Cougars end Tigers’ win streak, season

Crosby upsets Texas High 62-42

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Photo by Caden Rainwater

Crosby runningback Reggie Branch attempts to evade Texas High’s Clayton Smith and Derrick Brown last Friday night during the second round of the 2020 playoffs. The Tigers battled the Cougars at Lumberjack Stadium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogodches, Texas.

Story by Braden McKinnon, staff writer

An unstoppable offense from the Crosby Cougar’s proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Tigers’ 2020 season. After fighting hard, earning almost 550 offensive yards, a comeback was out of reach taking the senior football players off the field for the last time.

The Cougars’ offense started out quick with a 36-yard run on the first play, ultimately leading to the first score of the game putting Crosby on top early. The Tigers were not able to find the endzone in the first quarter.  Caleb Arnold’s interception in the endzone provided a glimmer of hope for the Tigers. Unable to capitalize on the turnover, Crosby’s running back Reggie Branch rushed for 25 yards ending the quarter with the Cougars on top of the Tigers 14-0.

As the Tiger defense continued to struggle to stop the Cougar offense, two more touchdowns were scored before the Tigers found the scoreboard. Despite the rise in Cougar momentum, senior Rian Cellers responded with a 37-yard reception igniting a sense of determination on the sidelines. The Tiger defense found strength forcing a punt, the only of the game for the Cougars, enabling quarterback Brayson McHenry to shorten the deficit with tight-end Caden Miller receiving a 21-yard pass up the middle. Had it not been for a two-play score by the Cougars, hope would have been high, but the Tigers still fought through entering the half down 35-14.

The Tigers showed momentum early in the third quarter after a forced fumble by junior Jalen Jones. Followed closely by a 46-yard touchdown to wide receiver Tre Roberts. The Cougars found their footing and fired back with a 61-yard touchdown by Branch.  As the Cougar defense continued to lock down the Tiger offense, Crosby scored a 36-yard touchdown touchdown to wide receiver Jalen Herman. Despite the setbacks, the Tigers forced another fumble and capitalized on the turnover by placing senior Clayton Smith in to take the snap and land a 1-yard touchdown, ending the quarter 55-28.

As  the game became further and further out of reach, the Tigers scored two more touchdowns before the clock ran out, but found themselves with their first and only loss of the season. Ending the night, Caden Miller managed 188 yards on nine receptions with fellow senior Rian Cellers racing 131 yards on seven catches. However, no Tiger running back reached 80 yards rushing on the night. With the passing game being the only real effective weapon against the Crosby defense, the Tigers fell short, ending their season in Nacogdoches at the Lumberjack Stadium.