Razorbacks defeat Tigers

13-year losing streak ends with 20-14 win over Texas High

Story by Jessica Emerson, Alex Heo, and Matt Francis

100 tears shed. 100 hearts broken. 100 fans coping. The Texas High Tigers took their first loss to Arkansas High, in 13 years, on the 100th game played”I’m just glad I’m not a senior. I honestly want to cry. Although I know it’s not my last Texas versus Arkansas game,” sophomore cheer escort Ricky Cooks said. “I’m just trying to make sure I’m here for them because I know it’s a heartbreaking loss. I guess there is always next year, but there will never be another 100th game.”

The Tigers defense started off the first quarter with a bang, pushing the Hogs back from the 40-yard line all the way to the 3-yard line, forcing the Razorbacks to end their drive with a punt.

Both teams remained stagnant within the middle of the quarter, punting back and forth, continuing with unsuccessful drives.

With 52 seconds left in the first quarter, both teams put up a fight, tying up the quarter with a score of 0-0.

The Tigers got the first touchdown of the game with 7:37 left in the second quarter. Texas High junior running back Dee Jones recovered a fumble from the 11-yard line to give the Tigers the lead, followed by junior kicker Ethan Montez receiving the extra point, making the score 7-0.

The Razorbacks fought back with a 45-yard return from the kickoff, but failed to score, ending their drive with another punt.

At the 4:20 mark of the second quarter, the Razorbacks changed the momentum of the game. Texas High senior running back Javon Thomas fumbled the ball, resulting in a recovery from Arkansas senior Stacy Moss who returned it 20 yards to get the first Razorback touchdown.

The battle of the line still pushing on, the second quarter ended with a tied score of 7-7.

At the 8-minute mark of the third quarter, Arkansas High junior quarterback Bailey Sprayberry handed off to senior running back Andrew Bishop who ran the ball 14 yards, followed by another 13-yard push by Bishop.

The Tigers quickly shut down the Razorback drive, with an interception caught by junior defensive back Jerry Wrightener, taking the ball from the end zone back to the 19-yard line headed for Hog territory.

The third quarter closed the same as the second, a tie 7-7.

“Well, we didn’t play too bad in some areas, but then we did play bad in other areas. We turned the ball over a lot which really hurt us,” junior tight end Trevor Danley said. “If we can just fix that we should be better for the next time we play.”

The Tigers started off the final quarter with junior wide receiver Jacorien Walker achieving a 33-yard return from the kickoff.

The Razorbacks fought back against the Tigers. Razorback junior Nicholas McCann picked off a fumble from sophomore quarterback Cade Pearson, keeping the ball on the 32-yard line in favor of the Hogs.

With 3 minutes left in the game, the Hogs pushed 11 yards for a touchdown to give the Razorbacks the lead.

“We had our chances; they took it from us,” senior cheer escort Nick Richter said. “We couldn’t catch a pass all night. We couldn’t stop their running back. Our offensive line couldn’t control the line of scrimmage. We couldn’t make screen passes. We couldn’t run the ball. I mean it’s sad, but life goes on.”

The Tigers battled their way into a touchdown. Pearson found senior wide receiver Jarion Anderson open down the middle, running the ball 61 yards to tie the game back up 14-14.

“I think this is a deciding moment for our team. This will decide if they band together. That’s what I think they will do. It’ll take a lot of leadership from the seniors. It hurts right now but one game is not a season made,” cheer adviser Susan Waldrep said. “My senior year we weren’t good at football. We were supposed to get drummed by Arkansas High, and we didn’t. We won. Arkansas went on to win state. We can do anything we want to do if we just band together, work hard, and make this a deciding factor for the good instead of throwing in the towel, and I think our team will do that.”

The fourth quarter ended in a 14-14 tie, resulting into a sudden death overtime. The Razorbacks closed the game with Bishop scoring a touchdown, ending the Tiger’s 13-game winning streak.

Texas, dead silence. Pandemonium rose. Players fell to their knees. Shattering screams from Anderson could be heard, “I have to live with this for the rest of my life, the rest of my whole entire life.”

 

Ashley Tyson