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Home News-Telegram Sports Wildcats go 2-1 in 7-on-7 tourney

Wildcats go 2-1 in 7-on-7 tourney

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TYLER — The John Tyler Lions scored four second-half touchdowns to take a 40-32 come-from-behind win over Sulphur Springs in 7-on-7 action.

The loss, the only one in the tournament for the Wildcats, knocked them out of a possible berth in the semifinals as John Tyler advanced with a 3-0 record. The Wildcats will not be making a return trip to the state 7-on-7 finals in College Station this year.

"We should have won, we had chances, but we didn't," said Sulphur Springs offensive coordinator Jeff Riordan.

The tournament featured some of the best action this year from the Wildcats’ 7-on-7 squad. Quarterback Colton Lee threw 17 touchdowns passes (completing 59 of 79 passes, 74 percent) and had just two interceptions despite playing on an injured foot. Lee recently had nine stitches in his right foot following a poolside accident.

Lee was pleased with his play, but not the loss. Lee had been held out of a recent scrimmage with Gilmer. He liked playing better than watching.

"I think we did good, we got it going pretty well, especially against a team like John Tyler," Lee said. "We made improvement and I thought we were going to do it, we just came up short."

The Lions and Wildcats both entered the final game of the morning with perfect 2-0 marks. The handwriting was on the wall, and it was easy to read — the winner advanced the semifinals and the loser could pack up and head for the shade.

The 92-degree heat at Lindsey Park did not deter the action from being just as sizzling as the weather. Sulphur Springs held the Lions on offense in the first series. Then the Wildcats really had the John Tyler bench wondering what was going on as they got a Lee-to-LeMarcus Kendricks scoring pass. Shane McQueen caught the one-point conversion pass to give Sulphur Springs a 7-0 lead.

John Tyler then went to their team speed and moved the ball down the field before going deep to score and later tie the game at 7-all. The Lions were quickly kings again as they picked off a Lee pass to quell a possible Sulphur Springs scoring uprising.

But the first half was far from over as Sulphur Springs put up another defensive stand.

The Wildcats got a scoring pass to Jimmy Villa. But JT answered with one of their own, edging ahead 14-13 after the point after pass.

Sulphur Springs went into the half with a 19-14 lead after Garrett Ferguson snared a low throw and converted the grab into a score for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats did not back up one inch from the 5A power Lions and opened the second half with a long scoring pass from Lee-to-McQueen. McQueen also caught the point after and the visiting Wildcats had a 26-14 lead.

John Tyler showed what they were made of scoring to cut the lead to 26-21, then the Lions stopped another Wildcat drive. At the nine minute mark the blue Cujo team had the momentum after scoring and hitting the extra point to slip ahead 28-26.

Sulphur Springs got close with their next drive faltering at the 1-yard line as a pass fell incomplete on fourth down. John Tyler responded with a touchdown to go up 34-26, the extra point pass was slapped away on a fine defense by Sulphur Springs’ Bryant (Day Day) Jackson at the 5:04 mark.

John Tyler was celebrating the lead when Sulphur Springs went deep to Kendricks for a touchdown scoring bomb off the arm of Lee. The two-point pass failed and with 4:15 left in the second half, the Lions were clutching a  slim 34-32 lead.

John Tyler padded the lead with a touchdown in the final two minutes to go ahead 40-32. The Wildcats could not get back in the end zone, losing the key game of the series.

"John Tyler made the plays and we didn't," said Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens. "We played better, we did some good things. But in a tight game like this you have to step up."

Stats from the John Tyler game reveal that Lee completed 14-of-23 passes for five scores with two interceptions. Kendricks had two touchdown grabs, McQueen one TD and two  two-point conversion, Ferguson and Villa, one each.

In the first game Saturday morning, the Wildcats got in high gear very quickly smoking the Whitehouse B team by a 51-18 score to go 1-0. In that game Lee was 16-of-22 passing with five touchdowns, no interceptions; Blake Macek shared QB duties and was 8-on-9 with two scores, no picks. Ferguson caught four touchdown passes, Cody Clayton had two and Alvin Frazier, one. Tyler Harris and Sharad Timmons picked off one pass each.

The second game Sulphur Springs fought off a stubborn Rockwall team to win 40-36. Lee again was accurate with six touchdown passes and no interceptions with just five balls hitting the ground as he went 29-of-34. Frazier could not be covered by the Yellowjacket defense and he dipped and darted all over the field, catching three touchdown passes. Jackson had two scoring catches, Kendricks had one. Jackson, Seth Harris and Sharad Timmons picked off passes.




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