Texas High Takes 13-0 Victory Despite Six Turnovers Against Natchitoches Central
[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]
TEXARKANA—It was former Houston Astros player Doug Rader who first coined the phrase "winning ugly" when he was manager of the Chicago White Sox.
Texas High took up Rader's charge Friday night at Tiger Stadium, claiming a 13-0 victory over Natchitoches (La.) Central despite turning the ball over six times—five in the first half alone.
Again it was the Tigers defense coming to the rescue, holding the Louisiana team to 144 yards of total offense. The only scoring threat for the Knights came late in the second quarter, but a field goal attempt was blocked by Tra Monk and returned 58 yards by SMU commit Anthony Rhone.
Rhone's run put the ball at the Knights' 31-yard line, but as it did in most of its possessions, the Tigers turned the ball over, this time on an interception at the 1-yard line.
That left Texas High with a 3-0 lead at halftime, the three points coming on a 29-yard field goal by Mantas Urienezius on the Tigers' first possession. It was his first career field goal, and he would later add a 32-yarder to complete the scoring with 10:32 left in the game.
It appeared the second half would be a different story for the Tigers, who took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards in just five plays for the game's only touchdown.
Tre Walker, who rushed for 146 yards on 26 carries before going down with a hip injury early in the fourth quarter, got the touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Kody Hunter, Walker working himself free in the middle of the field and accepting the throw without a defender close.
But the Tigers reverted to their first-half form, fumbling the ball away again, and committing two kicking game mistakes that resulted in 33 yards in losses.
Texas High (4-1) opens district play next week at Pine Tree. Central fell to 3-2 with the loss.