Second-Half Surge Sends Texas High to 30-8 Win Against Liberty-Eylau
[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]
TEXARKANA — Texas High struggled with Class 3A crosstown rival Liberty-Eylau for a half Friday night, but the Tigers turned it on with three third-quarter touchdowns to dump the Leopards, 30-8, at Tiger Stadium.
Liberty-Eylau (1-2) was the dominant team in the first half, although the Leopards trailed 9-8 at intermission. But after gaining 198 total yards in the first two quarters, the Leopards managed just 57 in the final two.
Meanwhile, Texas High's offense recovered from first-half doldrums and recovered in the third quarter, while the defense intercepted L-E quarterback Rashaan Donelson three times in the final two periods.
"We didn't really change much in the second half," said Texas High head coach Barry Norton of his 2-0 Tigers. "We just didn't throw and catch the ball in the first two quarters. Liberty-Eylau has some athletes and a fine football team that's going to win a lot of games this year."
Texas High's Tre Walker ran 16 times for 137 yards, while L-E's Donelle Hoof gained 78 yards on 16 carries.
Texas High took the second-half kickoff and marched 57 yards in six plays. Quarterback Kody Hunter, who scored three touchdowns, was 4 of 5 on the drive for 55 yards, scoring from the 1-yard line with 9:30 left in the third period. His 33-yard pass to Kevin Harris set up the score.
Texas High's defense forced L-E into a three-and-out on the next series, and the offense responded with six-play, 60-yard scoring drive with Hunter breaking free for a 27-yard score on another sneak.
Texas High held Liberty-Eylau to 1-for-8 passing for two yards and three interceptions in the third quarter alone. One pick was negated by a Texas High fumble, but Kevin Harris returned another 34 yards to set up Tre Walker's eight-yard scoring run through the right side that ended the scoring with 4:52 remaining in the period.
Liberty-Eylau's first three possessions of the game started inside its own 5-yard line, and one resulted in a safety when the snap on a punt sailed over the punter's head and he kicked the ball out of the end zone.
But L-E took it's only lead by driving 53 yards on seven plays following an interception of Hunter. Ricky Johnson bulled through the middle for the final six yards with 9:36 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers responded with a four-play, 70-yard scoring drive sparked by Walker's 65-yard dash to the L-E 1-yard line, where he was caught from behind. But Hunter sneaked over two plays later.
L-E had a chance to regain the lead just before halftime, but failed to convert a third-and-inches play, and a fourth-down pass was dropped by a wide-open receiver in the end zone.