NACOGDOCHES — For the second straight week, the Nacogdoches Dragons found themselves tied in the fourth quarter.
Also for the second consecutive game, the Dragons gave up touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the final quarter and dropped a one-possession game, this time a 35-29 loss to Jacksonville in the District 16-4A opener Friday night at Dragon Stadium.
Down 22-14 in the final seconds of the third quarter, Patrick Ledet completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to L.J. Barnes on third-and-10. A two-point conversion pass from Ledet to Wes Smith tied the game at 22 entering the fourth quarter.
On the opening drive of the quarter, Jacksonville ran 13 plays and had fourth-and-2 on the Nacogdoches 11-yard-line. Carter McCown kept it and ran it into the end zone, but a penalty nullified the score. On the next play, McCown launched a 20-yard scoring pass to Cory Holman to put the Indians ahead, 29-22.
The Dragons then went three-and-out, and the Indians answered with a quick drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Stacy Cummings to make it 35-22 after Jacksonville missed the extra point.
Nacogdoches didn't go away, though. With a fourth-and-15 on the Jacksonville 44-yard-line, Sam Morgan caught a 26-yard pass to keep the drive alive. Ledet then found Barnes for an 18-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 35-29 with 1:45 to play. With only one timeout in the holster, the Dragons attempted an onside kick, but were unable to recover, and the Indians were able to run out the remainder of the clock.
The loss overshadowed huge games by Ledet and Barnes. Ledet had four total touchdowns and passed for 206 yards. Barnes had five catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
Canton 48, Athens 23
ATHENS — Canton's Connor Eiland took the opening kickoff back 89 and the Eagles never looked back in a 48-23 District 15-3A win over Athens Friday.
Down 6-0, Athens (1-5, 0-1) made it 6-3 with 11:42 remaining on a 48-yard field goal by Jesse Durham.
The first quarter see-sawed back and forth as the Eagles came right back, scoring on a 3-yard run by Dakota Hesskew to go up 12-3 with 6:02 remaining.
Athens rushed back with 2:31 left in the quarter, scoring on a 1-yard carry by Devin Hall to make it 12-9.
Athens actually took a 16-12 lead in the second on a 2-yard run by Hall, but Canton carried a 22-16 lead into halftime after scoring on a Reece Sumner 3-yard run and a 36-yard field goal by Scott Munroe.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter before Canton (5-1, 1-0) put up 20 in the fourth.
The Eagles scored on a 74-yard Chandler Eiland to Sumner pass, a 21-yard carry by Sumner and a 1-yard rush by Skylor Albritton.
Reece finished the game carrying eight times for 130 as the Eagles rushed for 249 yards. Chandler Eiland hit 16 of 23 passes for 262 yards.
Malakoff 41, Lone Oak 20
MALAKOFF — Exploding for three touchdowns in the third quarter, the Malakoff Tigers pulled away from the Lone Oak Buffaloes to cap their homecoming celebration with a 41-20 win..
Coach Jamie Drikell's Tigers used Damontes Dowell's four-touchdown performance to get back in the win column and improve to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in District 7-2A. Lone Oak saw its records slip to 4-2 and 1-1.
Malakoff built a 20-13 halftime lead and then poured it on in the third quarter behind Dowell. Dowell's fourth touchdown put the Tigers into a comfortable 41-13 lead going into the final quarter.
Dowell assaulted Lone Oak for 160 yards on 13 carries. He scored on runs of 35, 41, 21 and five yards.
Lone Oak scored on the first possession of the game, cashing in with a 32-yard pass from Kyle Crow to Jace Hart.
Malakoff kicker Cesar Garcia, crowned homecoming king before the game, booted field goals of 32 and 24 yards in the first half and finished the game with five PATs.
The Malakoff defense shut down Lone Oak in the second half, allowing only a score on the last drive of the game with less than a minute to play.
Brownsboro 36, Mabank 11
MABANK — Brownsboro Bears opened District 15-3A play Friday with a convincing 36-11 win over Mabank Panthers.
The Bears (4-2, 1-0) used their defense to take a 9-0 first-quarter lead, scoring on a 28-yard interception by Demetrius Moore and a safety.
Brownsboro increased its lead to 16-0 on a 47-yard pass from Shelby Rogers to Tyler Thomison. Rogers finished the game 8 of 24 for 206 yards as the Bears totaled 358 yards of offense.
Mabank (1-5, 0-1) made it 16-3 before halftime on a 28-yard field goal by Korey Roberts.
Brownsboro continued to dominate in the second half, scoring twice on runs of 3 and 4 yards in the third by Johntae Walker for a 29-3 lead. Walker finished the game with 76 yards and two TDs on 14 carries.
Beckville 21, Big Sandy 18
BECKVILLE — Beckville came away with a 21-18 victory over Big Sandy in the district opener of District 9-1A.
It was the ground game of Beckville that did the damage, rushing as a team for more than 200 yards.
Leading Big Sandy in passing was Travis Willoughby who was 8 for 13 for 148 yards and two TDs. Willoughby also led the Wildcats on the ground with 41 yards and a TD.
Receiving for the Wildcats, Isaiah Johnson led with four catches and a TD. Taurus Keppard also had two catches for 82 yards and a TD.
Leading the Wildcats in tackles was Zay Gordon, who had 12 tackles.
Up next Big Sandy will playing Joaquin at Big Sandy.
Harmony 40, Sabine 13
HARMONY — Harmony Eagles started action in District 9-2A Division I with a strong 40-13 win over Sabine on Friday
Tim McCoy carried 22 times for 170 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles (5-1, 1-0) racked up 392 yards rushing in the game.
Alan Peralta added 71 yards while completing five of six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles jumped out to a 27-0 first-half lead on touchdown passes of 5 and 55 yards by Peralta and two TD runs of one yard by McCoy.
After McCoy scored on a five-yard run in the third to put Harmony up 33-0, Sabine put together back-to-back TDs in the period on a five-yard run by Collin Gray and a four-yard carry by Qwalen Chumley.
McCoy closed out the scoring in the fourth when he scored on a 7-yard run with 4:35 remaining.
The Cardinals fell to 2-4 and 0-1.
Tatum 28, White Oak 21
WHITE OAK — The White Oak Roughnecks stood toe to toe with district foe Tatum and scored an electrifying game-tying touchdown with 1:07 to go in the game only to see Tatum match that touchdown on their next series to win the game 28-21.
In the first half, each team scored only once, early in the second quarter.
The Eagles scored with 11:25 left in the second quarter on a two-play, 46-year drive. Running back Shaq Johnson took the ball around the right side 44 yards for the touchdown. Alexis Garza kicked the point after.
The ‘Necks roared back and scored 45 seconds later. Quarterback Dylan Gale dropped a beautiful pass into the arms of Jansen McCurdy and he raced from his 48 into the end zone. The 56-yard three-play drive was capped by a Tanner Sharp point after a kick that tied the score.
The Eagles scored late in the third quarter when Johnson again took the ball in from 12 yards out and Garza kicked the PAT. In less than two minutes the ‘Necks answered when Gale again passed to McCurdy for a 30-yard TD. Sharp again converted.
Tatum quarterback Darian Brooks then ran 21 yards for the score but Garza didn't convert the PAT with 8:36 remaining in the game.
White Oak missed one opportunity to convert a Tatum turnover but they weren't finished
Behind by six points, Gale dropped back and heaved yet another TD pass to McCurdy. He caught the ball on his own 45-yard line and ran the distance for the score. Sharp again converted and with 1:07 remaining in the game.
Tatum took the ensuing kickoff and set up on their own 49. Brooks threw a screen pass to Johnson on the right side. Johnson then reversed field and screamed up the opposite sideline for 51 yards and 6 points.
Roughneck partisans went from bedlam to dead silence in less than a minute. Brooks then tossed a two-point pass to Michael Ochetto and Tatum was ahead, 28-21.
White Oak, 4-2, will play Harmony in a district match at home next week while Tatum, 5-1, plays at Troup.
Hallsville 42, Marshall 20
MARSHALL — Macailyn Wilder showed his athleticism once again, rushing 11 times for 111 yards and three touchdowns. Thaddeus Fagan ran 11 times for 79 yards and three scores, as Hallsville beat the Marshall Mavericks for the second time in as many seasons, 42-20. It was Hallsville's fifth straight win to improve to 5-1 for the first time under David Plunk, and more importantly, 1-0 in district. Marshall (0-6, 0-1) has now lost nine straight games dating back to Week 8 of 2011.
Hallsville only out-gained the Mavericks 457-390 in total yardage, as Kha'lil Sneed added 87 yards on 10 carries for the Bobcats, who are now 3-10 all-time against their rivals to the east.
Jacob Foster finished 16 of 23 for 191 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score, Marek Reyes caught 10 passes for 109 yards and Nolan Allen led the ground game with 87 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.
Marshall entered the second half down 28-7, and its opening possession of the third quarter was an example of the offense's bad fortune after the Mavericks recovered their pooch kick.
Allen ran 19 yards on the first play, and Jauque Kuykendall added an 8-yard run, but Kristofer Johnson and Reyes were both stopped for no gain for Marshall's third consecutive failed fourth-down attempt.
Hallsville scored the lone touchdown of the quarter on Fagan's second touchdown to cap a six-play, 63-yard drive, which took less than two minutes off the clock. Three big plays led to the score with a pair of Sneed runs for 32 yards along with Austin Toney's 33-yard pass to Roderick Boyd.
The Mavericks answered with a nine-play scoring drive which stretched into the fourth quarter. Foster threw a 15-yard pass to Reyes, and Johnson had a 17-yard run to set up Toney's dive into the end zone on the opening play of the fourth quarter to leave Marshall down 35-14.
It was all offense the final 12 minutes, with Fagan carrying the Bobcats on his shoulders with five runs for 42 yards, including his third touchdown of the night from two yards out.
Marshall mounted an 11-play scoring drive with Foster's 10-yard pass to Chris Williams on third down, a 13-yard run by Kuykendall and a Kameron Maxfield reception for nine yards. Allen bulled in from the one, and the extra-point attempt was blocked for the final margin.
The Mavericks did have one final scoring opportunity after Alberto Balderas and Alonzo Rois combined to sack Toney on fourth down. Foster threw a pair of passes to Reyes and had another tipped into the hands of Kuykendall for a 33-yard gain, but his final attempt into the end zone was incomplete.
Fagan had a 10-yard touchdown run, and his fumble late in the first quarter was scooped up by Wilder at midfield, and he raced 50 yards for a score. Wilder also had a 3-yard touchdown run and a 61-yard scoring reception from Toney in the second quarter for the 28-7 halftime lead after Foster threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Leonard for the Mavericks first points in the first half this season.
Cayuga 33, Kerens 30
BETHEL — The Cayuga football team showed Friday that it's not which team takes the lead first, or holds it the longest, but the team that has the lead last that matters.
The Wildcats overcame numerous turnovers and an 11-point second half deficit to defeat Kerens, 33-30, here Friday at Scarborough Stadium.
The Wildcats didn't take their first lead of the game until midway through the third quarter, and then had to hold on tight as Kerens tried to mount a furious comeback.
Cayuga took its biggest lead on a four-yard run by D'onte Jackson with just under six minutes to play in the game. The touchdown put Cayuga up, 33-24.
The Wildcats got inside the Kerens five-yard line thanks to a block punt and return by Donald Holly III, after a low snap on the Bobcats punt attempt.
The score capped a 20-0 run by the Wildcats, and looked as if it might have done in the Bobcats.
But, Kerens refused to go away, and quarterback Nate Betts led the Bobcats on a 54-yard drive that he capped with a nine-yard pass to Brett Anderson to the corner of the endzone.
That score cut Cayuga's lead to three, but the Wildcats tried to put the game out of reach by going for it on fourth-and-1 at midfield with just under two minutes to play.
But, Cayuga quarterback Chandler Rigdon bobbled the snap and by the time he gathered it, he didn't have enough time to get the yardage he needed before he was swarmed by the Kerens offense. The Bobcats had life.
Betts led his team down the field, and a Cayuga offsides penalty put Kerens inside the redzone with under a minute to play.
That's as far as they would get, however.
After two incompletions forced a third-and-10, Betts was flushed from the pocket and rounded by up Cayuga defenders, who stripped the ball out of the quarterback's hands.
The Wildcats recovered, sealing the win, which gives them a leg up in the District 6-A, Division I race after the opening round of games.
Kerens led 24-13 late in the third quarter after a 56-yard touchdown run by Rayvon Faulk, the first score for either team in the third quarter.
But, Cayuga answered and answered quickly.
Not two minutes later, D'onte Jackson capped a 54-yard Cayuga drive with a one-yard touchdown run to get Cayuga back to within one possession.
The Cayuga defense then forced a Kerens punt, and the Wildcats again marched down the field.
This time, Wesley Rigdon did the scoring, plunging in from two yards out to give Cayuga its first lead of the night, a 26-24 advantage with just under eight minutes to play in the game. That drive was extended by Chandler Rigdon, who gained four yards on a fourth-and-3 to keep the drive alive.
The Bobcats looked early as if they were going to run away and hide, and Cayuga looked like it might help them do it.
Cayuga fumbled the ball away on its first three possessions, and Kerens led 12-0 early in the second quarter.
The Bobcats got on the board first when Adreon Dans scored from one-yard out, capping a drive that saw Betts run for 52 of the drive's 62 yards.
After Cayuga's first fumble that came inside Kerens territory. Jackson was stripped of the in a big pile-up, and it appeared as if his forward-progress had been stopped.
Kerens directly turned Cayuga's next fumble into points, as Shelton Styles picked up a Cayuga fumble at the Wildcats 17-yard-line and ran in for the score to put Kerens up 12-0.
The only thing that kept Cayuga in the game was its defense, which time-after-time held after those first two drives, even when put in a bad spot by its offense.
Chandler Rigdon led all rushers with 122 yards on 17 carries, while Jackson finished with 89 yards on the ground and Wesley Rigdon had 68 yards.
Chandler Rigdon finished 3-of-5 passing for 52 yards, with Wesley Rigdon catching three passes for 53 yards.
Betts led Kerens with 115 yards on the ground, and also threw for 90 yards on 9-of-16 passing. Faulk ran for 83 yards, and Anderson had 76 yards receiving.
Leverett's Chapel 70, Bloomburg 0
LAIRD HILL — Leverett's Chapel's Taylor Stegman was crowned homecoming queen before the Lions' Six-Man Division I District 15 district opener with Bloomburg Friday.
It was a good thing the homecoming activities were done before the game, because the Lions scored 70 first-half points and the game was over under the 45 points rule in six-man play.
Nine touchdowns and a strong defense is all it took for the Lions (6-1, 1-0) to open district with a win.
The defense was led by Matthew Morris, Jessie Harris, Paco Chavez, Felipe Amaro and Colby Shaw who held the Wildcats to minus 22 yards on the night. Shaw, a freshman, intercepted a pass and scored on a 22 yard run for the defense.
"I was really proud of our boys tonight. The defense was strong and the offense put the points on the board," said coach Matt Everett. "I did see some things we need to work on for next week. We need to get better every week."
Clay White had a hand in five of Leverett's Chapel's touchdowns, running for one on a 58-yard carry, and throwing for four others. He threw three TD passes to Dylan Cooley and one to Jessie Harris and Mark Overman.
Cooley also had two rushing touchdowns and Justin Vanderwater scored one.
Bloomburg is winless on the season.