Walking over the Wildcats

Texas High crushes Whitehouse 51-21 to become district champions

The football players huddle together with their adrenaline still high after yet another win. The Tigers finished their 2020 season as District Champs.

Story by Doug Kyles and Cate Rounds

All undefeated teams have their night of downfall, but this was not that night for the Texas Tigers. They saw decisive success against the Whitehouse Wildcats, with a final score of 51-21. This improves the Tiger’s record to 10-0, securing their win as district champions.

“I think we just played our best game that we had played to this point,” Head Coach Gerry Stanford said. “This has been a goal for us all year to be district champions and we’ve been able to do it tonight. I’m very proud of these kids.”

As Friday night lights shone bright on the field, Blake Rogers received the kickoff for Texas High. After being taken down the field by Guy Johnson and Rian Cellers, the Tigers were within range. Wide receiver Tre Roberts caught and ran the ball for a 34-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers a quick start to the momentum they would see this evening.

“Working hard through practice throughout the week is all it takes,” Roberts said. “The team is [made up of] very talented young men. [As a senior], I’m going to miss it.”

A holding penalty, a characteristic of the aggressive Whitehouse defense, was called, but it couldn’t stop the Tiger offense; Caden Miller caught and ran Brayson McHenry’s pass for a 49-yard touchdown. There were still seven minutes left in the first quarter, and Texas High already boasted two touchdowns. 

Later in the first quarter, the Wildcats closed in on the end zone and were eager to finally score, but these hopes were diminished by an interception from Jackson Halter. Sophomore substitute, Daquarrieon Witcher, then ran a daunting 60-yard touchdown. The first quarter ended with a score of 21-0 in favor of the Tigers.

“I feel good and I’m ready for next week,” Witcher said. “I want to thank my offensive line for blocking and leading me in to get the touchdown, and our receivers for catching the ball.”

As the second quarter began, it seemed aggressive offense was the theme of the night, pass plays dominated the Tiger’s strategy, and certainly to their benefit. Roberts received a 47-yard touchdown, his second so far. 

The defensive line entered the field, eager to impress as the offense had done, but they didn’t have to for long, as Texas High recovered a fortunate fumble. Soon after that, Blake Rogers received a 28-yard touchdown. Impressive was an understatement for the passes Brayson McHenry has made so far.

It was Texas’s turn. Cellers received a pass, falling a few yards short of the end zone. This play set up Brayson McHenry for a speedy 4-yard touchdown at the pylon. The junior was involved in almost every successful play, either passing or scoring himself. 

“God’s definitely blessed us with a great team, and we’re excited but the hard work really starts now,” quarterback Brayson Mchenry said. 

Before long, Jaylen Green recovered a fumble and set Blake Rogers within range of the end zone; a short pass closed this distance and Rogers now had two touchdowns to his name. 

Overall, the first half of the game was heart racing football for Tiger fans, with seven touchdowns all together. This aggressive offense slowed in the second half, and as the Wildcats collected themselves, they managed to finally put up some contest.

Halftime came and went, and the Tigers entered the third quarter in a strong position: 48-0.

We’re excited to be [at the playoffs]. It’s gonna be six weeks of great things. We’ve got to be on point each week, and look forward to next week at home again.

— Gerry Stanford

This evening wouldn’t be perfect however, and the inevitable happened: the wildcats finally scored. With such a large margin between the two scores, the morale of the Tigers and the ever so supportive crowd remain untouched. 

The Tiger offensive line pushed to put kicker Oscar Hernandez within range, and he came through with a perfect field goal. Giving the Tigers their final score of the night and allowing the Wildcats to score one more time sending the game to the fourth quarter with a score of 51-14.

Fourth quarter saw little of significance besides another touchdown by Whitehouse. It seemed things have turned around for the team, but it was already too late to make a comeback. Even though they were nowhere close to jeopardizing their win, it was evident the Tigers placed their second-string and third-string players in the second half. The final score was 51-21.

“I think we just need to focus more during the week, prepare. And during the second half, we just got to come out here and be ready to play,” Mchenry said.

Along with the district trophy, Texas High took away hope from this game as well. Hope for continued success in the coming playoffs, hope to continue their momentum as an undefeated team, and hope for a shot at the state championship.

The first playoff game the Tigers will compete in will take place on Dec. 11 at Tiger Stadium.