One final ride

Crosby Cougars end Tigers’ season in the quarterfinal round of playoffs

Senior quarterback Brayson McHenry protects the ball as Crosby defenders rush his position. The Cougars limited the Tigers’ offense a single touchdown in the 5A Division II Quarterfinal game held at Lufkin’s Abe Martin Stadium on Dec. 3, 2021.

Story by Braden McKinnon, Sports Editor

The Texas Tigers were defeated 14-7 by the Crosby Cougars in the State Quarterfinals. This is the Tigers first loss since losing to the Cougars a year ago in the second round of the playoffs.

The defense was the story of this game, shutting down a dominant Crosby offense to 14 points. The entire first quarter was subjected to back and forth punts from the two teams. The Cougars missed a field goal, ending the first quarter scoreless.

The second quarter started with a Crosby field goal and an extremely nonproductive offense by both teams. The game was slow, with just stellar defensive play both ways. The Tigers showed their resilience with a forced fumble recovered by Tyriq Robinson. The Tigers were looking to put up points until a missed field goal left them scoreless at the half. 

The Tigers came out of the halftime strong with two deep passes to wide receiver Blake Rogers setting up for a 3 yard touchdown run by Brayson McHenry. The quarter continued with back and forth punts until Crosby reluctantly kicked a field goal before half (2:53). Giving the Tigers the 7-6 lead at the end of the third.

Crosby scored early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and 2pt conversion taking the lead by 7.  The Tigers continued to fight but couldn’t put together any points. On 4th&14 with the game on the line Grayson McHenry was sacked putting an end to the Tigers season.

The football team exceeded all expectations this year.

“These kids, hats off to them for getting more out of what anybody expected and getting the most out of their bodies,” head coach Gerry Stanford said.

Stanford had one last message for his seniors, “Thank you for the ride and thank you for all the hard work and effort over the year.”