SHERMAN – Senior Mitchell DeYong scored three touchdowns and freshman Jaylon Hawkins scored his first varsity touchdown Friday night, but the eye-popping statistics for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats against Sherman were on the other side of the sheet.
It was on the defensive side of the ball that the Wildcats really shined.
Senior linebacker Derick Ingram was an All-District safety as a sophomore before being in the quarterback rotation as a junior. This year, Ingram is back on defense and is an impact player. In the first half against Sherman, Ingram had seven tackles, five of them for losses. He finished with 10 tackles, six for losses, and forced a fumble.
Sophomore lineman Cain Cody and senior lineman Dedric Smith each had three tackles for losses, junior Bryton Wood forced a fumble and junior Carson Hicks recovered a pair of fumbles (both of which led to Sulphur Springs touchdowns). Additionally, senior Larry Pryor broke up two passes and senior cornerback Brennan Brock intercepted a pass and returned it 27 yards. Recording sacks for the Wildcats were Smith, Wood and John McLarry.
MORE DEFENSE – Sulphur Springs forced 30 plays of negative or zero yards for the Sherman offense. That included three turnovers. … The Wildcats gave up just one offensive touchdown, forced six punts and two Sherman drives ended on downs. … Sherman tried four different quarterbacks. None completed more than one pass for positive yardage. … Sherman running back Tre Mask had a 66-yard run for a touchdown, but the Bearcats had just three other plays of more than 10 yards, two of them runs by Mask.
BEING OFFENSIVE – The Wildcats had some challenges of their own on offense, with 11 negative plays, but they persevered with 13 plays of more than 10 yards. The longest Wildcat play was a 34-yard run by Mitchell DeYong, which set up the first of his three touchdown runs. … The longest pass play was a 25-yard catch by Isaiah Lacy, who went up over a defender to make the catch at the 3-yard line. … Receivers Alex Burney and Dillon Carpenter each caught four passes.
SPECIAL TEAMS – Sulphur Springs won the special teams battle as Brennan Brock returned the opening second-half kickoff 64 yards, Alex Burney had a 16-yard punt return and punter Ryan Watson had a long punt of 47 yards and another that was downed at the 20-yard line. … Conversely, Sherman averaged just 16.8 yards per kick return and did not return any of the Wildcats’ five punts. … The Wildcats were flagged four times for 55 yards, while Sherman was hit with nine flags for 46 yards. … SSHS fumbled three times, recovering each one. Sherman fumbled four times, losing two. Each team intercepted one pass.
AROUND THE DISTRICT – Is Marshall back? The Mavericks didn’t post a win, but played Longview, a top 20 team in Class 5A, well in a tight 26-14 loss. Mount Pleasant pulled away from a strong Class 3A Liberty-Eylau team, 34-20; Hallsville knocked off Van, 38-26; Pine Tree outscored Center, 64-49; and Texas High shut out cross-town rival Arkansas High, 16-0.
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