Tigers first triumph over Lions

Tigers open season with big win over Tyler High School


Photo by Jonathan Naples

Wide receiver Tre Roberts protects the ball from the Tyler High School Lions on the run after a catch. Texas High School defeated Tyler High School 41-21 Thursday, September 24th, at Rose Stadium.

Story by Braden McKinnon, staff writer

 The Tigers went into the locker room after their season opener against the Tyler Lions with their heads high and spirits even higher. The Tigers started slowly in the first couple drives, but once they got their rhythm, they began firing on all cylinders, winning 41-21. 

The Lions were off to a slow start as well going three and out on their first drive. With the Tiger’s drive also appearing to come to an abrupt end, senior quarterback Rian Cellars managed to scramble for 30 yards on third and 17. The drive then stalled out setting up a 23-yard field goal made by the Tiger kicker, senior Oscar Hernandez, putting the Tigers up 3-0.

On the ensuing kick-off, junior Javarous Tyson forced a fumble giving the Tigers the ball on the Lion 12-yard line. With a struggling red zone offense, the Tigers are forced to kick another field goal making the score 6-0.

After a 28-yard run from the Tyler running back, Kameron Medlock, the Lions suddenly stood up and went for it on fourth down. However, they were not able to convert for the first down, ending the first quarter with the Tigers on top 6-0. 

Junior Brayson McHenry introduced himself early in the second quarter throwing a perfect pass to junior Blake Rogers, who fell two yards shy of a touchdown. Senior running back Vontrey Anderson lined up in the backfield and punched the ball in for the first Tiger touchdown of the season.

The Lions offense came back with vengeance and started eating away at the Tiger defense. After a blown coverage, Lions quarterback Ken’yontae Pinkard manages a 40-yard touchdown to his wide receiver Makavion Potts. As the end of the half comes closer, junior running back Stewart gets in a rhythm succeeding in three big runs in a row ending the half with the Tigers leading 13-7.

To start the second half, senior Caleb Arnold had a big return, however, after it was brought back by a flag, junior Braylon Stewart earned the yards back with a 59-yard run down to the Lions 15-yard line. He finished off the drive a couple plays later punching it in from the one-yard line bringing the score up to 20-7.

After a great succession of plays from the Tiger defense including a sack from senior Clayton Smith, the Lions were forced to punt the ball. Stewart finished off the drive by finding the hole through the middle for a 24-yard touchdown making the score 27-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

The first play of the fourth quarter starts with Smith’s third sack of the game. It didn’t seem to matter though as a 30-yard pass downfield energized the Lions into getting their second score of the game by Lion’s receiver, Montreal Wade.

After receiving the ball back after the Lions second score, the Tigers offense turned on the jets quickly scoring by another Stewart jab in the red zone. However, this one score didn’t seem to please the Tigers as they managed to push for a fumble on the kick off resulting in a rushing touchdown by Anderson.

Wanting to end the game on a positive note, the Lions put together one last drive to score before the game was over. Lion’s quarterback Pinkard was successful in scrambling in for the touchdown on a three-yard rush. This ended the game with a final score of 41-21, Tiger’s victory.

Some standout players were running back Braylon Stewart who rushed for 17 carries, 176 yards and had three touchdowns. Along with him was Smith, who was both a problem in the running game as well as the passing game, racking up three sacks and a plethora of tackles.

“It felt good to be back out there, especially when we didn’t think we would even get to play in the beginning,” Smith said. “There’s no better feeling than getting out there with my brothers and finally beating Tyler.”

With an upcoming home game against Denison next week, there is hope and promise for a great season this year. 

“[Coach Toon] is a good play caller and sets us upright,” Stewart said. “And whatever he develops, I’m [going to] do my job to create what I can, and me and Rian are dangerous in the backfield so we made it work and made it happen.”