A pass intended for Blue Team sophomore Elysia Graciano (with hands extneded) falls incomplete during the first half. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

After a scoreless first half, the Houston High School seniors and freshmen scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to beat the juniors and sophomores 14-0 in a Powderpuff Football Game Thursday night in Tiger Stadium.

Despite cold conditions, the two squads battled through a pair 20-minute halves, with the clock running continuously until the 2-minute mark of each period when it would stop for incomplete passes or when a runner went out-of-bounds. The seniors and freshmen wore pink and were led by senior head coach Harold Lassiter and freshman assistant coach DJ Riley, while the juniors and sophomores wore blue and were guided by junior head coach Wyatt Hughes and sophomore assistant Jordan Arthur. Each team was allowed 2 timeouts per half.

Midway through the first half, the Blue Team threatened when junior Angie Smith ran 42 yards to the Pink 5-yard line. But moments later, Pink senior Olivia Crites intercepted a pass near the 1-yard line and returned it to the 10.

Pink Team senior Olivia Crites takes the ball the other way after intercepting a pass at the 1-yard line during the first half.

The Pinks subsequently moved the ball deep into Blue territory and had a first down at the 16-yard line after two big gains on runs by senior Katie Jo Chipps. But the Blue defense held its ground and the Pinks turned the ball over on downs at the 10 with about 4 seconds remaining in the half.

Then on the first play of the second half, Chipps took a hand-off from Arthur and ran 65 yards down the right side of the field for a touchdown. After senior Karlee Curtis ran left for a 2-point conversion, the Pinks were ahead 8-0.

Beginning the next series at their own 35-yard line, the Blue Team proceeded to mount a drive lasting about 13 minutes, only to turn the ball over on downs at the Pink 18 with 6:20 to go in the contest.

The Pink squad took advantage and moved the ball again, earning a first down at the Blue 42 after the speedy Chipps motored for another 35 yards.

Pink Team senior Olivia Crites tries to snatch a flag off of a spinning Blue Team junior Angie Smith during the second half.

Then with 56 seconds left in the game, Curtis took a hand off from QB Arthur and ran 26 yards for a touchdown, using a timely spin move to avoid being stopped just before crossing the goal line. A 2-point run failed, but the final score was on the board.

Arthur also had an interception for the Pinks in the first half, while Smith was a defensive force for the Blues, recording 6 tackles in the first half and 5 more in the second half.

The contest was a fundraiser for the HHS H Club, an organization for student-athletes who have lettered in any varsity sport that “strives to promote school pride and support within the athletic department.”

Pink Team head coach Harold Lassiter talks with his players during a time out in the first half.

2022 HHS POWDERPUFF GAME ROSTERS

Pink Team (Seniors/Freshmen)

Gracie Alexander, 12

Makenzi Arthur, 12

Mackenzie Bryan, 12

Katie Chipps, 12

Olivia Crites, 12

Karlee Curtis, 12

Karly Drake, 12

Madi Reed, 12

Isabel Richardson, 12

Emma Scroggins, 12

Aliyah Walker, 12

Natalie Clinton, 9

Carli Cummins, 9

Loran Drake, 9

Halie Hamilton, 9

Madison Meier, 9

Gracyn McNiell, 9

Addison Neugebauer, 9

Shiane Parish, 9

Kayla Wagner, 9

Maggie Wolfe, 9

Blue Team (Juniors/Sophomores)

Addison Cook, 11

Anna Gale, 11

Honey Hickman, 11

Kelsey Pritchett, 11

Mikendra Ramsey, 11

Angie Smith, 11

Kyra Bloomer, 10

Micah Chipps, 10

Elysia Graciano, 10

Morgan McKinney, 10

McKenzi Postlewait, 10

Claire Shelton, 10

Madison Thomas, 10

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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