Tigers prevail against Mavs

Texas High undefeated starting district play


Photo by Emily Meinzer

Texas High’s Devuntay Walker pushes his way through Marshall’s defenders Friday night at Maverick Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Mavericks with a second half surge, making Texas High undefeated going into a bye week.

Story by Jay Williamson, sports editor

The Texas High Tigers traveled to Marshall for their first district game against the Mavericks Friday night. The game ended with a score of Texas 36-18. Initially Marshall won the toss, choosing to kick which meant Texas High would start with the ball.

Texas returned the ball to their 30. On second down, Texas High rushed the ball from the 36 to the 44, sparking a first down. At 10:17 Texas High was forced to punt from their 44 with Marshall returning the ball to the Mavericks 43. The Mavericks began their first drive with a strong rushing game that ultimately resulted in a 36-yard passing touchdown from number 12 to 7 at 9:00, Making the score 6-0.

The Second Tiger drive quickly ended with an early game fumble. The Mavericks took possession of the ball, and after a long pass from 12 to 4 that got the Mavericks on the Tiger 4-yard line, running back Cam Haller rushed the ball in for a touchdown at 7:36. They  failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 12-0 Mavericks.

The Tigers again received the ball and were forced to punt it off again. The Mavericks again pushed the ball down the majority of the field to cap their drive off with another touchdown at 2:01. The point after attempt was blocked, making the score 18-0.

After receiving the ball, the Tigers quickly pushed their way up the field, ending the quarter with a 25-yard rush by wide receiver Quan Hampton.

Going into the second quarter the score was 18-0 Mavericks, but the Tigers were able to earn their first points of the night thanks to a five rush by running back Cam Haller at 10:20.  For the majority of the quarter after the Texas score neither team could boast any large offensive gains.

Marshall threw an interception caught by Hampton with 51 seconds left in the half. The Tigers were then able to capitalize off this turnover by a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade Pearson to Hampton with 21 seconds left. Then the two-point conversion by Texas was good, making the score 18-15 to close at the first half.

“We’re used to putting up a lot of points at the beginning of the game, but we didn’t do that, so it was kind of tough [for] us,” Hampton  said. “But we had a long talk at halftime and we came out and we corrected everything we needed to fix.”

The second half began with Marshall receiving the ball and quickly throwing another interception, which was picked off by Hampton, at 10:28

The Tigers again capitalized on the Marshall turnover with a 21-yard rushing touchdown by running back Devuntay Walker at 8:21 making the score 22-18 Texas High. This was the first time Texas took the lead in the game. The Tigers went on to dominate the majority of the third quarter, finishing it up with a 2-yard touchdown rush by Walker of Texas with 24 seconds left. At the end of the third the score was 29-18 Texas High.  

“We needed to face a little adversity to see how our guys would overcome, and I think they handled it pretty good,” Texas High defensive backs coach Lamarcus Franklin said. “We weren’t worried about losing the game, we were just worried about how our guys would respond.”

The fourth quarter went very similar to the thirdthe Tigers dominated both sides of the ball and the Mavericks were not able to generate any successive trips down the field or protect the ball from Texas.         

Texas High’s final scoring drive of the game came off a botched punt return by Marshall in which Texas High’s Riley Russell recovered the ball with six minutes left.  After subsequently pushing down the field, Pearson then threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tevailance Hunt with 4:18 left on the clock. This made the score 36-18.

“You could just tell by the second half they [weren’t going to] score,” Pearson said. “Marshall’s probably our hardest game of the year, and if we’re beating them, we should be a 10-0 team by the end of district.”