Texas High offense proves too much for Wildcats

Tigers advance 2-0 in district with 23-10 victory


Photo by Lauren Maynard

Senior Devuntay Walker rushes for a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter against Sulphur Springs. Texas High improved their record to 6-0 with a win against the Wildcats.

Texas High Tigers took on the Sulphur Springs Wildcats at Tiger Stadium at Grim Park tonight, marking their second victory in district play this season. Texas High won 23-10 after a close first half.

After winning the toss, Sulphur Springs elected to receive the kickoff, which resulted in a touchback. Following an unsuccessful drive, the Wildcats punted from their 30-yard line. Texas started with ball on their 40-yard line. Quarterback Cade Pearson threw a 43-yard pass to wide receiver Tevailance Hunt. A series of decisive plays brought the Tigers to the 1-yard line. Pearson then handed the ball off to running back Devuntay Walker, who jumped the defensive line to score the first touchdown of the night two minutes into the first quarter. Texas High lead 7-0.

On their next possession, Sulphur Springs pushed down the field with a combination of long passes and short hand-offs, culminating in a 6-yard touchdown. A good extra point left the score tied 7-7. Chris Lyles received for Texas High on the 37-yard line. Three plays later, Pearson threw a short 8-yard pass to wide receiver Quan Hampton for Texas High’s second touchdown. The extra point was good, leaving the Tigers up 14-7. The Wildcats bounced back with a series of first downs, driving all the way to the Tiger 25. On fourth down, Sulphur Springs went for another first down, but was stopped by Tigers. just as the quarter ended.

Texas started the second quarter with the ball on the 29-yard line. Texas High was eventually forced to punt from their 33-yard line, which was received by Sulphur Springs on their 40-yard line. The Wildcats punted after several incomplete passes. The Tiger’s offense made slow progress from the 36 to the 18, where they kicked a successful field goal on fourth down eight minutes into the second quarter. The Wildcats returned the next kickoff to their 24-yard line. From there several long hand-off plays took them to Texas’ 3-yard line. With seconds remaining in the first half Sulphur Springs kicked a successful field goal bringing the score to Tigers 17-10.

“We had a bad practice week […] Like I told the kids, when we coach poorly, we play poorly, and that’s on me,” Texas High Head Coach Barry Norton said. “That’s my job to get it fixed and we’ll get it fixed next week.”

The Tigers started the second half with possession of the ball, but were shut down and forced to punt from the 29-yard line. Sulphur Springs got the ball on their 45-yard line and made a successful first down, but then lost 26 yards after two consecutive sacks. The Wildcats were forced to punt. Texas then returned the punt to the Wildcat 35-yard line. The Tiger’s offense then lost 20 yards between two sacks and were also forced to punt. The punt was received by Sulphur Springs on their 29-yard line.

After a single first down and another 10-yard sack, the Wildcats punted again. The Tigers started on their 25, and after a quick first down Pearson handed the ball off to Walker, who rushed for a 69-yard touchdown run with only two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Sulphur Springs tipped the extra point kick, causing it fly low and miss. The Tigers advanced to 23-10.

The Wildcats took possession of the with less than a minute left on the clock after a couple failed drives. Just as the clock ran out, Texas High Eric Sutton made his second interception of the night, leaving the Tigers 2-0 in district play and the final score Texas 23-10.

“The first interception, I was just playing up on top of a guy and the quarterback had a bad throw. [The ball] just came to me. I won’t say it was lucky, but I was definitely in the right place at the right time,” Sutton said. “The second one, he threw a Hail Mary at the end to the endzone and I could just jump up and catch it.”