By Colby Gordon – American-Statesman correspondent
Photo – John Gutierrez/Special to American-Statesman
If you’re looking at which school in Central Texas has the most dynamic offensive duo, Stony Point is certainly in the running.
Senior running back Cameron Cook and senior wideout Braylon James are likely to give defensive coordinators nightmares in preparation, with both heading to major college football programs next year — Cook is pledged to TCU and James to Notre Dame — and having the talent to break loose for a touchdown at any moment.
They showed off their skills in a 55-7 rout of Pflugerville on Thursday night at the Pfield in the final nondistrict game for both teams, as Cook finished with 200 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns, while James hauled in four passes for 113 yards and a score.
“We just kind of let the kids get out in space and make plays,” longtime Stony Point coach Craig Chessher said. “We run a play, and if they’re better than someone else — it’s fun to watch. Talent is a good thing to have … and our offensive line is also playing really well.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to impress Thursday.
Cook sprinted 48 yards to open the scoring early in the first quarter, and James caught a 6-yard TD pass from Ivan Villegas on Stony Point’s next possession.
Cook scored on runs of 29 and 3 yards later in the half. James’ highlight came early in the second quarter, when he took a short pass near the visitors’ sideline and sprinted 67 yards past the defense before getting knocked out at the Panther 1-yard line.
“Defenses can’t just focus on one thing against us,” Cook said. “(James) provides a great outside threat, and they can’t just stack the box to stop the run.”
Kory Thomas dove into the end zone after James’ big play, and the Tigers led 42-0 at the break after Cook took a screen pass from Villegas and zigzagged 52 yards for a TD.
Skylar Hausenfluck (18 yards) and Hayden Cartwright-Shirey (37 yards) ran for touchdowns in the second half as part of a Stony Point rushing attack that finished with 290 yards.
Though Cook and James will get most of the headlines and attention, Villegas noted that the Tigers have plenty of options.
“Having those guys helps open up the field a lot, and they’re definitely our two star players, being Division I commits, and I’m happy to have them,” said Villegas, who went 8-for-10 through the air for 197 yards. “But people don’t know about some of our other guys like Caden Harris and Mike Cress on the other side of the field who can do good things as well. And the offensive line has done a great job blocking for everyone.”
Pflugerville (0-3) was paced by Matthew Tryon Jr.’s 73 yards and a touchdown on the ground as it finished its nondistrict slate winless after playing all Class 6A schools who entered Friday a combined 7-0. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers — who have a pretty good backfield with Tryon and Jake Iloka — finish in the upper half of District 11-5A Division II and in the playoffs when all is said and done.
“That’s a good team and a well-coached team,” Chessher said. “I think they’ll be fine the rest of the way.”
As for Stony Point, maybe it isn’t Westlake — then again, who is? — but with Cook, James and a plethora of other skill players, the Tigers will be a tough out for anyone in District 25-6A.
And we should know more about them after their next two games.
They will play perennial powers Vandegrift — though James will miss the first half after being disqualified in the second quarter Thursday — and Round Rock to open district play.
“It feels good to be 3-0, and we’ll enjoy this tonight, but we understand we have some tougher competition coming up,” Chessher said. “I don’t know if we’re quite ready for prime time, but we’re going to find out really quick. Hopefully we can be ready for that.”