Caught in the Hawk’s Claw

Tigers fall 56-7 in season opener


Photo by Kaitlyn Gordon

Tigers’ defensive back Seth Willis attempts to tackle Pflugerville Hendrickson receiver Nathanial Davenport as he runs for the first down. The Tigers lost to the Hawks on Thursday night 56-7.

Story by Joseph Rodgers and John Morgan

Miscues and mistakes characterized the Tigers loss against the Pflugerville Henderson Hawks in the 2018 season opener.

The Tigers received the ball first and were forced to punt. The Hawks then went three-and-out on their next drive but caught a break after they recovered a muffed punt in the end zone to give them a lead that they would not look back on.

The Tigers struggled to get past the Hawks’ defense in the first quarter while the Hawks managed to overcome several penalties and increase their lead. A pair of touchdowns from Hawks running back Timieone Jackson made the score 21-0 after twelve minutes.

The Hawks continued to bring the heat early in the second quarter by capitalizing on a pair of Tiger turnovers including a fumble recovery touchdown by Hawks’ linebacker Cliffton Styles. Quarterback Blaine Barker later ran in for a score to create 42-0 deficit for the Tigers at halftime.

Barker was back at it in the third quarter after connecting with wide receiver Jaden Williams for another score. Styles then intercepted a pass from Tigers’ quarterback Coltin Clack, but the defense would stop the Hawks from capitalizing and keep the score at 49-0.

The Tigers then made their furthest push into Hawks’ territory before losing the ball at the one-yard line. However, three plays into the ensuing possession, the defense came up with the first points of the game as defensive back Marquiz Jackson ran back an interception for a touchdown to make it 49-7.

The bleeding did not stop there for the Tigers as Hawks’ backup quarterback Xavier Lucio worked his way down the field quickly before handing the ball off to running back Dre Conley for a touchdown extending the lead to 56-7 early in the fourth quarter. Both teams would stall on their possessions for the rest of the game, and the game would finish with the Hawks prevailing.

Clack completed 15 of 30 passes for 157 yards with an interception. Junior Tracy Cooper had four rushes for 30 yards while senior Chris Sutton had seven catches for 47 yards.

Somerville completed 7 of 12 passes for 178 yards with two touchdowns while also rushing for 60 yards and a score. Jackson had six carries for 28 yards along with three catches for 112 yards and three total touchdowns. Overall, the Hawks has 254 yards rushing against the Tiger defense.

“I think there’s a loss of words for how many mistakes we made,” head football coach Gerry Stanford said. “They are all correctable mistakes: sometimes it’s just focus. Sometimes those things just happen, but at the same time, we have to correct them.”

The Tigers admit that incomplete passes and fumbles recovered by the Hawks were simple yet damaging mistakes.

“It’s simple things that we have to fix,” wide receiver Kendall Reid said. “We will get it fixed with a week of practice but we have to stay focused.”

The Tigers hope to recover from this tough loss as they face the Arkansas High Razorbacks in the Battle of the Axe on Sept. 7 at Grim Stadium at 7 p.m.

“It’s a long season and we’re just getting started,” Stanford said. “One loss doesn’t define a season, but at the same time, we cannot allow one loss to cost us two.”