Coming back home

Tigers snap losing skid against Raiders


Photo by Holland Rainwater

Junior Kobe Webster fights for extra yardage as he runs the ball down the sideline. The Tigers won against the Wylie East Raiders on Nov. 2 with a final score of 35-19.

It took seven weeks, but finally, the tower shined orange again.

In their final home game of the season, the Tigers rediscovered the taste of victory by defeating the Wylie East Raiders, 35-19. This marked the team’s first district win of the season.

The Tigers established a lead quickly after they earned great starting field position on the opening kickoff. Senior quarterback Coltin Clack would later reach on a draw play two minutes into the first quarter.

The Raiders caught a few breaks on one of their own drives later in the quarter as penalties by the Tigers and a fake punt set them up for a 25-yard field goal by kicker Nicholas Figueroa.

The Tigers resorted to their powerful one-two punch of Clack and senior wide receiver Myles Washington for their next score in the second quarter as the two converted on a 55-yard pitch and catch.

Later in the quarter, facing a fourth down deep in their own territory, sophomore wide receivers Rian Cellers booted a 70-yard punt to switch the field position. This would prove not to matter, though, as the Raiders marched down the field and scored on a one-yard run from quarterback Zack Haaland. The Tigers would then miss an opportunity to score before halftime.

The third quarter saw the Raiders come out and put up an early field goal, but the Tigers responded with authority as they went on a long drive that ended with a rushing touchdown by Clack from one yard out. They followed up this momentum-shifting possession on their next drive as Clack converted again on a two-yard run.

The next Tigers’ possession saw more of the same as they ran the ball right down the field as senior Collius Zachery got in on the action and scored from 14 yards away to increase the Tigers’ lead.

The rest of the game saw both teams trade punts before the Raiders made a late push with a touchdown drive ending with a one-yard run from running back Christian Johnson. They would miss the two-point conversion, however, and the Tigers would run out the clock to seal the 35-19 victory.

“Every time we can get a win on Homecoming against a really good football team, we’ll take it,” head coach Gerry Stanford said. “We had a young group of kids in some spots, and they really started to grow up. They executed well tonight.”

The Tiger offense found success executing a balanced scheme as they both ran and passed the ball with efficiency. Despite some penalties and mental mistakes early on, they turned out in the second half to make the margin of victory look more appealing.

“It felt good to finally win a game,” Zachery said. “[We worked better as a team tonight] because we were all on the same page and we were all thinking the same way.”

The defense showed up with perhaps their most complete performance of the season. Despite letting up the occasional big play, they were able to make crucial stops in the red zone when it counted.

“We have been waiting for this win,” Zachery said. “We put in more effort, we tried harder and we wanted to win.”

Clack completed 17 of 23 passes for 233 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran the ball for three scores on the night. Zachery finished with five carries for 59 yards and a touchdown while Washington reeled in five catches for 89 yards and a score.

Haaland completed five of 21 passes for 116 yards and an interception. He also had 16 carries for 79 yards and a score. Running back Tyler Jackson had 14 carries for 144 yards while wide receiver Gunner Stone caught two passes for 59 yards.

The Tigers end their season against the West Mesquite Wranglers at Mesquite Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.