By Rodney Hays
The scene after Friday night’s loss to The Colony looked as if Prosper players and coaches had just lost a season-ending game. And perhaps it was because the 28-21 loss to the Cougars could mean the postseason is all but unattainable for the Eagles.
Prosper’s loss puts the team at 0-4 in district play and in a tie for last place with Little Elm. But during the game the Eagles looked determined to outplay the undefeated Cougars.
Prosper fought toe-to-toe with The Colony all night, matching the Cougars in total offense (320 for both teams), first downs (18) and out rushing a team that has dominated the ground game (285 for PHS and 272 for The Colony).
The Colony took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter when the Eagles went on a 75-yard march with Marquez Houston scoring from 14 yards out to put the Eagles within one score at 14-7. The Colony took advantage of the ensuing kickoff and started at the Prosper 31-yard-line and seven plays later punched in another score for a 21-7 halftime lead.
Houston scored again early in the third quarter to close the gap to one score again at 21-14. Later in the third, Houston broke several tackles and looked to be stopped at least three times on his way to a 72-yard game-tying touchdown run. Houston finished the night with 177 yards on 20 carries and all three Eagle scores.
With the game tied at 21, the Eagles defense were charged with the task of keeping The Colony out of the end zone and giving their offense a chance to win. But running back Bryan Hammond proved too much. On The Colony’s first possession of the fourth quarter, the Cougars went 63 yards to make it a 28-21 game. Hammond had 36 yards on the drive, including the 1-yard dive for the final score. Hammond finished with 247 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles had one more chance but could not get the ball past the Cougars 45-yard-line.
"I thought our kids played hard tonight and I was proud of them," Kent Scott said after the game. "They aren’t taking anything back to the locker room. They left it all on the field,"
Scott said the team’s chances of a postseason berth are "slim, but not completely out of the realm of possibility."
For Prosper to advance to the postseason, they would have to win the remaining three games and get losses from Frisco and Frisco Wakeland. Prosper could help themselves with one of those games when they face Frisco in the last game of the regular season.
He said these next three games will say a lot about the character of this football team.
"This one is going to hurt," Scott said about the loss to The Colony. "[The team] is going to be questioning a lot of things. But over the next three games, we are going to find out what they are made of."
He said he told the team this week about the mark of a man. "It’s not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up," Scott said. "Sometimes the hardest time to get up is when you don’t see a payoff at the end."
Regardless, Scott said he wants to see the team continue to improve.
"At the end of the year, if you can look back and say you were better in week 10 than you were in week zero, then they could be proud of what they have done," he said.
This week, the Eagles will travel to Little Elm, with both teams looking for their first district win. The Lobos suffered a 36-21 loss to Frisco Heritage last week. Kickoff for the game is Friday night at 7 p.m.