Teague Catches The Breaks In 50-35 Win In Top 10 Match Against Malakoff
MALAKOFF -- Campus was packed well ahead of the Tigers' Class 3A top 10 showdown with Teague.
Fans gave up finding a parking spot at Malakoff High School and began ditching their cars on the shoulder of Farm to Market Road 3062, and that makeshift parking lot extended at least a half-mile before kickoff.
The Tigers delivered in Friday's extremely important District 11-3A District game. Senior running back Marcus Dowell and the supporting offensive line highlighted a solid performance in front of a standing room only crowd.
But the Teague Lions left Malakoff with a 50-35 win and a clear cut path to the district championship.
"It was the difference of four or five plays," Tigers head coach Jamie Driskell said. "They made some plays in the first half and in the third quarter we fell apart a little bit. The kids didn't quit, but we got outplayed. They're a good team and we got outplayed in the third quarter."
Teague quarterback Austin Skinner, who entered the game with 30 touchdowns to three interceptions and 2,135 passing yards, could not be held off forever.
The No. 6 Lions (8-0, 3-0) drew first blood on Skinner's 17-yard pass to Robbie West, but a blocked point after attempt and Malakoff sophomore linebacker A.J. Cook's 90-yard return for a two-point score turned the tide in a hurry.
The Tigers scored 15 straight points for a 15-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Catching a second break just wasn't in the cards for No. 7 Malakoff (7-1, 2-1).
Skinner cut the Lions' deficit to 15-12 with a 48-yard pass to West with no time remaining in the quarter. Dowell re-upped the Tigers' lead to 22-12, but the star signal caller put Teague back into the game with a 54-yard jump ball touchdown for a 22-20 deficit with 4:54 to play in the first half.
Malakoff stalled on fourth down at the Teague 23-yard line with 1:15 to play in the half.
Skinner and company only needed a minute to drive 77 yards and took the lead a second and final time on running back John Love's two-yard run. Malakoff quarterback Stephan Wolfe was intercepted on a last-second heave to the end zone.
The Tigers got the ball to start the second half, however.
Teague forced a three-and-out to start the second act and recorded two more touchdowns for a 44-22 lead with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
Penalties and turnovers started to rear their heads against Malakoff.
Down 44-22 and at the Teague 30-yard line, a snap above Wolfe's head rolled 15 yards and was recovered by the Lions.
Teague punted back after chewing two minutes off the clock, and the Tigers finally pulled back into the game with a 86-yard drive capped by a 23-yard touchdown pass from Wolfe to Tyler Russell for a 44-29 deficit with 5:53 to play.
Malakoff appeared to get the break it desperately needed when its onside kick attempt was muffed by Teague and recovered by the Tigers at their own 35-yard line.
Unfortunately, after a seven-yard gain, Wolfe was picked off by West at midfield and the ball was returned 46 yards.
The Lions all but iced the game on the next play with Zaccheus Bell's four-yard score to go up 50-29.
Dowell scored his third touchdown of the night on a 15-yard run to cap a 10-play, 71-yard drive with 1:35 to play. It pushed the score to its final.
Malakoff could not recover its second onside kick attempt.
"This loss won't affect us at all," Dowell said. "It's tough to swallow, but we know who we are. We'll keep rolling and fighting. That's a good team we played. We'll keep fighting and do what we can."
Dowell eclipsed the 1,000-yard threshold in Friday's game. He now has 1,126 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.
Wolfe, as expected, broke 1,000 yards passing on the season. He had 975 entering the game and now has 1,118 yards.
Skinner completed 12 of 25 passes for 243 yards and now has 33 touchdowns to three interceptions.
The Tigers are still in great position for the playoffs. The team has outscored opponents 379-145 through eight games and will visit a winless Kemp program next week.
Teague will try to continue its roll with a second consecutive road game. It will visit Eustace.
"We've got to heal up, man," Driskell said. "We're a little banged up. Teague played physical. We've got to find a way to bounce back next week and we've got to try to win these next two games. It's not going to be handed to us by any stretch of the imagination."
No. 6 Teague 50, No. 7 Malakoff 35
At Tiger Stadium, Malakoff
Teague 12 16 16 8 — 50
Malakoff 15 7 0 13 — 35
TEA--Robbie West 17 pass from Austin Skinner (kick blocked), 8:55
MAL--A.J. Cook blocked PAT return, 8:55
MAL--Jared Givens 28 pass from Stephan Wolfe (kick failed), 5:37
MAL--Marcus Dowell 3 run (Omar Gonzalez kick), 1:10
TEA--West 48 pass from Skinner (conversion failed), 0:00
MAL--Dowell 2 run (Gonzalez kick), 6:39
TEA--Aaron Mitchell 54 pass from Skinner (John Love run), 4:54
TEA--Love 2 run (Love run), :15
TEA--Skinner 1 run (Love run), 7:01
TEA--Zaccheus Bell 15 run (Bell run), 1:13
MAL--Tyler Russell 23 pass from Wolfe (Gonzalez kick), 5:45
TEA--Bell 4 run (run failed), 4:42
MAL--Dowell 15 run (run failed), 1:35
First Downs 20 23
Total Yards 430 454
Rushes-Yards 35-161 40-311
Passing-Yards 269 143
Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-25-0 9-23-2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 9-92 6-48
Punts-Avg. 3-46.0 1-29
RUSHING—Teague, John Love 22-125, Zaccheus Bell 4-18, Tayvis Coleman 4-16, Aaron Mitchell 1-5, E.J. Salinas 1(-1), Austin Skinner 2-(-2). Malakoff, Marcus Powell 34-307, Dylan Grimm 2-10, Clay Gaddis 2-8, Jake Woolverton 1-7, Stephan Wolfe 6-2, Jared Givens 1-(-8), TEAM 1-(-15).
PASSING—Teague, Skinner 13-25-0--269. Malakoff, Wolfe 9-23-2--143
RECEIVING—Teague, Mikkail Shepherd 4-86, Aaron Mitchell 3-85, Robbie West 3-82, Love 1-15, E.J. Salinas 1-1. Malakoff, Tyler Russell 4-74, A.J. Cook 4-41, Danyal Littleton 1-19, Kendrick Hornbuckle 1-9.