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Home News-Telegram Sports Homecoming Rout -- Wildcats open district with 45-7 win over Pine Tree

Homecoming Rout -- Wildcats open district with 45-7 win over Pine Tree

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It was a dominant performance.

Sulphur Springs had 16 plays where they gained 10 yards or more as they rolled to a 45-7 win over Pine Tree in the District 13-4A opener.

Pine Tree, on the other hand had just six plays with gains 10 yards or more. The Sulphur Springs defense caught the Pirates for losses on six occasions.

Another telling statistic for Pine Tree. They had the same number of first downs as they did points, seven.

Not good when you’re going up against the Wildcats who were averaging 32 points and 426 yards per game entering district play.

Sulphur Springs  outgained the visitors 391 to 136 in total yards Friday.

“It wasn’t a glamorous win, but it was better,” Sulphur Springs head coach Greg Owens said after the homecoming win. “It was a good way to start district. We moved the ball well, we avoided making the penalties to stop drives. We executed a lot better. Defensely we continued to play at the level they have been playing at. I was surprised we didn’t get a turnover. We got penetration and made things happen. Offensively we got in a groove and some nice things. We had big plays. Colton Lee played a consistent game. It was a good effort overall. Devion Hill ran well and I think we stayed on our blocks.”

Hill was a thrill with three scoring runs to pace the offense.

The senior bruiser ran 18 times for 172 yards in the game. All the Wildcat scores came the relentless ground assault.

“It was all my offensive line,” Hill said deflecting credit like brushing off would-be tackler. “If the line doesn’t make the blocks, I can’t do everything. It was all them, I try to run hard. My goal is not to let the first guy tackle me.”

Lee completed 13 of 22 passes for 173 yards with one interception.

The first series of the game for Pine Tree was a taste of what was to come for the Pirates. After taking over at their own 23, they managed just one yard on three plays and soon Tyler Kids was in punting formation. Kids, the quarterback/punter/defensive back booted the ball down the field. Bryant “Day Day” Jackson had a return to near midfield.

The Wildcats put together an eight play scoring drive to over the 49 yards to open the game. Hill started the action with 19 yards on an off tackle run. Lee threw to Jackson for a 12-yard gain. Hill ran for 10 more to move the pigskin to the shadow of the goal post. Hill cashed in the drive with a three-yard scoring run racing through a  big hole in the defense for the score. Fernando Arellano split the uprights with the extra point and at the 7:32 mark of the first quarter Sulphur Springs had a 7-0 lead.

The next attempt at a drive for the Pirates was also fruitless. Wildcats Kedrick Dial, Joe Villa and a few pals pressured Kids as the Pine Tree offense just managed five yards in three tries. Kids found himself again in punting formation launching one of his eight punts in the game.

Sulphur Springs started their next drive at their own 36 with 5:37 left in the opening frame. Lee ran for five yards. He then threw a screen pass to Garrett Ferguson for an eight-yard gain. Hill was thrown for a loss on the soggy grass. So Lee went back to the air and threw a check down pass to Ferguson for eight yards. He then connected with Jackson on a sideline pattern for 14 additional yards. With Pine Tree thinking pass, Hill broke free for a 21-yard gain up the middle for a first down at the Pirates’ 10. Three plays later it was Lee  in full gallop, lunging his 6-4 frame over the goal line for the second tally of the game for the Wildcats. Center/quarterback Colby Suggs rumbled over for the two point conversion. Sulphur Springs was up 15-0 with 2:25 still remaining in the first quarter.

Pine Tree managed to pick up a first down on their next drive. But the Wildcat defense got tough with Jocko Spataro flattening Xavier McCoo after a short gain.     Action moved the second quarter with two penalties on the Pirates stifling the drive. Pine Tree was called for lining up offsides and on the next play got a delay of game flag. From their own 27 Kids punted deep with the ball fielded by Jackson. Jackson made good yardage and cut through traffic and appeared headed for a touchdown return of more than 50 yards. At the three-yard-line Jackson outstretched his arm trying to reach the goal. The football slipped out of his hand and was recovered in the end zone by Pine Tree for a touchback. The scoring chance for Sulphur Springs evaporated as the Pirates took over at their own 20-yard line with 10:07 left in the first half.

“Day Day made a great athletic move just to get close to the end zone. It was a humid night and the ball just popped out,” Owens said.

Again the Wildcat defense got tough, surrendering just eight yards total ending the Pine Tree drive, forcing another punt.

Sulphur Springs took over at their own 41 and it took them just  four plays to score. Shane McQueen took a handoff and raced for a 19-yard gain on  a counter play. Lee threw to Cody Chester for a short gain. Hill’s next pass was deep, but fell incomplete. Chester covered the final 10 yards of the drive to get the score. Again it was the massive line of Sulphur Springs made up of Mason Y’Barbo, Chris Sorley, Alex Peek, Suggs, Beau Carpenter, Tyler Halerumal and others opening running lanes for Hill. Arellano made the extra point and with 4:25 left before intermission the Wildcats held a 22-0 lead.

The next Pine Tree drive ended with Sulphur Springs taking over on downs. The Wildcats could not get in the end zone either as a Justin Owens pass was tipped and intercepted by Dominique Webb. The first half ended with Sulphur Springs in command with a 22-0 lead.

The first drive for the Wildcats cover 64-yards in six plays. Lee completed a nice out route to McQueen for a 45-yard gain. Lee threw to McQueen for seven additional yards. Lee tossed a 12-yard completion to Cody Chester.          The Wildcats went to the “Tubow” extra large offensive formation with Suggs back behind center at quarterback. Suggs threw one pass which fell incomplete. Then the 225-pound senior took over for a two-yard scoring burst. The touchdown was followed by an Arellano extra point which gave Sulphur Springs a 29-0 lead with 10:10 left in the third period.

The next Pirate drive was a little more successful, netting 34 yards on seven plays before Kids was forced to punt. After seeing Jackson’s moves on previous punts, Kids kicked the ball out-of-bounds. Sulphur Springs took over at their own 20.

Kids then got into the scoring act two plays later. The senior Pirate grabbed a tipped pass and  returned it 10 yards for the lone Pine Tree score of the game. The extra point by  Ryan Assenheimer was good to cut the Sulphur Springs lead to 29-7 with 6:34 remaining in the third frame.

Sulphur Springs had a short field to cover after the Pine Tree kickoff was returned 11 yards by Jimmy Villa to the 46-yard line of the Wildcats. Operating from near midfield, Lee completed a short pass to LeMarcus Kendricks on a bubble screen. Hill ran for a first down advancing to the 32 of Pine Tree. Lee threw to McQueen for an 11-yard gain. Lee faked a pass and  ran for 14 yards on a keeper. Hill capped the drive slipping up the middle scoring a seven-yard scoring run. The Arellano kick at the 3:50 mark of the third period made it a 35-7 game and the home fans started to celebrate.

The Wildcats managed to put 10 more points on the board.

Hill capped a 69-yard scoring drive with a nifty 47-yard run following a wall of blockers for the score, Arellano missed the extra points with 9:21 left.

Arellano made up for the miss six minutes later as he concluded a Wildcat scoring drive with a 35-yard field goal. The score was set up by a 50-yard Cody Clayton return of a Kids' punt. Sulphur Springs went up 45-7 with 3:24 left.

The Pirates could not score late, Sulphur Springs took over and ran out the clock. The Wildcats went to 1-0 in district play with the 45-7 final.

A showdown is coming in 13-4A play.    Sulphur Springs, ranked No. 4 in the state, will play at district champion Longview on Friday. The Lobos, No. 7 in the state, are fresh from a 28-25 win over Texas High in their district opener.

 

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