One Of Many

El Campo junior running back Rueben Owens II runs with the ball away from West Columbia defenders Friday night on the road.  Also pictured is senior lineman Juan Leal looking to grab a block for Owens downfield. Owens on the night finished with six touchdowns and 380 yards of offense. The Ricebirds are now 8-1 on the season and play Needville at home next Friday night in the district finale.


El Campo junior running back Rueben Owens II had nearly 400 yards of offense and six touchdowns as the Ricebirds beat the West Columbia Roughnecks 63-41 Friday night at Griggs Field.

Owens on the ground rushed for 320 yards on 18 carries, five going for touchdowns. The junior running back, also caught a short pass from senior Isaiah Anderson, broke a tackle and scampered down the sidelines for a 60-yard touchdown.

“He’s got the chance to take it to the house every time he touches it,” El Campo head coach Chad Worrell said. “We’ve got other kids who can do that to but obviously he’s the one that’s really (taking advantage).”

The offense overall for the Ricebirds (8-1, 4-0) was hot all game long, breaking big plays and long runs against the West Columbia (5-3, 2-2) defense. El Campo was a yard shy of 650 yards of offense. While the offense was hot, the Ricebird defense had a tough time against the Roughnecks misdirection, but they made enough stops to pick up the win.

“Offense rolled and the defense got enough stops to get the win,” Worrell said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t play good enough defense but we played good enough to get stops. It mirrored the Brazosport game in a way. We had them down 28-7, but gave up the kickoff return and got them back into the game.”

Even with some momentum following the kick return for a touchdown, the West Columbia defense wasn’t able to slow El Campo.

The Ricebirds leading 28-14, marched down the field with an eight-play 70-yard drive to score again. 

Owens scored from four yards out, his thrid touchdown.

Owens’ speed and cutbacks was hard for West Columbia to handle Friday night as he averaged nearly 18 yards a carry.

West Columbia answered the Ricebirds score with a one-play 71-yard touchdown run to make it a 35-21 game.

El Campo retaliated with their own long score on the following possession. After a penalty set the Ricebirds back 15-yards, Owens, took the handoff, broke through the line and went up the field for a 69-yard touchdown.

West Columbia went three and out with a chance to respond to the score, punting the ball back to El Campo.

With two minutes left in the half El Campo went on a quick three-play drive, capped off by an Owens 60-yard catch and run for a touchdown, to go ahead 49-21 as the half came to an end.

“Our offensive coaches, the offensive line, running backs, quarterbacks, the whole offense as a whole is just rolling,” Worrell said. “Sometimes you just have to outscore people.”

El Campo’s offense scored twice more in the second half. This was the third time this season, the Ricebirds have scored at least 60 points.

The Ricebirds next Friday night will be home for the Needville Bluejays in the regular-season finale. Needville Friday night picked up a 56-6 win over Bay City.

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