Neal Spoke Playoff Win Into Reality

While we love bringing you a good portion of high school news and updates, we also want to feature some of the state's top athletes. Today, we feature Atascocita running back Jarvis Neal.

This past Thursday, the lone game in the Greater Houston area was at Galena Park ISD Stadium between Houston Chavez and Atascocita. In a game that went back and forth through four quarters and then some, it was the Eagles earning the postseason win in overtime 43-37.

"Coming into this game we felt we could not be denied and this was not going to be that last game for seniors," Atascocita running back Jarvis Neal said. "We knew we were going to get it into the end zone. It did not matter how it got done. That was it."

Many key elements went into this Atascocita win, but if a player of the game were crowned, Neal would have at least been in the conversation as a nominee. Through the first half, the 5-foot-8, 190-pound Neal was in the rotation, but was not making the noise he did late in the game.

It was the fourth quarter when Neal turned the game up to another level. With his team down late in the game, Neal made an affirmation that resonated throughout the entire Eagle squad.

"I told them after that score that there will be no quitting and no giving up," Neal said in regards to Chavez's score with 1:17 left in regulation.

So Atascocita went to work, mainly by pass, as time was not on the Eagles' side. It was Pablo Beltran who ended the game with a 36-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

Chavez started with the ball and in four downs was unable to produce any points. 

"We are going to get it into the end zone. That is what I kept saying to everyone," Neal said. "It came to overtime and defense made a big play. I figured coach was going to try and pound it in on the ground. So I asked my offensive line where their hearts were. 

"Everybody from the line to the receivers gave me great blocks. I made the cut and did what I had to do. No doubt that I was going to score. I saw the hole and did what I had to do."

In overtime it did not last long when the Eagles got the ball as Neal went for the end zone immediately ending the game with a 25-yard touchdown run.

"I felt like I needed to come through and repay Pablo and the defense. Plus, my line and my receivers played a heckuva game," Neal said.

On the night, Neal was the team's leading rusher with 146 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Though he 7 yards per carry is worth mention and scoring the game-winning touchdown, individual accolades don't mean much for Neal.

That is, unless it is packaged with the team's primary goal.

"I do not look at the statistics for me, all I see is if we won or not," Neal said. "If we don't win, then I did not do my job. We won, so I guess we did. You know I thought, let's get this done and over with so that we can play next week."

Atascocita will advance to the area round of the playoffs and face the 5A Division II defending champions Katy. The game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Spring Branch ISD Tully Stadium.

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