Attitude pushing Friendswood
Even on the rare occasion when the Mustangs are outscored, like in a recent 21-20 heartbreaker at Santa Fe, Friendswood senior quarterback Peter Maetzold and his teammates refuse to lose.
And up until that one-point loss on a missed extra point with eight seconds to go, Friendswood had a goose egg in the loss column, and much of the reason was the team's never-say-die attitude that's fueled by the Fordham University-bound Maetzold.
"We believe in our game plan and coaches, and they believe in us, and that gives us a lot of confidence," Maetzold said. "I look around the sideline, and there's never any panic in my teammates or the coaches."
The Mustangs have overcome several deficits this season, like being down 21-0 to Manvel before winning 41-37, and it almost worked against Santa Fe when Maetzold actually caught a touchdown pass on a trick play with only seconds remaining, but a kick wide right left Friendswood at 8-1 overall, and 4-1 and in first place in 24-4A.
"We can still win an outright district championship, and a state championship for that matter, but we were very disappointed in the outcome at Santa Fe," Friendswood coach Steve Van Meter said. "Santa Fe played very well on a night when we didn't, and you have to give them credit, but we didn't help ourselves with five turnovers and seven dropped passes.
"They found a lot of ways to win, and we found a lot of ways to lose, and you can't put yourself in holes like that and expect to be successful."
Friendswood also lost to Santa Fe by a point (29-28) last season before winning seven in a row and reaching the region finals.
"That was the turning point last year," Maetzold said.
Van Meter added: "It's hard to go 10-0 at any level, and now that we didn't, hopefully we can become a better team because of the loss," Van Meter said. "It's said that you learn more from a loss than a win, and maybe it came at a time when we can make it a fresh start and look back at it as something we turned into a positive."
The Mustangs worked on fundamentals during an open week last week and they host Texas City at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, on the final evening of district.
A victory gives Friendswood a district championship and a good feeling heading into the postseason.
"We have a number of players like Maetzold who have a knack of making plays in pressure situations, and they've made a ton of them, so we're confident we'll bounce back strong," Van Meter said. "We're a mature team, but we just didn't play that way against Santa Fe, and it cost us.
"It's something the players hopefully learned from, and they should know more than ever you have to take one at a time."