TEXARKANA – It’s been a long time since anything good happened in Texarkana for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats, and the Texas High Tigers on Friday made sure it stayed that way.
The Wildcats haven’t won a football game at Bob Grim Stadium since 1998. That makes 15 years and counting after the Tigers’ 43-7 victory Friday.
Sulphur Springs’ seven points were the fewest the Wildcats have scored since they were shutout by Longview, 45-0, in 2009. Longview went on to play in the state championship game that year. Texas High may or may not get to the state championship this year, but the Tigers are clearly the favorites to win the District 14-4A title.
The loss also snapped a seven-game district winning streak for the Wildcats. The last district loss? A 48-38 victory by Texas High in 2011 – at Grim Stadium.
The Tigers wore their black jerseys for just the second time this season (the first was against Liberty-Eylau). They reserve the black uniforms for special games.
STARTING OVER – Texas High took advantage of outstanding starting field position for their 11 offensive drives. The Tigers’ average starting field position was the Sulphur Springs’ 40-yard-line. That’s one of the reasons the Tigers scored 43 points with less than 300 yards of total offense. … T-High ended the game with 274 yards of offense, powered by 229 yards on the ground, courtesy of Tre Walker’s 194 yards rushing on 34 carries. … Neither team had much success in the air. Texas High gained just 45 yards passing and Sulphur Springs had just 33. … Sulphur Springs’ longest gain was a 19-yard run by quarterback Larry Pryor. The Wildcats had just four plays from scrimmage of more than 10 yards.
MOVING FORWARD – Texas High kept the ball moving forward. Their starting quarterback/running back combination had just three plays that went for negative yardage. Sulphur Springs, meanwhile, had nine. … The Wildcats had a season-low six first downs. … The Wildcats forced two Texas High punts, but they were both downed inside the 20-yard-line, including one at the 4. … SSHS punter Ryan Watson punted twice, once after having to chase down a high snap that went over his head. … On the bright side, the Wildcats had three kickoff returns of more than 20 yards. … Another bright spot, Sulphur Springs was hit with just four penalties, though one of them wiped out a 30-yard run by Pryor that would have set the Wildcats up inside the Texas High 20-yard-line.
TURNING IT OVER – Sulphur Springs immediately got into trouble with turnovers, with an interception on the game’s third play. The Wildcats’ third and fourth drives ended with fumbles, as well. … The Wildcats forced one turnover, a third-quarter fumble recovery by Dekeiston Mosley. … The Wildcats’ leading tackler was cornerback B.J. Stribling. Other top tacklers were linebacker Dedric Smith and lineman Garret Hood.
AROUND THE DISTRICT – Texas High (6-1 overall) and Hallsville (5-2) are now the District 14-4A co-leaders as they both won Friday night to improve to 2-0. Hallsville pulled away from Pine Tree to win 35-13. Pine Tree (2-5) dropped to 0-2 in district. The Pirates are joined in the cellar, surprisingly, by Mount Pleasant, who was upset by Marshall 64-59 Friday night. Mount Pleasant dropped to 3-4 overall, while Marshall improved to 2-5 and is now 1-1 in district, tying them for third with Sulphur Springs. … Next week, Sulphur Springs hosts Hallsville, while Marshall plays at Pine Tree, and Mount Pleasant hosts Texas High.
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