Texas High Rallies, Uses Stout Defense to Win District 14-4A Title
[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]
TEXARKANA, Texas—Texas High finally ran into a District 14-4A opponent that plays defense — but not quite as well as the Tigers.
Hallsville manhandled Texas High for a half in the regular-season finale Friday at Tiger Stadium, but three big second-half plays ignited the Tigers to a 21-9 victory and the outright championship of the district.
Texas High won its seventh straight game, and will take a 9-1 record into next Friday's (7:30 kickoff) bi-district game with McKinney North at Longview's Lobo Stadium. Hallsville is 6-4 and will play Denison in next week's playoffs.
Hallsville's blitzing defense held Texas High to just six total yards and one first down in the first half. But the Bobcats could manage only led 3-0 on Paden Brown's 30-yard field goal, set up by a 26-yard completion from quarterback Macailynn Wilder to tight end Travis Teodorczyk, who was running alone in the middle of the field.
Texas High turned the game around in the third quarter with two big pass plays by quarterback Kody Hunter, although neither was more than 10 yards down field.
Wide receiver Jarion Anderson took Hunter's throw in the left flat and sprinted past startled defenders all the way to the right sideline where he set sail to the 2-yard line for a 46-yard gain. Two plays later Hunter bulled over left guard to give Texas High the lead it would never relinguish.
Just over four minutes later after Texas High's defense forced a punt into the end zone, Taylor Jackson worked his way open on the right side, took Hunter's pass and whirled away from a defender, racing 81 yards for a touchdown and breaking another tackle in the process. That made it 14-3 with 4:21 left in the third period.
Tre Walker, who came into the game with more than 1,144 yards rushing, had only 30 yards on his first 13 carries, but suddenly broke a 59-yarder for a touchdown with 10:50 left in the game. Walker's TD ended a 5-play, 80-yard drive after Tra Monk intercepted Wilder in the end zone.
Walker finished with 99 yards on 20 carries, losing a yard on each of his last two attempts as the Tigers were running out the clock.
Wilder threw for 187 yards, including a perfectly-timed 14-yard touchdown to Jamil Young with 6:15 left in the game. The score came on 4th-and-10 and was the 16th of the 67-yard drive during which the Bobcats converted two third-down and two fourth-down plays of at least six yards.
Kha'lil Sneed led Hallsville with 82 yards on 18 carries, while Wilder gained 51 on 22. They were the only players to carry the ball for the Bobcats. Young had seven catches for 75 yards and Teodorczyk two for 46 to lead the receivers.
Hunter was 10 of 18 for 168 yards with Anderson catching four for 79 and Jackson two for 89.