Bryce Matthews’ Seven-Touchdown Performance Lifts Nacogdoches Past Corsicana, 48-41
[By Matt Stepp, Special to ETSN.fm]
CORSICANA – The Nacogdoches Dragons continued their Cinderella run in 2013 with a thrilling 48-41 win over Corsicana in a District 16-4A contest at Tiger Stadium.
Junior quarterback Bryce Matthews, who is filling in for injured starter Hunter McClellan, had a monster night, accounting for seven total touchdowns -- three through the air and four on the ground -- to lead the Nacogdoches attack, which accounted for 446 total yards. Not to be outdone, Corsicana quarterback Devontay Bell led the Tigers with 356 yards of offense -- including 207 yards on 26 carries -- and two rushing touchdowns.
The win not only gives Nacogdoches a 2-0 District 16-4A record entering next week's home showdown with No. 3 Whitehouse, but gives the Dragons a 6-1 record that marks the first time they have won six of their first seven games since a 6-0-1 start to the 1992 season. Nacogdoches went 10-2-1 that year, reaching the third round of the playoffs.
Matthews scored on a 10-yard run for a 41-27 lead with 2:26 left in the third, but Corsicana rattled off consecutive scores as Bell and Fields ran for touchdowns to tie the game 41-41 with 8:24 remaining.
This set the stage for a huge drive from Nacogdoches.
Facing third-and-18 in their own territory, Matthews bailed out his offense, hooking up with Tae Thomas for a 25-yard gain to set up Nacogdoches in Corsicana territory. A few plays later, the combo of Matthews and Thomas re-connected for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put Nacogdoches up for good, 48-41, with 5:43 remaining.
Corsicana got two more chances to tie the game, but the Nacogdoches defense held firm and kept the Corsicana offense from getting the equalizing score.
The Dragons jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead thanks to a Corsicana muffed punt and consecutive Tiger three-and-outs. Corsicana (1-5, 0-2) rallied in the second quarter on the legs of Bell and running back Donovan Fields (106 rushing yards, four touchdowns) as the Tigers scored 21 consecutive points to tie the game. Right before halftime Nacogdoches regained the lead back as Matthews scored with just eight seconds left in the half on a one-yard run to put Nacogdoches up 27-21 at the break.
“We got happy after getting up 21-0. When you haven’t won in a number of years and you give up a lead like that some teams would lie down," said Nacogdoches head coach Bobby Reyes. "Our kids have a lot of character. They’ve gotten a bad rap over the years but our kids didn’t quit. They are good kids and they play for each other and we overcame a lot of adversity to win the ball game."
The Dragons got a stop to open the second half and appeared ready to break the game open as Matthews got loose for a 53-yard scoring jaunt to make it 34-21. Corsicana started back-and-forth scoring on a 12-yard run by Fields to cut the Nacogdoches lead to 34-27.