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Texas High Cruises Past Pine Tree in District 14-4A Opener, 45-14

Texas High’s Marquan Daniels (22) grabs for Natchitoches Central’s Darian Raymond as teammate Anthony Rhone (8) runs to help during the Tigers’ 13-0 win Oct. 4 in Texarkana. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)

[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]

LONGVIEW — In a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, the latter won out in Texas High’s District 14-4A opener against Pine Tree Friday night at Pirate Stadium.

The Tigers’ defense held Pine Tree’s vaunted offense to 276 yards, nearly half what the Pirates were averaging in their first four games, and the offense took advantage of five Pine Tree turnovers in a 45-14 Texas High victory.

Two Pine Tree turnovers in the first quarter propelled Texas High (5-1, 1-0) to a 17-0 lead. The fumbles came on second-down plays after the Tigers opened the scoring on a 70-yard bomb from Kody Hunter to Jarion Anderson.

Wanya Jenkins came up with the first fumble recovery, settiing up Mantas Urienezius’ 33-yard field goal. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, cornerback Kevin Harris scooped up a PT fumble, returning it 19 yards to the Pirate 15. Four plays later Tre Walker scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 2-yard run with 2:44 left in the first quarter.

After Pine Tree drove 61 yards on five plays on the passing of Dalvin Manns, who got the score on a 5-yard run two minutes into the second quarter, Texas High again capitalized on Pirate mistakes to go up 31-7 at half.

First, Demarquan Bailey stopped a fourth-and-1 Mann effort near midfield, and on the first Tiger play from scrimmage Walker cut through the left side and romped 54 yards for the touchdown. Walker finished with 111 yards on 17 carries.

A roughing-the-punter penalty against Pine Tree with Texas High backed up on its end of the field gave the Tigers new life, and they drove 82 yards in 10 plays to score on Hunter’s 1-yard sneak. Hunter’s 36-yard sideline completion to Anderson was the driive’s key play. Anderson finished with 153 yards on five catches.

The two teams swapped third-quarter touchdowns, Texas High defensive tackle Will Brown returning a Mann fumble 18 yards early in the period, and PT backup quarterback Mason Hays capping a 6-play, 48-yard drive after a fumble recovery by Edwin Paz.

Texas High finished the scoring with eight minutes left in the game when backup quarterback Clete Norton hooking up wth Taylor Jackson on a 50-yard scoring pass. Norton was 2 for 4 for 68 yards, while Hunter completed 9 of 20 for 157 yards.

Mann led Pine Tree (3-3, 0-1) with 49 yards rushing and 100 yards passing.

Texas High hosts Sulphur Springs next Friday, while Pine Tree is at Hallsville.

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