 50-yard touchdown by CP’s Michael Perry tied the game once again. The Woodland’s 26-yard field goal edged the team to lead (31-28) in the last 4 minutes. 

A 49-yard pass to CP’s Mladenka situated the team well inside Woodland’s territory and kept hopes alive for the team. In what seemed a flawless play, CP junior, Dylon Deangelo scored the game-winning touchdown and secured the district title for the Cavaliers for the first time in school history. The game finished with a 35-31 score with the Cavaliers topping the Highlanders. 

College Park did not only become the 6A-13 district champions Friday night but snapped a 12-game losing streak against the Highlanders. This was truly a monumental celebration for the Cavaliers and the perfect way to enter the upcoming playoffs.

CP and TWHS will both be competing in playoffs the week of December 10th-12th. In the meantime, it is finally time to recognize that there are new champions in town- the College Park Cavaliers.