TYLER -- The hits kept coming. And coming. And coming. And there was nothing Howe could do to stop the blows from the Waskom Wildcats.

Waskom recorded all 581 offensive yards on the ground and the Wildcats cruised into the fourth round of the Class 3A Division II playoffs with a dominating 71-21 win over Howe on Friday night at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Six different Wildcats posted at least 59 yards on the ground, and five different players scored rushing touchdowns in a game that saw four total pass attempts from the two teams, with zero completions.

Waskom quarterback Trace Carter scores one of his three touchdowns against Howe on Friday night. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

After a 7-7 first quarter, Waskom  (12-1) ripped off 57 points in the second and third quarters to cruise into the Region III final, where the Wildcats will play the winner between Gunter and S&S Consolidated, which play at 2 p.m. Saturday in Denison. Howe ended its season at 7-6.

Just days after the duo swept our ETSN.fm Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week honors, Junebug Johnson and Chan Amie were instrumental in Waskom's rushing attack, which had just one play of negative yardage.

Johnson ran for 133 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, while Amie ran for 139 and two scores on 11 attempts. Waskom had seven players with at least four attempts, and the Wildcats averaged more than 11 yards per carry in the win.

Running back Anthony Hawthorne was Howe's only source of offense against Waskom. Here he is scoring one of his three touchdowns as part of a 26-carry, 207-yard night. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

Running back Anthony Hawthorne, who scored all three of Howe's touchdowns, was the Bulldogs' only source of offensive firepower. He ran for 207 yards on 26 carries, scoring on runs of 18, 37 and 38 yards. The rest of Howe's offense was only able to manage 47 yards on 19 attempts.

Hawthorne's 18-yard touchdown run gave Howe its only lead of the night just over seven minutes into the game. Howe looked well on its way to controlling the clock for much of the game, using 14 plays in 54 yards -- with two fourth-down conversions -- to take a 7-0 lead.

But Waskom would score five of the game's next six touchdowns in the first half, with three coming from quarterback Trace Carter. Carter, who rushed for 81 yards on eight carries, scored the Wildcats' first three touchdowns in a span of about seven minutes in the first and second quarters.

Waskom running back Dillon Benton, who scored three touchdowns against Howe, high-steps over Howe's Anthony Hawthorne. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

It wasn't until the 1:23 mark of the second quarter that a different Waskom player got into the end zone, when Dillon Benton -- who also scored three TDs on the night -- scored on a 1-yard run.

Waskom ended the second and third quarters with dramatic touchdowns.

As Howe drove down the field looking to score before the end of the first half, Brandon Wall was stripped by Waskom's Kaleb Haynes. Before he was tackled Haynes pitched the ball to Eric Stephens III, who raced 70 yards for a touchdown as the first half came to a close and Waskom took a 36-14 lead into the locker room.

Hawthorne, who scored five touchdowns in Howe's win over Waskom's district rival Hughes Springs last week, scored on an impressive 38-yard run to cut Waskom's lead to 57-21 with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter. But on Waskom's first play Amie took the handoff and took off, scampering 64 yards to paydirt, another example of the Wildcats' dominating abilities in the ground game.

Howe running back Anthony Hawthorne runs through the arms of Waskom's Kevin Johnson for a big gain Friday night. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

Waskom has won 12 straight since dropping its season-opener against Center, 28-20. The Wildcats have scored at least 48 points in every game since except for one -- a 34-24 win over district rival Arp on Oct. 10. No team has gotten closer than 20 points since that game.

Kevin Johnson added 71 yards on the ground on eight carries, while Benton (eight carries for 64 yards) and Kaleb Haynes (four carries for 59 yards) also averaged big gains on the night.

Howe got its only other offensive contributions from Wall (10 carries for 24 yards) and Triston Matthews (three carries for 25 yards).

Waskom 71, Howe 21

Class 3A Division II Region II Semifinal
At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler

Howe                     7         7       7       0   --  21
Waskom                 7       29     28       7   --  71
First Quarter
HOW--Anthony Hawthorne 18 run (Brice Honaker kick), 4:58
WAS--Trace Carter 2 run (Jose Chavarria kick), 2:31
Second Quarter
WAS--Carter 6 run (Chavarria kick), 9:14
WAS--Carter 17 run (Chavarria kick), 7:06
HOW--Hawthorne 37 run (Honaker kick), 4:22
WAS--Dillon Benton 1 run (Carter run), 1:23
WAS--Eric Stephens III 70 fumble return (Chavarria kick), 0:00
Third Quarter
WAS--Benton 27 run (Chavarria kick), 11:43
WAS--Benton 5 run (Chavarria kick), 5:40
WAS--Chan Amie 15 run (Chavarria kick), 1:27
HOW--Hawthorne 38 run (Honaker kick), 0:08
WAS--Amie 64 run (Chavarria kick), 0:00
Fourth Quarter
WAS--Junebug Johnson 12 run (Chavarria kick), 5:11

                                    HOW          WAS
First Downs                  13              30
Total Yards                   254             581
Rushes-Yards              45-254        51-581
Passing Yards              0                 0
Comp.-Att.-Int.             0-2-0          0-2-0
Punts-Avg.                   4-31.5        0-0.0
Fumbles-Lost               2-2             0-0
Penalties-Yards            3-15            3-15


RUSHING--Howe, Anthony Hawthorne 26-207, Triston Matthews 3-25, Brandon Wall 10-24, Tyler Grisham 2-7, Joaquin Lopez 3-(-1), Team 1-(-8). Waskom, Chan Amie 11-139, Junebug Johnson 7-133, Trace Carter 8-81, Kevin Johnson 8-71, Dillon Benton 8-64, Kaleb Haynes 4-59, Victor Tapia 4-17, Lucas Norton 1-7.
PASSING--Howe, Lopez 0-2-0--0. Waskom, Carter 0-2-0--0.
RECEIVING--Howe, none. Waskom, none.

Waskom head coach Whitney Keeling looks at the clock during his team's dominating 71-21 win over Howe on Friday night at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)