NEEDVILLE — Too many mistakes and too much of running back Ashton Stredick left the Columbia Roughnecks tasting defeat for the first time this season, losing to Needville 34-17 Friday night in a key District 13-4A Division I game.
The victory moves the Blue Jays (6-1 overall) to 3-0 in the district standings while Columbia (5-1 overall) had its district mark evened at 1-1.
Columbia had four turnovers in the contest as well as a bad punt snap that led to one of the Blue Jays’ touchdowns.
Stredick, after a slow start, manhandled the Columbia defense for 303 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
“We turned the ball over too much and Needville took advantage of that,” Columbia coach Brent Mascheck said. “Then they made some big plays. Their running back Stredick — he is who he is. He’s pretty dang good. He broke a couple of long ones that hurt us.”
Needville took a 6-0 lead when quarterback Trevor Baker connected with Vincent Villarreal on a 51-yard touchdown pass with 5:33 left in the first quarter. The play capped a 75-yard scoring drive that came after a missed 37-yard field goal by Columbia.
Disaster struck with 4:15 left in the first quarter when a bad punt snap was recovered by Needville’s Xavier Lott. One play later, Stredick scored his first touchdown of the night on a 1-yard plunge to help put the Blue Jays up 13-0.
Columbia got on the scoreboard with 1:47 left in the second quarter when quarterback Cameron Ward scored on a 1-yard sneak to finish off a 50-yard drive. Luke Arias, who finished the game with 90 yards rushing, had a key 23-yard run on the drive.
The Roughnecks had driven inside the Needville 20 twice before the scoring drive but were stopped both times on fourth-down plays by the Blue Jay defense.
“Offensively we had some chances, and we couldn’t take advantage of them,” Mascheck said.
Columbia looked as though it gained some momentum on the ensuing kickoff when Koby Herrera recovered a Needville fumble at the Blue Jay 15. Columbia fumbled the ball right back with 1:06 left in the first half to kill that threat.
The Columbia defense sacked Baker at the Blue Jay 1 just before halftime, but on the next play, Stredick broke loose on a 99-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds remaining to put the Jays up 20-7.
The Roughnecks started the second half with a 64-yard touchdown drive that was finished off by a 4-yard scoring run by Arias with 8:29 left in the third quarter. The score cut the Needville advantage to 20-14.
The Jays answered with a 64-yard drive Stredick finished with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
With 1:29 left in the third quarter, Jalen Austin recovered a Blue Jay fumble at the Needville 10. All Columbia could get out of it was a 30-yard field goal by Juan Rosas to cut the advantage to 27-17.
Stredick struck again with no time left in the third quarter as he broke loose on an 88-yard touchdown run.
Needville’s Matthew Herrera had an interception and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to stop Columbia drives.
Columbia comes home next Friday night to take on Fulshear in another District 13-4A Division I game.
“We’ve got to regroup now and get ready to play against Fulshear,” Mascheck said. “It’s a tough loss, but it only counts as one loss, so it’s time to move on.”