In a Battle of the Big Cats, Only One Could Win
SULPHUR SPRINGS-Two longtime district rivals met on Friday, October 19, and the victor would sit solidly in second place in District 14 4A.
The Texas High Tigers (2-3, 1-1 District 14 4A) traveled to Gerald Prim Stadium Friday to face the Sulphur Springs Wildcats (4-2, 1-0 District 14 4A). The skies over Sulphur Springs were mostly clear at kickoff with a temperature of 64 degrees.
The Tigers were in their road whites with an orange T on the helmets and Texas in orange on the jerseys, and the Wildcats were in home blue with blue helmets that had an SS symbol on the sides.
The Tigers won the toss, and elected to receive. Alex Torres kicked off for the Cats, and the ball bounced out towards the home stands, automatically placing the Tigers on their own 30.
The Tigers started their drive with a bang. Treveon Walker and Javon Thomas banged through the Wildcat line for 12 quick yards, and they grabbed a first down. But then the Cats’ defense held, and though quarterback Clete Norton connected with Walker for 7 yards, the Tigers still punted the ball.
The Wildcats got the ball on their own 15 yard line, and it didn’t start very well for Sulphur Springs. The Cats grabbed a false start, Brad Macek missed his target, and then Macek got a bad snap that rolled into the end zone. Jamarcus Fontenot grabbed the ball for the Tigers, and the score with 8:52 in the first quarter was 7 Texas High 0 Sulphur Springs.
The Tigers kicked it, and Willy Ivery returned the ball 40 yards to the Sulphur Springs 46. On this drive the Tigers and Wildcats exchanged penalties with an offensive holding and off sides on the Tigers. Buddy Ivery grabbed 9 yards on the ground, and Macek hit Cole Hill for the first down. Then the Wildcats really got it together. Macek hit Colton Wise twice and Willy Ivery once for over 30 yards, and Macek grabbed 9 yards on the ground before Buddy Ivery ran it in from 1 yard out. With 4:51 left in the first, the score was 7 Sulphur Springs 7 Texas High.
The Cats kicked it off, and Fontenot returned it 20 yards to the Tiger 35. This drive was all Walker for the Tigers, as he grabbed 65 yards on 4 rushes, including a 21 yard rush for a touchdown. Tyler Ballard blocked the Tigers extra point, but with 3:23 left in the 1st, the score was 13 Texas High 7 Sulphur Springs.
Willy Ivery returned the ball 20 yards to the SS 29, and a new quarterback came out for the Cats. Buddy Ivery ran once before Derrick Ingram went to work. He hit Hill for 9 yards, grabbed 13 on the ground himself, and connected with Alex Burney for 17 yards. The Tigers gave the Cats a facemask penalty, and then Buddy Ivery punched it in from 9 yards for a score. The Cats went for two on a fake field goal pass from Tony Bravo to Hill, and they got it. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 15 Sulphur Springs 13 Texas High.
The Tigers got the ball on their own 30, and netted negative 5 yards. The Tigers got a holding penalty, and though Norton hit Jarion Anderson for 9 yards, Heath Howard sacked Norton for a four yard loss on third down. Dakota Hunter came out and punted the ball for 44 yards to the Cats’ 31.
Ingram came out again for the Cats, and Sulphur Springs drove down the field again. Ingram grabbed 6 on the ground and 5 in the air to Hill, and Buddy Ivery ran for 22 yards. But then Ingram missed his target three straight times and the Cats had to try a 35 yard field goal. Bravo hit it, and the score with 7:36 left in the 2nd was 18 Sulphur Springs 13 Texas High.
The Tigers started on their own 30, and again didn’t move very far. The Cats’ defense held on fourth and 1, and Sulphur Springs got the ball back on the T High 46.
Macek came out for the Wildcats, and promptly threw an interception to Anthony Rhone, who returned the ball 20 yards to the Sulphur Springs 34.
And that would be the fuel the Tigers’ offense would need. Javon Thomas ran for 33 yards, and Norton punched it in from 1 yard out. The Cats stopped the two point conversion, but even so the Tigers grabbed the lead. With 4:34 in the second, it was 19 Texas High 18 Sulphur Springs.
The Cats grabbed a 10 yard penalty on their return, and started on their own 15. Willy Ivery made up for it on an 18 yard rush, Buddy Ivery grabbed 17 yards himself, and then Macek hit Wise for 50 yards and a touchdown. With 3:17 left in the half, it was 25 to 19 Sulphur Springs.
The Tigers moved quickly down the field on what looked like the final drive of the half. Thomas and Walker combined for 17 yards on the ground, and Norton hit Taylor Jackson and Walker for 25 yards. But the drive deflated when Walker was injured after receiving a pass from Norton. He left the game, and did not return. Norton ran twice to run out the clock, and then Steven Crenshaw came out to kick a 39-yard field goal.
He missed it, and the ball went back to Sulphur Springs with 2 seconds left. Macek took a knee to end the half. At the end of two, the score was 25 Sulphur Springs 19 Texas High.
Willy Ivery received the ball to start the second half, and returned it 27 yards to the SS 34. Buddy Ivery ran for 42 yards right off the bat, then he and Willy Ivery grabbed one yard each before Ingram hit Hill on a 12 yard pass. But the Cats slowed down a little as they neared the Tigers’ end zone. They grabbed a holding penalty and off set another holding call with a Tiger being offside. Ingram missed his target on 2nd and 17, and Buddy Ivery only got 6 yards on third down. To save the drive Bravo came out and kicked a 33 yard field goal. With 8:58 left in the third quarter, it was 28-19 Sulphur Springs.
Marquan Daniels returned the ball 34 yards to the 50 for the Tigers, and their offense stalled again. Thomas grabbed 6 yards before Norton missed his target on third down and Hunter punted it 42 yards to the SS 2.
But Sulphur Springs would hand some free points to the Tigers. They fumbled the ball on their own 2, and the Tigers recovered it in the Wildcat endzone. With 6:58 left in the 3rd, it was 28-25 Sulphur Springs after a missed T High extra point.
But the Cats wouldn’t let the Tigers maintain that 3 point margin. Willy Ivery returned the kick 30 yards to the SS 38, and then Macek went to work. He hit Burney for 9 yards after handing it off to Buddy Ivery, and then grabbed 9 yards himself before hitting Hill for 32 yards and a touchdown. With 5:07 in the third, it was 35 Sulphur Springs 25 Texas High.
Deshawn Jackson received the kick from the Cats and returned it 10 yards to the Tigers 31. It didn’t go too well for the Tigers though. Norton was intercepted by Larry Pryor, and the got the ball on their own 30.
Buddy Ivery ran for 15 yards, Macek hit Wise for 8 yards and Hill for 4 yards, and then Buddy Ivery and Macek exchanged rushes for 12 and 19 yards, respectively, including a 15 yard run by Macek for a touchdown. With 1:30 left in the 3rd, the score was 42 Sulphur Springs 25 Texas High.
Marquan Daniels returned the ball 25 yards to the Tigers 41, but it wouldn’t help the Tigers very much. They would grab one first down before three straight incomplete passes from Norton. They punted on fourth and ten, and the Wildcats got the ball on their own 23.
With the ball back with 11:28 left in the game, the Wildcats switched to the clock-killing game. Buddy Ivery and Ingram ran for 38 yards before two consecutive holding penalties. But the Tigers helped them out by giving them a facemask penalty and an automatic first down on third and 24.
Buddy Ivery ran for three more and Ingram hit Hill for 16 yards. But then Sulphur Springs fumbled for the third time, and Texas High again recovered.
But they wouldn’t have the ball for long. With 7 minutes left in the game, Norton would be intercepted by Zach Miller on the Texas 15.
The Wildcats would run for 8 yards, but then be forced to kick their third field goal of the night, this one from 20 yards. The score with 4:28 left in the game was 45 Sulphur Springs 25 Texas High.
The Tigers got the ball on their own 30, but again lost yards. Norton lost 6 yards on a sack by Tyran Wilson. They punted, and the Cats got it a little over 2 minutes left.
The Cats would kill all but 30 seconds of the clock before punting to the Tigers. The Tigers got one more play, a 4 yard rush by Thomas, before time ran out. The final score: 45 Sulphur Springs 25 Texas High
Sulphur Springs (5-2, 2-0 District 14 4A) will face Hallsville (6-1, 4-0 District 14 4A) next Friday in Hallsville in a showdown for the top spot in the district. Texas High (2-4, 1-2 District 14 4A) will be in Texarkana next week for a game against the Mount Pleasant Tigers (5-2, 2-2 District 14 4A).
Sulphur Springs-Brad Macek: 7-12, 81 yds, 2 TD, 1 int; Derrick Ingram: 6-10, 65 yards; Tony Bravo: 1 for 4 yards, 2 PT Conversion
Texas High-Clete Norton: 7-14, 50 yards, int
Sulphur Springs-Buddy Ivery: 23 rushes, 164 yards, 2 TD; Macek: 5 for 42 yards, TD; Willy Ivery: 5 for 34 yards; 5 for 33 yards
Texas High-Treveon Walker: 14 for 107 yards, TD; Javon Thomas: 11 for 59 yards; Clete Norton: 3 for 2 yards, TD
Sulphur Springs-Cole Hill: 5 for 49 yards, TD, 2 PT Conversion; Colton Wise: 4 for 121 yards, TD; Willy Ivery: 1 for 9 yards; Alex Burney: 2 for 25 yards; Jordan Jackson: 1 for -1 yards
Texas High: Treveon Walker: 2 for 23 yards; Jarion Anderson: 2 for 9 yards; Taylor Jackson: 2 for 18 yards
Sulphur Springs: Tony Bravo: 3 for 3 FG, 4 for 4 XPT
Texas High: Steven Crenshaw: 0 for 1 FG, 1 for 3 XPT
Sulphur Springs: 3 fumbles, 1 interception
Texas High: 1 interception