Early Woes

Tigers overpowered by Hawks in season opener


Photo by Bailey Groom

Quarterback Rian Cellers scrambles to elude Pflugerville defenders in the Texas High School vs Plugerville Henderson High School game. Due to the distance between the two schools, the teams played the game at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium in Waxachie, Texas on Sept. 29, 2019.

Story by TJ Wall, sports editor

On Thursday, August 29th, the Tigers traveled to Waxahachie to face the Pflugerville Hendrickson Hawks to open up the season. In the end, the Tigers were overcome with a score of 7-21, an improvement over last year’s 7-56 blowout. 

The entire first half was filled with both teams going back and forth, making defensive stands one after another. Eventually, however, the Tiger defense gave way on a deep touchdown pass by Hawks quarterback Xavier Lucio, making the score 6-0 at the half after a failed PAT.

During Pflugerville’s first drive of the second half, Tigers safety Caleb Arnold notched his second interception of the game which he returned to the Hawk 49 yard line. The Tigers gained an extra 15 yards on the return after a personal foul was called on the Hawks. The interception led to the Tiger offense ending their drive with quarterback Rian Cellers connecting with receiver Kobe Webster in the back of the end zone for a 34-yard completion with 10:06 left in the third quarter, making the score 7-6 with Texas High in the lead after a completed PAT by kicker Diego Mata-Chavez.

That lead, however, was short-lived. After multiple defensive stops by the Tigers, including a fumble recovery by defensive back Marquavious Fisher, the Hawks intercepted Cellers and Lucio threw a 34-yard touchdown to Hawks receiver James Hester. Pflugerville then attempted and completed a two-point conversion, making the score 7-14 with 2:04 left in the third.

After receiving another shot on offense, the Tigers were forced to punt. Texas High’s defense then dropped Pflugerville for a loss on consecutive plays until Lucio threw a 52-yard dagger to Hawks receiver Terrell Hardeman. On the next snap, Lucio went 44 yards for the score and the PAT was successful, resulting in a score of 7-21.

Texas High then drove down into the red zone two more times, but neither possession resulted in any Tiger points.

“We worked hard [Thursday] night and gave it 110 percent,” junior Colin Shelley said. “It shows that we all want it this season but we need to work on our execution.”

The Tigers face their crosstown rival, the Arkansas High Razorbacks, on Friday, September 6th. After coming off of a tough loss to Pflugerville, the Tigers look to bounce back and retain the coveted Axe when they travel across state lines later this week.

“It all starts with practice,” senior KB Webster said. “We need to go hard all week and have it on our minds that we’re going to beat them, and we expect to win.”