[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

MOUNT PLEASANT -- In a back-and-forth battle of high-powered, air-it-out offenses, it was two cousins who took to the ground to give Sulphur Springs a 71-65 win over Mount Pleasant in the 14-4A opener for both clubs.

In a game that had 1,386 yards of offense, Willy and Buddy Ivery combined for over 400 yards and six scores on the ground, and the Wildcats' defense was able to come up with key stops down the stretch to lead Sulphur Springs (4-2,1-0) to a key district win.

The Wildcats got the victory despite a monster night from Tigers quarterback Montravious James, who set the school's single-season passing yardage mark in only the sixth game.

James was elusive all night, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns and completing 30 of 54 passes for 401 yards and five TDs. His favorite target was star receiver K.D. Cannon, who hauled in 14 catches for 212 yards and three TDs. Running back Tarrence Taylor finished with 25 carries for 149 yards and a touchdowns.

A 2-yard QB keeper by James with 43 seconds left cut the Wildcats' lead to six and set up a dramatic onside kick. The kick was easily secured by Blake Doughtie, though, giving the Wildcats the victory after consecutive kneel downs.

Buddy Ivery lead the way for the Wildcats with 304 yards on 24 carries for two touchdowns. Willy Ivery added 108 yards on 12 carries and four touchdowns. Brad Macek led the passing attack with 180 yards and two TDs on 11 of 17 attempts.

The roller-coaster affair featured double-digit leads by both teams and included a 19-0 scoring run by the Tigers that was followed by a 19-0 run by the Wildcats that cut it to a three-point Mount Pleasant lead at the half.

Trailing 59-57 early in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats started a drive at their own 30 with backup QB Derick Ingram. Three completions by the junior and two runs by Buddy Ivery set up Willy Ivery for a 12-yard score to give Sulphur Springs the 64-59 lead.

The Tigers (4-2, 0-1) drove the ball right back down the field to the Wildcat 20-yard line where a pass across the middle was picked off by Kalyle Wright at the 8-yard line. The Wildcats couldn’t take advantage, however, as they went three-and-out and produced the game's first and only punt. In his own end zone, Tony Bravo booted one 60 yards, and after a Tiger penalty the ball was spotted at their own 24 yard line.

The Tigers couldn’t get it going, turning it over on downs and setting up the Wildcats to go five plays for a 1-yard score by Buddy Ivery to give Sulphur Springs a commanding 71-59 lead with just three minutes left, setting up the Tigers' final possession.

Sulphur Springs plays host to Texas High next Friday night, while Mount Pleasant plays Marshall at home.