August 27, 2010

Matthews stars in Clear Springs win

In his first game as a member of the Clear Springs Chargers, Texas A&M commitHoward Matthews showed more than a little versatility. He played several positions on offense, came in late to serve as a shutdown safety, and even served as Clear Springs' punter in their season-opening 40-23 win over Pearland Glenda Dawson.

Is there any position he won't play?

"There is no way," he said, "that I will play on the offensive line."

That probably suits the Chargers just fine, as they've got plenty of other things for Matthews to do. When he talked to a few weeks ago, Matthews expected to get some playing time on the offensive side of the ball. He didn't expect to get nearly as much as he did Thursday night, when he played slot receiver, running back and quarterback in the Wildcat formation-all before halftime.

"After the scrimmage (against Spring), they told me they needed me more on the offensive side," he said. "It was like riding a bike; the feel for it came right back to me."

Matthews put his abilities on display on the score that shut the door on Dawson, a 60-yard pass and run in the third quarter. Matthews caught the ball at the line of scrimmage, immediately evaded one Eagle defender, broke the tackle of a second downfield and then evaded two more on his way to the end zone.

"I really thought they were going to have me at the line of scrimmage, but one of my receivers made a great block for me," he said. "After that, I was just going to do my thing."

Recruited to play safety at A&M, Matthews didn't even play on defense until the fourth quarter but made an immediate impact.

"I knew which guy was their go-to receiver, and we had him one-on-one," he said. "I saw that and came over the top and picked it off."

On special teams, Matthews nearly had a kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half, but the long return was negated by a penalty. He also had a solid game returning punts before booting the Chargers' only punt of the game in the fourth quarter.

"I could have kicked, too," he said, "but we let one of the little freshmen or sophomores do it to get some more experience."

Happy with his first experience in the 2010 season, Matthews had a message for the fans who will see him in 2011 and beyond.

"Tell them I'm coming up there to do the same thing I did tonight," he said.

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