Caleb Williams said before the season he wanted to put on a show for the fans.
The T.K. Gorman senior did just that on Saturday, and with the help of some timely defense, the Crusaders topped Winona 37-32 on Saturday at McCallum Stadium.
The win by the host school of the Tyler Football Classic completed the second straight Tyler sweep in the event after Grace Community and All Saints both won earlier in the week.
Williams finished with 166 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. The swift running back helped Gorman total 320 yards on the ground.
Winona had a chance to win the game after the Crusaders’ fourth-and-10 pass attempt fell short to an uncovered receiver with 3:29 to play.
Taking over at their own 34, the Wildcats’ chances ended when Cale Tucker picked off Joey Dykes’ pass with 1:14 left.
Gorman, as it did all game, turned to its ground game to run out the clock.
Crusaders quarterback Kevin Johnson carried 13 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns, the last a sparkling 39-yard jaunt to put his team up 37-26 early in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats actually churned out more yardage on the ground — 333 yards — thanks to the efforts of Craig Wheeler (115 yards) and Dykes (107 yards, two touchdowns).
While Winona outgained Gorman 385-339, the Wildcats committed 15 penalties for 111 yards.
Ultimately, the game was decided on the point-after attempts. Gorman connected on all of its PATs (three Asher Boudreaux kicks and two runs) while Winona succeeded on one of its five two-point conversion attempts.
Both of the Crusaders’ two-point conversions came following offsides calls on the Wildcats special teams. Senior offensive lineman Matthew Carleton even got in the action on the PATs, grabbing a fumble in the end zone for two points.
Winona pulled to within 37-32 with 8:25 to play. After a half-back pass kept the drive alive, Dee Jackson scored the second of his two touchdowns.
T.K. Gorman 37, Winona 32
Tyler Football Classic At McCallum Stadium
Gorman 14 8 8 7 — 37
Winona 8 12 6 6 — 32
TKG—Kevin Johnson 5 run (Asher Boudreaux kick), 6:39.
WIN—Joey Dykes 30 run (Broderick Thompson run), 4:13.
TKG—Caleb Williams 38 run (Boudreaux kick), 1:43.
WIN—Dykes 9 run (run fail), 10:25.
WIN—Thompson 9 run (pass fail), 3:48.
TKG—Williams 18 run (Johnson run), 1:23.
TKG—Williams 8 run (Matthew Carleton run), 6:57.
WIN—Dee Jackson 2 run (run fail), 4:06.
TKG—Johnson 39 run (Boudreaux kick), 11:49.
WIN—Jackson 6 run (run fail), 8:25.
First Downs 21 20
Rushes-Yards 51-320 40-333
Passing Yards 19 52
Comp.-Att.-Int. 1-4-1 4-8-2
Punts-Avg. 0-0 1-36
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 4-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 15-111
RUSHING—Gorman, Caleb Williams 20-166, Kevin Johnson 13-74, Cale Tucker 12-56, Matthew Hillin 6-24. Winona, Craig Wheeler 9-115, Joey Dykes 8-107, Broderick Thompson 9-55, Luke Logan 4-25, Dee Jackson 8-22, Ke’Aaron Cobb 2-9.
PASSING—Gorman, Johnson 1-4-1—19. Winona, Dykes 3-6-2—23, Wheeler 1-2-0—29.
RECEIVING—Gorman, Conrad Flowers 1-19. Winona, Bo Gordon 3-41, Logan 1-11.