Tiger defense breaks the Lions

The Tigers defeat the lions 37-7 in the first round of the playoffs

Junior Derrick Brown causes a fumble in the first quarter in the game against Lake Creek in the first round of the 2020 playoff season. The Tigers did not capitalize on the fumble recovery.

Story by Braden McKinnon, staff writer

After an uncharacteristic start in the first quarter, the Tigers exploded offensively to score 30 points unanswered in the second half ending the first playoff game with a 37-7 victory.

The first quarter started off slow for both teams. Wide receiver Blake Rogers broke the early stalemate with a 20 yard touchdown pass from Brayson McHenry.

“We just got to work on staying more patient in the pocket and letting things develop,” McHenry said.

Texas High’s defense kept the Lake Creek Lions out of the endzone in the first half, but the Tiger offense likewise didn’t score in the second quarter. Texas High senior Rian Celler’s punted as time expired the first half ended with a score of 7-0.

“I just stayed focused. You know, I knew what I had to do,”  McHenry said. “My o-line blocked great for me. We just got everything fixed [during halftime].”

The Tigers began to get in their rhythm in the third quarter after a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Clayton Smith. After a fumble forced by junior Braxton White, Texas High’s Oscar Hernandez kicked a 37-yard field goal. The third quarter ended with the score 17-7.

That’s the second playoff win since 2009, the last one being last year. I’m so excited to have another one under our belt and to get ready for the next one.

— Gerry Stanford

“We were able to pick it up in the fourth quarter particularly and think blood got in the water, and we felt some things that worked out and kids did a good job,” head coach Gerry Stanford said.

After a punt return was taken to the seven yard line by senior Tre Roberts, running back Daquarrieon Witcher punched the ball in for the two yard score. As the time ran down, the Tigers scored two more unanswered touchdowns to end the night with a 37-7 victory.

The Tigers will face Crosby High School in the UIL Area round of playoffs at Stephen F. Austin University next Friday at 7:30 p.m.