“More than Football”: Magical Football Season Helps Community Heal

ABC13 Eyewitness News


Lauryn Olivarez

The Cougars celebrate after winning in the playoffs.

Ashton Lux, Head Sports Editor

The magical, Tomball Varsity Football playoff run came to an end in the Regional’s with a matchup against the nationally ranked Desoto Eagles, 38-14. This playoff run leaves its mark in the history books as for the first time in over thirty years, since the 1989 season, that Tomball had made the playoffs in back-to-back years as well as following up last year’s 2021-2022 Cinderella playoff run that went all the way to the State Semifinals.

At the beginning of the year, not many imagined that it would go as far, especially after starting the year 0-2 which was far from ideal but that quickly changed. In week three, a 34-21 win over Pearland Dawson was all that was needed to spark a 5-0 district run that secured a playoff spot with a two-overtime win over Klein Forest, 20-17.

After the win over Klein Forest, two losses were to come against Klein Collins and Klein Cain. Even after losing the last two games of district play, Tomball’s first-place playoff position for Division II was secured, giving the Cougars home-field advantage in the Bi-District Round against Cy Woods.

Going into round one, many doubted them, claiming that they were “underdogs” as for many, this would be the first time that they had been in this position as well as facing some star defensive power that the Wildcats hosted.

 “I know for sure that everyone has stepped up, we get on each other about everything, correcting each other, and coaching each other, holding each other accountable,” Senior offensive lineman Abram Nicklas said. “Obviously you have to take into account who they are and respect them but as far as the game goes we have not switched much up, we are still going to run the ball, still do what we do best,”.

Tomball did what they did best as they secured another week of Football with a dominating 30-3 win over Cy Woods, punching their ticket to the Area Championship. Running back Christian Womack led the charge as he rushed for 283 yards with four touchdowns, giving him and the Cougars much-needed momentum heading into the second round.  

The Area Championship would be an even bigger test against New Caney who had an undefeated, regular season going 11-0. 

During the first half of play, which was dominated by both defenses keeping it scoreless, all odds were out of the question, from that point on, it was about whoever had the most heart.

Heading into the fourth quarter the Eagles were up 13-3 with 5 minutes left, Running back Christian Womack cut the lead down to three giving the defense an opportunity to get the ball back.

After the late-game turnover from the Eagles, the Cougar offense had to complete the two-minute drill.

After driving downfield, with twenty seconds left, Christian Womack did what he does best, putting the team on his back and scoring, giving them the lead 16-13 but the point-after attempt was blocked by the eagles and returned for a safety cutting the lead to 16-15.

On the last play of the game, the Cougar defense showed up and deflected the pass, once again in favor of Tomball, punching their ticket to the Regional’s in Pflugerville.

After a hard-fought game, the season, unfortunately, came to an end as Tomball fell short to the 2022 6A Division II State Champions, Desoto.

With everything aside, all of the wins, recognition, and accolades over the last two seasons, this season was recognized as being “more than football”. The season was dedicated to the Collins family, who lost so much last summer, and Alexis Hirsch, a student who passed from illness early in the summer. After the tragedies that our community was struck with, people needed hope which this level of success was able to provide.