It took last minute trickery, but Sulphur Springs pulled off a Thursday night sweep over Mount Pleasant in two eighth grade football games held at Gerald Prim Stadium.
8A 14, MP 12
It might not be Halloween yet, but Wildcat coaches reached into their bag of tricks to pull out this win.
The stage was set and the drama did not disappoint for the home fans or visitors on the cool Thursday night.
On a fourth and 12 from the 21 of Mount Pleasant, the Wildcats had a play left to win the game with 1:10 remaining.
With Mount Pleasant keying on the right arm of quarterback Ryan Humphries, the Wildcats dusted off the reverse pass. Simeon Taylor took the pitch from Humphries and raced to the left, stopped and pulled up, throwing across to the field to a lonesome Humphries who just had to gather in the ball and use his speed for the 21-yard game winning touchdown catch. The extra point by Julio Robles put Sulphur Springs up 14-12.
Mount Pleasant got the ball back and worked to the Sulphur Springs 44-yard line before time ran out of their quest for points. The Wildcats faithful could finally exhale as the hometown Cats held on for the two-point thrilling win.
Humphries was 11-for-19 during the night for 123 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions. Taylor had six grabs for 79 yards.
The game started off with Sulphur Springs controlling the action in the first quarter.
Humphries marched the Wildcats 59-yards for a score on their first possession of the contest.
Runs by Jaxon Reneau mixed in with a pass from Humphries to Taylor moved the ball into Mount Pleasant territory. On a third and eight from the 25-yard line of the Tigers, Humphries connected with Diedric Godbolt open for a scoring pass. Robles boomed the extra point to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 4:17 left in the opening frame.
Sulphur Springs held Mount Pleasant on downs. The Wildcats were forced to punt on their next possession as action moved to the second period.
Godbolt came up big on defense with an interception late in the second quarter. The 7-0 lead held up as both teams went to the locker room for half time.
In the third quarter, a defensive stand by Mount Pleasant gave the Tigers the ball at their own 27-yard line. Two plays later Mount Pleasant scored on long scoring pass to Ian Williams. The try for two failed and the Tigers were back in the game, but down 7-6 with 1:37 left in the third period.
Sulphur Springs got bogged down and could not get a drive going. After a short punt, the Tigers took over possession at their own 39.
The fourth period began with Mount Pleasant driving behind runs by Triston Richardson and Williams. On a second down from the 10, Richardson turned the corner and scored the second tally for the Tigers. The two point conversion try failed. But with 5:23 remaining in the game, Sulphur Springs was trailing for the first time. The Wildcats were down 12-7.
Sulphur Springs soon had disaster strike as Mount Pleasant forced a turnover and got the ball back with five minutes left to play.
The Sulphur Springs defensive unit only allowed eight yards on four plays. The Wildcats took over at their own 34-yard line with 3:10 left on the game clock.
Sulphur Springs drove closer as time clicked away forcing the fourth down call late in the game. The Wildcats won it when the Taylor-to-Humphries connection gave them the winning score.
Sulphur Springs won by the 14-12 as the final clock sounded, players and coaches celebrated the victory.
Coach Colten Lovvorn said, “I was very impressed with the way we played. On defense, we need to be more gap sound and be explosive when we swarm to the ball. The secondary covered well with minimal mistakes. It was a good win and the defense played well to stop Mount Pleasant.”
8B 8, MP 0
The hometown Wildcats did all the scoring and used a stout defense for the shutout in this contest of eighth graders.
Defense dominated the game early. Turning in big hits for Sulphur Springs were Tyler Armstrong, Gage Pogue and Logan Oxford.
Late in the opening period, Sulphur Springs drove from near midfield to inside the 20 of Mount Pleasant. Gage Pogue had a nice run and quarterback Connor Nix completed a 14-yard pass to Jamal Hobson-Cox. Two incomplete passes led to the drive stalling. Mount Pleasant held and took over on downs.
The Tigers soon has their drive halted when they fumbled and the pigskin bounced the way of Sulphur Springs. Josiah Ivery recovered the fumble, the first of two he would pounce on during the game.
The teams traded turnovers late in the second quarter. Kyle Alexander and Ty Latham picked off passes for the Wildcats. The first half ended as it started, scoreless. Sulphur Springs and Mount Pleasant, deadlocked at 0-all.
After going scoreless for a half, the Wildcats got eight points in less than a three minute span in the fourth period.
The Sulphur Springs defense forced the Tigers deep into their own territory. On a third down from their own 1-yard line, Mount Pleasant mishandled the ball falling on it for a safety in the end zone. The Wildcats were up 2-0.
Sulphur Springs held Mount Pleasant with Oxford coming up with a fourth down sack.
The Wildcats took over with 4:29 left in the game. Jonathan Alvarez scored for Sulphur Springs on a 45-yard run behind good blocking. The try for two failed, but Sulphur Springs had a 8-0 lead with less than half of the final quarter remaining.
Late attempts to get a drive going by Mount Pleasant proved fruitless against the Wildcat defense. Oxford and Nix made some big hits for the home team.
The Wildcats held on for the 8-0 victory.
Coach Clark Cipoletta said Nix threw for 88 yards while Alvarez ran for 52 yards and Pogue added 40 yards. Hobson-Cox had five catches and Lathan contributed four catches, Brady Crouse, one reception.
“Defensive standouts were - Tyler Anderson, Oxford, Lathan Kirkpatrick, Alexander and Ivery. The defense had a wonderful game with three picks, six sacks and a safety,” Cipoletta said, “Offensively, we moved the ball really well. We need to capitalize on mistakes more.”
The eighth grade had a C team intrasquad scrimmage between two groups of Sulphur Springs players. The blue team defeated the white team, 24-12.
Coach Lovvorn said, “The teams played well in the intramural game. Sam Hoang ran the ball well. Defensively, overall they swarmed to the football and were very competitive. Jaden Price played aggressively to advance the ball on offense.”
JV 23, MP 22
MOUNT PLEASANT —Sulphur Springs managed just one win from three contests on the road Thursday.
The lone victory Sulphur Springs did record was a 23-22 nail-biter in the junior varsity game. The Wildcats got a late two-point conversion to leave town with a victory.
Sulphur Springs got on the board when Tanner Ramirez picked off a pass and returned the interception for a score. Mark Maddox booted the extra point.
The Wildcats then went to the airways with quarterback Drew McCullough connecting with Derek Lamb for a three-yard scoring toss. McCullough threw to Lamb for the conversion.
Ramirez threw a 60-yard scoring pass to Lamb.
Ramirez found Scott Galarza open for the two-point conversion which turned out to be the winning margin.
“Luis Colorado ran well and picked up several first downs,” said coach Bruce Silman. “The team played very hard and found a way to win the game. We are very proud of their team effort.”
Coach Scott Rozell commented, “Defensive standouts were, Colby Hutchings with several solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Great safety play by Keylon Hall and Scott Galarza. Man the corners all night were cornerbacks Devin Douglas with several pass break ups and John Hogan. Safety, quarterback and kicker, Tanner Ramirez, had a stellar night with several pass breakups and a interception for a touchdown.”
Rozell added, “Putting pressure on the quarterback all night were defensive ends Dakota Stalcup, Derek Lamb, Jaylon Mitchell and Curtis August. Interior defensive tackle standouts were, Israel Moreno, Draylon Porter and Brandon Foster.”
The Wildcat JV will be in action next Thursday at Prim stadium vs. Texas High.
MP 9A 49,
Sulphur Springs 0
Playing on the road proved rough for Sulphur Springs freshmen as they dropped two games to the Tigers.
The Sulphur Springs A team lost 49-0 despite some strong performances on the squad.
Quarterback Easton Silman completed 10-of-20 passes for 108 yards, no scores, three interceptions. Heston Golightly caught three passes for 50 yards.
Dylan Rogers led the rushing game with 27 yards on 10 carries.
The defense was paced by D.J. Hall, according to coach Chris Valdovinos.
MP 9B 14,
Sulphur Springs 8
“In the B team game, the passing and rushing were led by Taylor Ibarra,” Valdovinos said. “Ibarra had 89 yards rushing and also completed 12-of-22 passes for 120 yards with one touchdowns, two interceptions. Anthony Johnson and David Delgado led the team in tackles.”
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