Heading to playoffs with win

Tigers close out regular season


Rachel Lewis

Texas High’s Quan Hampton pulls away from a Mt. Pleasant defender in the last district game of the season for the Tigers. Hampton scored a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against Mt. Pleasant.

Story by Tyler Snell, print editor- in-chief

For the last regular game of the season, the Texas High Tigers defeated the Mount Pleasant Tigers with a score of 35-3.

Texas High opened up their first drive with a run by senior running back J’Kardi Witcher to the Mount Pleasant 47-yard line. Quarterback Cade Pearson made a 43-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Tevailance Hunt. Senior tight end Kip Williams finished the drive by catching a four-yard touchdown pass from Pearson, and senior kicker Ethan Montez completed the extra point. With a score of 7-0, Texas High led with 10:34 left in the first quarter.

“Personally I think I did good, but there is always room for improvement,” Witcher said. “We played average, but it’s going to give us confidence for next week. We need the momentum that we had in the second half.”

Mount Pleasant began their first drive at the 36-yard line and continued to march down the field before being forced to a fourth down. Mount Pleasant, however, converted the first down, and junior kicker David Bautista made a 35-yard field goal. The score was 7-3 at the end of the first.

“At first defensively, we didn’t play like we should have,” senior defensive lineman Alyiass Spiller said. “As the game progressed, we picked it up like we should have, and it was a good game.”

Texas High began their second drive at the 37-yard line, but was forced to punt with 10:39 left in first half. As rain was a factor, Mount Pleasant was held to a fourth down. Texas High took over at their own 21-yard line. Witcher made a 21-yard run to Mount Pleasant’s 42-yard line, and on the next play, a 25-yard run was made by Witcher to the 17-yard line. Mount Pleasant junior linebacker Diondrae Williams intercepted Pearson’s pass at the one-yard line with 5:43 left in the half.

“I didn’t think [the rain] was too big of a factor,” Pearson said. “Because it was raining, we had to keep the balls dry, but our offense did really well and we all handled it well.”

The Texas High Tigers made a key defensive stop and took over at the Mount Pleasant 45-yard line. Witcher made a 45-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-3 after Montez’s extra point with 2:35 left. Mount Pleasant failed to make a first down, and Texas High’s offense took to the field again with 1:40 left. Pearson’s pass, however, was intercepted by Diondrae Williams again. Mount Pleasant’s field goal attempt by Bautista was no good, and the half ended with Texas High up 14-3 at halftime.

“The team played a little bit rough coming out,” Witcher said. “In the second half, Coach had a talk with us, and everything came out like we wanted it.”

Mount Pleasant began the second half at their own 22-yard line before being forced to punt on fourth down. Witcher made a 33-yard run to the 12-yard line to begin Texas High’s second half drive. Pearson made a quarterback sneak to make it first and goal, and Witcher scored his second touchdown with 6:58 left in the third quarter. Montez’s extra point was good to make the score 21-3.

“I didn’t expect our best effort tonight because we were kind of relaxed about it,” head coach Barry Norton said. “We’ve got a good football team, and I knew we would win it so long as we didn’t screw it up.”

Texas High held Mount Pleasant to a fourth down and took over at their own 30-yard line. Mount Pleasant made a defensive stop and held Texas High to a fourth down with 1:26 left in the third quarter. The third quarter ends with Texas High up by a score of 21-3.

Mount Pleasant punted, and Texas High began the fourth quarter at their own 12-yard line. Witcher made an 88-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 28-3 after the extra point with 10:48 left in the game.

“I just want to win the next game. We have one week and one goal to win,” senior center Matt Davis said. “If we win we keep playing, and I just want to keep playing.”

Texas High held Mount Pleasant to a fourth down and took over at the 43-yard line. Pearson made a 43-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Quan Hampton, and Texas High led 35-3 with 9:06 left in the game. Texas High made another defensive stop, but Hampton fumbled the punt resulting in Mount Pleasant taking over at the 49-yard line.

Texas High recovered a fumble with five minutes remaining. Texas High ran down the clock to end the game with a score of 35-3. The Texas High Tigers will play against John Tyler in Longview at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14.

“I’m excited to play [John Tyler.] I’m excited for this week because it’s going to be a good week,” Pearson said. “I’m excited for the pep rally and to go out there and beat John Tyler.”