Tigers escape the Dragons


Photo by Truth Dukes

Texas High’s Javari Johnson slips past Nacogdoches defenders on Oct. 21, 2022. The Tigers defeated the Dragons in a close game and kept their undefeated district record.

Story by Braden McKinnon, staff writer

The Texas High Tigers narrowly defeated the Nacogdoches Dragons 23-20. This win clinched a Tiger home playoff berth, and guaranteed first place in the district.

With 2 minutes left in the game, senior defensive end Makyron Whitaker leaped up and batted up a pass; while the pass was on the descent Whitaker dove out and grabbed the interception inches before it hit the ground. 

The majority of the first quarter was scoreless until junior receiver Bradon Hall put the Tigers on the board with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Potter (6:34). After a quick stop from the Tiger defense, Texas began to run the ball, capping off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run from Johnson; but a blocked PAT left the score 13-0 the first quarter.

The Dragons continued to struggle, punting the ball on their first possession of the second quarter. However, after an interception from Potter, senior Dragon quarterback Isaac Jones connected with his senior receiver Jaylon Brown on a 32-yard touchdown pass play.

Nacogdoches started to bring a pass rush to the Tigers’ offense which caused a punt. After a great punt, landing at the 10-yard line, Jones took the ball 90 yards, on a quarterback keeper to score. Nacogdoches however could not take the lead due to a missed extra point.

Texas, needing to break the momentum, drove down the field and nailed a 36-yard field goal with senior kicker Seth Trusty with 19 seconds left in the half. The Tigers went into halftime up 16-13.

Soon after the start of the second, Potter threw his second interception of the game and Nacogdoches managed to capitalize on a 50-yard touchdown reception from senior receiver Cemodric Bland, this gave the Dragons their first lead of the game, 20-16.

The Tigers’ offensive struggles continued throughout the third and well into the fourth quarter. With the ground game not getting enough going and Potter seeming not able to connect with his receivers.

Down by four, on their probable last possession, the Tigers relied on the run game in the clutch moments. After multiple 20-yard rushes from sophomore Javari Johnson, junior Trystan Powell punched in the 5-yard touchdown rush to give the Tigers the go-ahead touchdown.

Whitaker’s interception gave the Tigers back the ball in the final minute of the game. As the Dragons were out of timeouts and down three; the Tigers assembled the victory formation and sophomore quarterback David Potter took the knee to run out the clock.

The Texas Tigers face off against the Whitehouse Wildcats Friday, Oct 28, at 7 p.m.