CORSICANA — Wow, I feel like I am still counting points and tabulating touchdowns.
It just took eight play-by-play sheets and two scoring summaries for the historic contest.
The 77 points are the highest single game total for Sulphur Springs.
The only good thing about a high-scoring game is coming out on top. The thrill of winning and scoring 77 points, somewhat cancels out the realization of allowing 65 points.
Sulphur Springs needed every point they could get to take the 77-65 victory Friday night in Tiger Stadium in a game best described as "circus-like" to the fans.
The wild game defied description with 142 points scored and 1,500 total yards gained as the teams like a video game jacked up on Mountain Dew.
With all the offense causing the scoreboard to like up a jukebox, Sulphur Springs finally got control of the contest with a defensive stand.
Sulphur Springs was forced between a rock and hard place.
The Wildcats were driving for a touchdown, but a fumble off the hands of Willy Ivery bounced to the hometown Tigers. The home sidelines erupted with glee getting the loose pigskin and a chance to win with 3:41 left on the game clock. The Tigers were within striking distance down by five points 70-65.
Lamontra Owens ran for three yards. Then the Tigers were backed up with a holding call. Quarterback Devontay Bell misfired on his passing attempt, bringing up a third and long from their own 19. A bad snap spoiled the next play with Bell coming up with the ball and barely making it back to the line of scrimmage. Bell took the next snap and went back to pass, he held onto the ball too long waiting for a receiver to come open and was swarmed by the Sulphur Springs defense. The ball went over to the Wildcats on downs. The squad had the ball at the 16-yard line of Corsicana, a five-point lead and 2:49 remaining in the game clock.
Sulphur Springs did not go into a shell, but they did start running time off the clock. Pryor ran for eight yards. But on the next play the Wildcats were backed up by a holding penalty. Pryor kept the ball for runs of four and two yards as the game clock moved down under a minute. Then on a fourth down, Pryor showed off his determination, breaking through the line, slipped through a tackle and taking off for a 11-yard scoring which sealed the game. The kick by Ryan Watson was good and the Wildcats went up 77-65.
Pryor said after the game, "I was tired, but I had to get the last touchdown for the team. It was fun to be a part of a game like this as long as we won."
Corsicana tried to get a late touchdown in the wanning seconds, but were held out. Zach Spigner ending the threat with an interception.
The Wildcats won the scoring fest, 77-65.
Pryor completed 23-of-30 passes for 427 yards. Top receiver was Alex Burney with nine receptions for 109 yards (12.1 average) and two touchdowns.
Ivery continued his mastery of Corsicana with 34 rushes for 208 yards and five touchdowns. Ivery had four touchdowns in the win over the Tigers last year.
Pryor ran 22 times for 151 yards, scoring twice.
Owens had 490 yards rushing from 45 carries scoring five times to pace the Tiger attack.
"Let's make this interview short, because I'm tired," a usual talkative Greg Owens, Sulphur Springs head football coach said with a wry grin after the long game. "Heck, I was tired at the end of the third quarter. We just kept playing, through turnovers other scores. We kept playing, we had a great way to finish it. We are excited about the win. Corsicana has some good players, I give them credit. But we did what we had to do to win the game."
Fans and players should have been alerted the game would be usual, when points fell like rain in the first half. The teams combined for 74 points in the first two quarters.
Corsicana started the game off in impressive fashion, riding the fleet feet of Owens. The sophomore running back had five carries to open the game as the Tigers marched from their own 37 into Sulphur Springs territory. On a second and 8 from the 33 of the Wildcats, Bell called his own number and rung up the first score of the wild tilt. Ryan Condley boomed the extra point as the home team went up 7-0.
Sulphur Springs answered with an 83-yard bomb from Pryor to Isaiah Lacy. The senior wide out got behind defenders and scored easily to get the first points for the Wildcats. The point after turned into an adventure. Watson's extra point kick was blocked, snatched up by Donovan Fields and returned for two points on the Corsicana ledger. The Wildcat were on the short end of a 9-6 score with 9:33 still to go in the first quarter. And the fun was just starting for offensive fans.
The next Corsicana possession ended with a fumble. Dekeistan Mosley fell on the ball with Sulphur Springs taking over at the 45 of the Tigers with 8:41 to play in the opening frame.
Sulphur Springs did not score on their next possession, but made up for it later in the first frame.
Pryor capped the long drive with a 41-yard scoring strike to C.J. Stephens. Pryor ran for the two point conversion with Sulphur Springs edging ahead 14-9 lead with less than four minutes to go in the opening period.
Corsicana only needed two plays to score and take the lead at 17-14. It was Owens again, this time he scooted in from 52-yards out. Bell ran for the two point conversion.
Down by three points, the Wildcats went back to work. Pryor threw to Alex Burney for a 24-yard gain. Two plays later Pryor went back to Burney who was in a crowd, making a stellar catch as his helmet was knocked off from behind by a Tiger defender. Pryor went back to the running game, Ivery scored on an 11-yard run. It was his first of five touchdowns in the game. Lacy scored on a two point conversion run, taking a nifty toss from Ivery who had lined up at quarterback. The Sulphur Springs lead was a 22-17 as the eventful first quarter concluded.
Corsicana was unphased and went back to work. Bell threw to Lakeem Christmas and the jolly young elf came down with a 45-yard gain. The scoring play to end the possession was a 20-yard run by Owens around end and through traffic. The extra point failed, but the home team had a slim 23-22 lead.
The Tigers boomed the ensuing kickoff with the wind at their backs. The ball sailing out of the end zone for a touchback, forcing the Wildcats to begin their next drive at their own 25.
Sulphur Springs scooted down the field in less than two minutes. Ivery caught a pass for a good gain. Then Ivery took a handoff and picked his way through defenders, turning on the jets for an 11-yard scoring run. Watson's extra point gave the Wildcats a 29-23 lead.
Moments later the Tigers were in the lead again in the see-saw battle. This time the scoring play was by Bell as he capped a 68-yard, 11-play drive with a short scoring run. On the play, Bell was able to field a low snap, the miscue destroyed the pursuit of the Wildcats and allowed Bell to advance up the field in a makeshift quarterback draw. Sulphur Springs was now on the short end of a 30-29 score.
The Wildcats would get the biggest lead of the first half as they struck for two unanswered touchdowns in the final 7:18 of the first half.
Sulphur Springs capped a long drive when Ivery slipped through traffic, turned the corner and raced 24-yards on a touchdown trot. Lacy again converted the two point conversion. The Wildcats were up 37-30.
The only punt of the game came from Hector Calvillo of Corsicana as a Tiger drive was stalled.
Springs put together an 80-yard scoring possession in rapid-fire order.
Pryor threw to Stephens for a first down. Then Pryor went back to Burney for 12-yard strike and other first down. Pryor again found Stephens open as the Wildcats moved to the 27-yard line of the Tigers. Then Ivery went back to action, took the hand off, put his foot in the ground and turned on a dime, bewildering Corsicana defenders as he raced off for a 27-yard scoring burst. Watson's kick gave Sulphur Springs a 44-30 lead that they would take into the half.
The second half would feature 10 collective scores as the game was far from over.
The 14-point lead held by Sulphur Springs would quickly disappear in the third period.
A turnover by the Wildcats, gave Corsicana the ball and new hope. The Tigers set up shop for their next drive at their own 47, with 11:07 left in the third frame.
Three runs by Owens were all the home team would need. After two short gains, Owens covered the final 37-yards on his own, scoring for the Tigers. Condley's PAT was good and the Sulphur Springs advantage was sliced to 44-37.
Ivery had one carry for one yard to begin the next Sulphur Springs possession. The senior speedster had to miss the rest of the series slightly reinjuring his ankle he had hurt earlier in the year. Tyler Rosamond came in and picked up the load. He caught a 24-yard from Pryor and ran for 11 yards on the next play. The drive ended when Pryor went back to the steady hands of Burney. Burney snagged the pass over the middle, scoring on a 5-yard catch. Watson's kick gave Sulphur Springs a little breathing room with 6:58 left in the third period. The new score was Sulphur Springs 51, Corsicana 37.
The Tigers got the ball back and constructed a 62-yard scoring drive which consisted of five running plays. Owens cashed in the drive, scoring from 37-yards out, spinning away from tacklers and racing down the middle of the field to paydirt. The kick was good as Sulphur Springs had their margin trimmed to 51-44.
Ivery was back after getting his ankle loose on the sideline and soon paid dividends. Ivery had short gains, which set up passes from Pryor to Burney for 12 yards, then a 15-yard connection to Dillon Carpenter. Pryor raced 19-yards on a key play for a first down. On the next play, Ivery turned wide and zipped around Corsicana players, following his blocks to the goal line on an 8-yard scoring jaunt. Sulphur Springs wet up 57-44 after they missed the two point conversion.
Corsicana was far from done. First they scored on a 14-yard run by Fields to cap a long possession. The Tigers were down 57-52.
Sulphur Springs had a turnover which Corsicana took advantage of on just one play.
Taking over at the 35-yard line of Sulphur Springs, Owens raced around end, cut off his blocks and then scooting to the end zone. Corsicana fans were dancing in the aisles as the Tigers took a 59-57 lead with 2:01 left in the third period.
Sulphur Springs put together big plays to answer the Tiger score.
Pryor threw to Ivery for a 45-yard gain on a screen pass. Then from the 26-yard line, Pryor would find Burney open again and the pair connected for a touchdown pass. The Wildcats went up 63-59 late in the third period.
Action shifted to the final period with the winner still in doubt. Especially since the home team was moving the gridiron on another drive.
Then on a fourth and 7 from the 38 of Sulphur Springs the Wildcats defense stepped up and held the Tigers. Sulphur Springs taking over on downs.
Sulphur Springs fought through a holding penalty and staged a scoring drive of their own. Pryor threw to Carpenter for 21 yards. Ivery took off for a 23-yard gain and another first down. Pryor called his own number running wide on a designed carry for a 16-yard scoring run. Watson's kick game the Wildcats a 70-59 lead.
Fields came back with a short scoring run for Corsicana they reduced the lead to 70-65.
Sulphur Springs had a late defensive stand. Pryor scored the game-deciding touchdown with 41 seconds left. The Wildcats were able to leave town, tired and worn down, but with a 77-65 victory.
"Corsicana whipped us up front, the front seven and we had trouble tackling," Owens said. "They got a body on a body. We did not tackle worth a flip. We have to fix that. We got the win. We finished it."
When asked if this game could be a preview of the district opener against high-scoring Mount Pleasant on Oct. 11, Owens answered, "I sure hope not."
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