Tigers end season with 30-27 loss


Piper Spaulding

Senior D’Andre Purifoy and other players wipe tears from his eyes while coach Barry Norton leads the team during the playing of the school song after the Tigers were defeated in the playoff game against West Mesquite. The Texas High Tigers end their season with a record of 10-1.

Story by Matt Prieskorn and Caleb Snow

The Tigers squared off against the West Mesquite Wranglers at Royse City Stadium in their first playoff game of the season. It was a hard-fought game, but the Wranglers came out on top 30-27.

“The season was a tremendous season,” said head football coach Barry Norton. “You get to 10 and 1 and there are a bunch of teams to take that from us right now.”

The Tigers started their first drive on the 25-yard line. After a successful first down pass to wide receiver Quan Hampton, they were forced to punt to West Mesquite 2 1/2minutes into the first quarter.

West Mesquite returned the punt to their 25-yard line. The Wranglers put together an impressive drive before being stopped on the Texas High 26-yard line and being forced to kick an unsuccessful field goal.

The Tigers took over at their 26-yard line. However, West Mesquite stripped the ball from running back Markese Martin with 5 minutes left in the first quarter and took over on their 35-yard line.

West Mesquite was again able to string together impressive running plays before being stopped on the Texas High 34-yard line. The Wranglers attempted a touchdown on the fourth down, but were stopped.

The Tigers regained possession at their own 35-yard line. Texas High was unable to earn a first down and punted back to West Mesquite with a minute left in the first. The Wranglers took over at their 48-yard line but were unable to convert a first down and punted back to Texas High as the first quarter ended.

Texas High regained possession at their own 20-yard line. After a few short running plays, quarterback Cade Pearson connected with wide receiver Tevailance Hunt for a 72-yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers up 7-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.

Texas High kicked off to West Mesquite, but the Wranglers were unable to gain a yard and punted back to the Tigers where they started at their own 35-yard line with 8 minutes left in the second.

With 5 minutes left in the second quarter, Running back Devuntay Walker rushed in a 6-yard touchdown, putting the score at 14-0.

“We came out strong in the playoff game,” senior Eric Sutton said. “We came out strong enough to get a lead.”

The Wranglers took over at their 46-yard line and rushed down the field before being stopped at the Texas High 23-yard line. They kicked a field successful field goal, scoring their first points of the night.

The Tigers got the ball back with 11 seconds to go and planned to punt it back to West Mesquite; however, the Wranglers blocked the punt and returned it to the Texas High 1-yard line with two seconds left where they would run it in to make the score 14-9 after a blocked extra point, closing out the first half.

“We were up 14-0 then they finally scored one making it 14-3. Then going into halftime, they ended up scoring again making it 14-10. So, that kind of gave them a little momentum coming out. And I think that was the difference maker in the game,” Sutton said.

The Wranglers started the second half with the ball at their 38-yard line. West Mesquite drove down the field and scored a 6-yard touchdown run by running back Curtis Williams 3 minutes into the second quarter to put them in the lead 16-14.

The Tigers started their first possession of the second half at their 14-yard line, but only gained a few yards before punting back to West Mesquite where the Wranglers took over at their 44-yard line.

The Wranglers’ strong rush attack drove them down the field and running back Jaylon Monroe scored a 5-yard touchdown with 3 minutes left in the third, putting the Wranglers up 23-14.

Texas High returned the kickoff to the their 45-yard line. Running back Markese Martin capitalized with a 4-yard touchdown with one minute left in the third quarter.

The Wranglers started on their 25-yard line after the Texas High kickoff, but were unable to earn a first down and were forced to punt back to the Tigers, ending the third quarter.

After a huge pass to wide receiver Quan Hampton and a crucial penalty on West Mesquite, running back Markese Martin scored a 5-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 27-23.

On the Wrangler’s next possession, the Tiger defense held them and they were forced to punt. Quan Hampton had the return for Texas High and tore down the field until he was stopped just shy of their  25-yard line. Following a severe penalty, the Tigers had to start this possession at their own 18-yard line.

Following Texas High’s punt on fourth down, West Mesquite took possession of the ball at their 33-yard line. Over multiple running plays, the Wranglers gained momentum and pushed all the way to the Tiger 5-yard line. On fourth down West Mesquite elected to go for it, and Curtis Williams scored another touchdown with 3 minutes left in the game. The Wranglers lead the Tigers 30-27.

On their final possession, Texas High struggled to put together a touchdown. They returned the kickoff to the Wrangler’s 48-yard line. After a couple of passes and a trick play, the Tigers still hadn’t gotten the first down. Following two consecutive penalties, Texas High was conceded two more first downs after some small plays.

Pearson threw three unsuccessful touchdown passes to Quan Hampton, and the Tigers put kicker Isidro Hernandez on the field to attempt a 37-yard field goal with a minute remaining to force overtime.

The kick was just to the right of the goal post, and West Mesquite ran down the clock with only seconds remaining after they took possession of the football.

“That was a pretty far field goal for Isidro [Hernandez] to make and I don’t blame him for the loss because we shouldn’t have even been in that situation,” Hampton said.

The final score Wranglers 30-27, ending the Tigers’ undefeated streak.

“I’m disappointed for the kids, [but] it was a great year and the seniors did a great job for us,”  Norton said.