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Reaching the Summit

Texas defeats Mansfield Summit in round two of the state playoffs
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Senior wide receiver TJ Gray cheers triumphantly after the Texas High Tigers scratched off a victory against the Mansfield Summit Jaguars. The Tigers beat the Jaguars 17-14 and advanced to round three of the playoffs.

The Tigers scraped by the Mansfield Summit Jaguars Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in round two of the UIL state playoffs in Sulphur Springs.

The Tigers came out of the gates rough early offensively, with junior quarterback David Potter being sacked for a loss to force a punt on the first drive. 

After moving the ball well downfield and converting multiple first downs on the ground, the Jaguars struck first with 7:01 remaining in the first quarter with a

Player of the game, junior Isaiah Dowden. “I’ll be honest, as a complete eleven, they all swarmed the ball,” defensive coach AJ Wilson said. “Isaiah Dowden played his behind off tonight. He’s the hardest hold of our defense, he’s our leader, and he did what he had to do tonight.”

rushing touchdown from junior running back Amare Burgess.

The Tiger defense stepped up in the later minutes of the quarter, forcing big stops in big moments. Despite the defensive stops, the offense still struggled to move the ball downfield.

With 3:17 remaining in the first Potter threw for an interception, and the Jaguar offense capitalized, moving them into good position going into the second quarter.

To start the second quarter, the Jaguar’s Burgess rushed for his second touchdown of the night in the first drive, putting the score at 14-0 with 11:18 remaining in the second. 

The Tigers continued their offensive struggles moving into the second quarter, failing to convert first downs.

The Texas defense came up with a big turnover after junior safety Kendrevion Boyce caught an interception with 7:38 remaining in the half. The Tiger offense could not capitalize on the turnover, with the Jaguar defense dropping Potter for their second sack of the night.

Junior defensive back Alex Jones forced a fumble for Texas, recovered by sophomore safety Markus Hall with 1:21 remaining in the half.

The Tiger offense came alive in the closing minute of the half, moving the ball well downfield after a long pass completion to sophomore receiver Shavante Montgomery and a long run on the ground from sophomore running back Tradarian Ball. A pass interference on the Jaguars moved Texas into first and goal.

Ball rushed for a touchdown with twelve seconds left, cutting the Jaguar lead in half, making the score going into the third quarter 7-14.

To open the third quarter, the Jaguars are called for an illegal kick, after a receiver kicked a pass downfield. This play resulted in a ten yard penalty and loss of down. The Tigers ultimately forced the Jaguar punt. 

The Jaguar defense dropped junior running back Javari Johnson for a ten yard loss, putting the Tigers at second down and twenty. The Summit defense came up with another sack, backing the Tigers up more to third down and twenty-two. 

On their last down attempt of the drive, Potter completed a long pass downfield to Montgomery for a touchdown with 6:59 remaining in the third, tying the game at 14.

“When we went to the locker room during halftime, they just told us we had to keep fighting back and stick together as a team. That’s exactly what we did,” Montgomery said. “I think I had a good night. We just gave the game to God, and he helped us out.”

Heart. These boys just played with all heart.

— Head coach Gerry Stanford

The Texas defense came out strong again, forcing multiple penalties on the Jaguars, setting Summit up at third down and thirty-six. The Tiger defense put pressure on Summit, coming up with a sack of their own and bringing the offense back onto the field.

“I’m so proud of these guys tonight. They really went out there and did what we preach every single day,” defensive coach AJ Wilson. “No matter what kind of scheme you run, the one thing that you can’t coach is effort, and our kids showed up every single play. They kept fighting to the end and they came out victorious.”

Potter threw for an interception with 2:34 remaining in the third, but the Jaguars failed to capitalize offensively on the turnover. The score remained tied going into the fourth quarter. 

Opening the fourth quarter, Potter completed a long pass to senior receiver TJ Gray to move the Tigers significantly downfield. A run from Johnson put Texas at first down and goal. 

The Tigers chose to forgo the touchdown attempt and instead kicked a field goal, giving them the three point lead 17-14 with 5:47 left in the game.

The Texas defense started wrangling the Jaguar run game, holding the Summit running backs to minimal yardage in the last quarter.

Unable to overcome pressure from the Texas defense, the Jaguar offense tried to convert a final first down but failed. 

The Texas High Tigers overcame the Mansfield Summit Jaguars in a 17-14 nail biter, advancing to round three of the state playoffs.

“Our defense played the snot out of this game all night long, and our offense made the plays when they had to,” head coach Gerry Stanford said. “Hats off to our kids for battling that out. We played four quarters of football, God blessed us with this one.”

 

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About the Contributors
Kailyn Williams
Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor
Kailyn Williams is a third-year senior member of the newspaper staff and Sports Editor. She is an overachieving perfectionist, who doesn’t like failing. She is a member of the varsity volleyball and softball team and likes to maintain straight A’s.
Anna Bell Lee
Anna Bell Lee, Managing Editor/Webmaster
Anna Bell Lee is in her second year on the newspaper staff and is now Managing Editor and Webmaster. She is passionate about life and everything she does. She is a very organized and Type-A person but also loves to go with the flow. She loves her dog as if she were her child and would do anything for her. Lee plans on going to college for either nursing or journalism.   
Kristina Colburn
Kristina Colburn, Assignments Editor

Kristina Colburn is currently the Photo Assignments Editor for THS Publications. She is also a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, AP Ambassadors, HOSA, Model UN and the Multicultural Club. In her spare time, Kristina likes to relax and listen to music, shop online, thrift and occasionally pick up a book. In addition, she likes to travel. She has been to France and Spain, and is hoping she can travel more in the upcoming years. In the future, Kristina aims to major in Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas or Anthropology at Baylor University.

Truth Dukes
Truth Dukes, Social Media Manager
Truth Dukes is a third year returning year staff photographer and is the current Social Media Editor for photography. She enjoys creative multimedia work, and plans to study Media Marketing after high school at the University of North Texas. Truth is excited to help lead the photographers this year aside the other photo editors, but is sad to finish her last year of being a staff photographer.

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