HOUSTON — On Saturday, the group ran out of gas, both literally and physically. Georgetown’s fast-paced, high-powered offense moved the ball up and down the field. With two-way starters, the Bulldogs had to go deep into their conditioning to stay afloat.
Maybe it didn’t mean anything to the outcome of the game, but it was also those seniors who drove down the field with time ticking off in the fourth quarter. Tyler Spell caught his second pass of the season for a first down. Senior receiver Brandon Self also picked up a first down on a reception from Raines. Senior tight end Bo Stewart did too.
To cap it all off, Raines found Zach Taylor with a 15-yard pass on a flare out of the backfield with 1 minute, 37 seconds to play. With that, this senior group helped Nederland avoid being shut out for the first time since a 63-0 drubbing by Dayton in 2007.
“I’m proud of the courage and determination of this group of young men,” Nederland head coach Larry Neumann said. “So many of our players have given so much of themselves to get to where we are tonight. There’s some disappointment, but it won’t last as long as the positive things they’ve done this year. I told our seniors how great they were in their leadership to our younger guys.
“They’ve been excellent examples. We were a pretty good football team last year and we built on that this year. After the disappointment of tonight wears off, we’ll get refocused on where we need to be.”
Nederland returns a host of players next season. Tailback Kendrick Hopkins, who was hampered by an AC separation in his shoulder for much of the season, finished the year with 1,722 rushing yards. Defensive end De Shawn Washington, who had three pressures and half a sack against Georgetown, should be a highly recruited piece of the defensive line next season. They’ll be joined by a host of other players who contributed a lot to Nederland’s success and should do the same next year.