Sharks in the Water

Shadow Creek Punches ticket to State Championship Game

Originally Appeared on VYPE

HOUSTON – Don't ever count them out.

Time and time again during this playoff run Shadow Creek has gotten down – trailing Porter 23-7 at the half and Foster 21-14 heading to the fourth quarter – and each of those instances it came back and won.

To keep its historic inaugural football season alive, Shadow Creek would need that kind of late-game heroics again.

Trailing 17-14, the Sharks used a 27-point fourth quarter, including a 100-yard missed field goal kick return by Ronald Nunnery Jr. and Shadow Creek defeated San Antonio Wagner 41-24 in the Class 5A Division I State Semifinal at NRG Stadium on Saturday.

"I just think that's kind of been our makeup," Shadow Creek coach Brad Butler said. "I hate that we have to get our back against the wall sometimes. Our attention to detail early wasn't great tonight on offense. Defense hung in there and played their tails off.

"When it got to crunch time we were able to make plays."Shadow Creek improves to 15-0 and will face back-to-back defending state champion Highland Park in the Class 5A Division I State Championship game on Saturday, December 22, with kickoff slated for 11 a.m. at AT&T Stadium.

"I knew we were going to be competitive," Butler said about the season. "It's really hats-off to our kids for buying into our coaching staff and our coaches have done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to help make this possible. We're just extremely excited right now."

The Sharks will try and become the first team since the 1982 Beaumont West Brook Bruins to win a state championship in their first varsity season. If the Sharks win they will be the first team since 1968 Lubbock Estacado to win a title in its first season and do so undefeated.

"It's the best feeling every," Shadow Creek quarterback Jamarian George said about making it to the state title game. "We've been hoping for this our whole lives. Best feeling ever."


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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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