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Home News-Telegram Sports Sulphur Springs clinches grid playoffs

Sulphur Springs clinches grid playoffs

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   LONGVIEW — One goal accomplished.
    Sulphur Springs rolled to a 56-28 win over Pine Tree Friday, clinching a playoff berth in the District 14-4A race.


    The victory puts the Wildcats at 3-1 in district with one game left, they are 6-3 overall. Pine Tree fell to 0-4 in district, 3-6 overall.
    After winning district last year with an undefeated record, Sulphur Springs wanted another title. But it did not happen, making the playoffs is the next best thing.
    The Wildcats were propelled into the win column by the stellar play of Larry Pryor. Pryor threw for five touchdowns in the rout, giving him 10 TD passes in the last two games.
    Pryor completed 14 of 24 passes for 312 yards, five scores against Pine Tree. He also ran 15 times of 172 yards and two more touchdowns.
    Isaiah Lacy was the favorite target for Pryor during the night. He averaged 36 yards per catch, hauling in three touchdowns with 182 receiving yards.
    Willy Ivery, had a slow night by his recent standards. Ivery, a 5-8 speedster, had 200 yards rushing, averaging an even 10 yards per carry and scored once. He also caught two passes for 14 yards and another touchdown.
    For the second week in a row, the Wildcats rolled up more than 700 yards of total offense. They averaged 10.4 yards from 71 plays.
    Pine Tree had 541 yards and averaged 7.4 yards a play, snapping the ball 73 times in defeat.
    Mason Hays at quarterback did most the damage for the Pirates. Hays ran for more than 100 yards and completed passes for 401 yards, accounting for three total touchdowns in the game.
    "We played very well in the first half. Larry is doing a good job spreading the ball around. He got some deep passes and we took advantage of it," Owens said. "This was a big win for us. Second half I was disappointed with our defense. We had poor tackling and gave to much yardage. We came out flat in the third period. It’s hard to come out and play at a high level after we had dominated the first half. But we have to learn to do those things. We are excited and proud of the win, clinching a playoffs spot. All those things are big to us."
    Sulphur Springs and Hallsville have clinched in the small school division of district. Playoff seedings will be determined by results next week. Texas High is the No. 1 large school seed, Marshall is second.
    Pine Tree won the opening coin toss at Senior Night at the new Pirate Stadium opted for the ball to begin the game. The Sulphur Springs defense made them pay as they had to punt after picking up three yards on three plays.
    Sulphur Springs did what they are known for - they struck quickly to begin the game. Ivery ran for 13-yard and a first down. Then with the Pirates thinking about the fleet feet of Ivery, they went up top. Pryor completed a 52-yard scoring pass to Isaiah Lacy who had slipped behind defenders to break free for the first touchdown of the game. Pryor finished his throw and was knocked to the ground. He watched Lacy score from a seated position and celebrated from his backside point his finger to the sky.
The try for a two conversion run on a toss from Ivery to Lacy failed. But with 9:42 left in the first frame, the visitors were up 6-0.
    Pine Tree moved the ball better on their second possession. The big play a juggling 35-yard pass from Mason Hays to Caleb Chumley. The drive moved inside the 20 of the Wildcats, but the Pirates came up empty with a fumble. The loose pigskin was covered by Carson Hicks of the Wildcats at their own seven-yard line.
    The Wildcats took over with 6:39 left in the first quarter. Ivery got Sulphur Springs out of a deep hole with a 34-yard, dipping, darting burst. Pryor threw to Alex Burney for another first down. Ivery was thrown for a seven yard loss on his next carry. Pryor went back to Lacy for a 54-yard scoring pass. Lacy made a nice move after reacting to the ball in flight for the stellar score. Sulphur Springs got the two-point conversion to pad their lead to 14-0 with about five minutes left in the opening quarter.
    Pine Tree was back tracking on their drive to start. Wildcat defenders Garret Hood and Dekeistan Mosley were flying in for tackles to limit the Pirates ground attack. So Pine Tree dialed long distance with Hays throwing a 65-yard scoring pass to Dalvin Manns. The kick by Kevin Jimenez reduced the Sulphur Springs lead to 14-7 and the game had a different feel with hometown Pirates within a touchdown.
    Sulphur Springs regained momentum on their next, brief possession. Ivery broke free for a 15-yard gain. Then Pryor decided to explode for a big ground gain of his own. The 6-2 senior used his speed to get past the line of scrimmage, them he rumbled to the goal line breaking at least three tackles as he terrorized the Pirate defense. The Watson kick extended the Sulphur springs lead to 21-7 with 2:44 left in the first frame.
    Pine Tree had the short field to cover after Sulphur Springs missed an onside kick attempt. Taking over at the 46 of Sulphur Springs the Pirates used 10 plays to move to the Sulphur Springs four-yard line. Hays sparked the possession with short passes and runs. The Wildcats got tough by the goal line and Sulphur Springs took over on down at their own five with 8:56 left in the first half.
    Ivery ran for gains of 37 and 5 yards to move the Wildcats to near midfield. Then Pryor's eyes got big as saucers when he spotted Dillon Carpenter, a 6-3 target, alone crossing the middle of the field.
    Pryor connected with Carpenter on a touchdown pass from 52-yards out. Ivery threw to Burney for the two point conversion. The Wildcats were now getting in gear, going up 29-7.
    The Wildcat defense again put up a stand and forced a put with Isaac Perez slicing in for a sack. Hicks tackled Hays for a three-yard loss and soon the Pirates were back to punt.
    Sulphur Springs again fashioned a quick scoring drive. Ivery and Pryor ran for first downs. Then on third and six from the 15 of Pine Tree, Pryor called his own number and raced behind blocks to the open field and scored. Watson's kick gave Sulphur Springs a 36-7 lead with 4:33 remaining before the bands performed.
    Neither team was able to pad their lead in the final minutes of the second quarter. The Wildcats had another defensive stand. Pine Tree took advantage of a fumble by Pryor which ended a late Sulphur Springs drive at the 22 of Pine Tree.
    Pryor padded his resume on the final play of the second quarter, picking off a desperation heave by Pine Tree.
    Pine Tree was not going down without a fight and put together two scoring drives in the third period.
    Sulphur Springs was halted on just three plays to begin the third quarter and soon Watson had to punt. The rugby style kick was not fielded and with a nice roll on the fake turf, Watson came up with a 51-yarder.
    Pine Tree got rolling when Hays ran for a first down. Three plays later, Hays broke loose and ran for a 27-yard gain. Quay Henderson capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown trot. Jimenez added the extra point to make it a 36-14 game.
    The Wildcats moved from their own 41-yard line to deep into Pirateland. But Ivery was tripped up a fumbled as he fell inside the five-yard line. The ball rolled into the end zone and was recovered by the Pirates for a touchback.
    Pine Tree was inspired and started picking up yardage in chunks. Hays threw to Johnathan Giddings for a 28-yard gain. Hays had runs of 17 and 10 yards sandwiched around a 13-yard gain by Henderson. Hays scored to cut the Sulphur Springs lead to 15 points, 36-21 with 3:07 left in the third frame.
    Both teams were in a scoring mode as Sulphur Springs struck back. Pryor ran for 29-yards up the middle. Two plays later, Ivery showed his speed and took a handoff and jetted up the middle 16-yards in the twinkling of an eye to get his first touchdown of the game. Watson's kick extended the Sulphur Springs lead to 43-21.
    Pine Tree did not relax, but answered with a score of their own.
    Hays connected with Giddings for a 75-yard touchdown pass. The extra point again was true by Jimenez, make the score 43-28 with 2:21 still to play in the third.
    Pryor was at the controls for the Wildcats and making good decisions. He ran for a first down, then picked up 13 yards on his next run. Pryor threw to Lacy, this time for a short gain. Ivery got back in the swing of the offense with a runs of nine and five yards as the third period ended. Two plays later Pryor threw to Ivery for an eight-yard score. The Watson kick made it an even half hundred for Sulphur Springs as they extended the lead to 22 points, 50-28 with 11:08 left to play.
    Sulphur Springs went back to their game play as the defense forced a punt, turning the ball back over to the red hot defense.
    Pryor ended the two-play drive with a 51-yard touchdown toss to Lacy. The Pine Tree defender fell down going for the ball, leaving Lacy alone to sprint to the end zone for the final score of 56-28.
    The Wildcats will have their final regular season game of the Nov. 8 as they host Marshall for Senior Night at Gerald Prim Stadium.
    Texas High beat Marshall 45-0 on Friday night. The Mavs are 3-6 overall, 2-2 in district.

 

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