SHENANDOAH — Robert E. Lee senior quarterback Joseph Seeber passed for a season-best 188 yards and two touchdowns, but the Red Raiders’ attempt to end The Woodlands’ regular season win streak was not meant to be.
The Woodlands’ defense stiffened to deny four straight Seeber passes to hold off Lee’s rally attempt and beat the Red Raiders, 23-15, on Friday at Woodforest Bank Stadium.
The loss dropped Lee to 1-3 on the season and increased its road losing streak to seven while The Woodlands (4-0) has now won 25 straight regular season games.
Playing without leading ball carrier LaQuintas Wallace and fullback Marcus White, the Red Raiders’ rushing attack struggled against a determined Highlanders defense. Lee entered the contest averaging 275 yards per game, but was held to a season-worst 43 yards on 22 attempts.
Seeber did his best to pick up the slack as Lee aired it out like he hadn’t done yet this season. The second-year quarterback had attempted just 32 passes in the Red Raiders first three games. He finished 14 of 31 on this night and without a few drops would’ve had even more.
Both of Seeber’s touchdowns went to Dalaven Baker (30 and 8 yards), the second of which pulled Lee within eight points in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Richardson led the team with five catches for 34 yards while Aneas Sutton caught two for 68 yards and Baker accounted for 35 yards rushing and 30 receiving in the loss.
The Woodlands quarterback Lance Miles passed for 213 yards and two touchdowns and also had 69 yards rushing.
The Red Raiders spotted the home side nine points before getting on the board in the second quarter. Lee had punted on it first three drives, but on second-and-10 from its own 33, Seeber faked to Baker on play action and hit a wide-open Sutton. The ball was underthrown a little, but Sutton went back and caught it before running for a few more yards finally being brought down after a 54-yard gain.
Seeber capped the drive when he rolled out and eluded a blitzing linebacker to buy enough time for an 8-yard touchdown strike to Baker. Lumi Kaba’s extra point was blocked — the third week in a row that REL has suffered a blocked PAT — to make the score 9-6 with 7:38 left in the second quarter.
The Red Raiders then forced a fumble with Austin Campbell recovering it and setting Lee up at the Woodlands 33. Lee moved to the 11 before settling for a Kaba 28-yard field goal to tie the game 9-9 with 3:11 remaining in the half.
The Woodlands responded with a 68-yard drive that ended with a Marshall Bainton booting his second field goal of the half for a 12-9 score at the break.
Both offenses struggled to find rhythm in the third quarter until a Lee turnover enabled The Woodlands to go in front for good. On second-and-9, Seeber invited the rush and lofted a screen pass, but Highlanders defensive lineman Will Davidson read it and leapt up for an interception.
Lee’s defense held and Bainton made it 15-9 with a 31-yard field goal.
The Red Raiders went three-and-out on successive drives with The Woodlands finally putting together a drive of their own, going 87 yards in nine players, helped by two first downs on Lee penalties. Miles capped with a 22-yard touchdown pass on a screen to Blake Webb. Miles then ran in the two-point conversion to make it 23-9 with 7:01 left to play.
Lee needed an answer and Seeber provided it. The senior quarterback completed five passes on a 10-play 74 yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown screen pass to Baker.
Lee needed to get the ball back and the defense accomplished it, with just under two minutes left and two timeouts, but four incompletions enabled the home side to run out the clock for the win.
The Woodlands next meet Humble Atascocita while the Red Raiders face Beaumont West Brook at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Woodlands 23, Robert E. Lee 15
At Woodforest Bank Stadium, Shenendoah
Robert E. Lee 0 9 0 6 – 15
The Woodlands 9 3 3 8 – 23
TW—Jayme Taylor 19 pass from Lance Miles (kick blocked), 5:30
TW—FG Marshall Bainton 39, :55
REL—Dalaven Baker 8 pass from Joseph Seeber (kick failed), 7:38
REL—FG Lumi Kaba 28, 3:11
TW—FG Bainton 27, :02
TW—FG Bainton 30, 1:26
TW—Blake Webb 22 pass from Miles (Miles run), 7:01
REL—Baker 30 pass from Seeber (kick failed), 5:07
First Downs 13 21
Rushes-Yards 22-43 39-178
Passing Yards 188 224
Comp-Att-Int 14-31-1 20-36-0
Punts-Average 6-44.3 4-31.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-41 7-65
RUSHING – Robert E. Lee, Dalaven Baker 10-35, Joseph Seeber 8-13, Aneas Sutton 3-1, Jordan Richardson 1-(minus 6); The Woodlands, Randy Cooper 14-69, Lance Miles 11-69, Ryan Trauffler 11-38, Christian Jauregui 1-4, Cooper Woodyard 1-2, Team 1-(minus 4).
PASSING – Robert E. Lee, Seeber 14-31-1 188; The Woodlands, Miles 18-33-0 213, Woodyard 2-3-0 11.
RECEIVING – Robert E. Lee, Richardson 5-34, Diondre Allen 3-33, Baker 3-30, Aneas Sutton 2-68, Dreak Scott 2-15. The Woodlands, Blake Webb 6-48, Jauregui 4-56, Cameron Klapesky 4-29, Charlie Warren 1-14, Jayme Taylor 3-56, Cooper 1-15, Houston Brown 1-6.