|Defense comes to rescue as Rains downs Sabine 19-14|
|From Staff Reports|
Sept. 4, 2004 - LIBERTY CITY - Tyler Jones and Daniel Davis scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to give the Rains Wildcats a 19-14 win in their season opener over the Gladewater Sabine Cardinals Friday night at James Bamberg Stadium.
Jones, who directs the Rains offense at quarterback, gave Rains their first lead of the game on a 14-yard run with 9:05 left on the clock. His run
capped an eight-play, 81-yard scoring drive to begin the final quarter. Justin McFalls added the point after kick to give Rains a 13-7 lead.
Sabine retook the lead on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by Matt Prazak. But that was short-lived as Davis followed on the ensuing kickoff with a 72-yard touchdown return to make the score 19-14 with 3:49 remaining in the contest.
Davis said he knew he would reach the end zone when he broke a tackle near midfield.
"The dude hit me and I almost fell; but I just kept my balance and
kept going," he said. Once past his final obstacle, Daivis out-raced all his
pursuers into the end zone.
Defense made the win possible for the Wildcats. Rains held Sabine to just 127 yards of offense on the ground and just 5 yards through the air.
Sabine's Ben Cagel led all rushers with 83 yards for the night.
The Rains pass defense was even more stingy allowing Sabine quarterback Billy Clark only one completion while picking off three of his 11 intended passes.
Rains coach Ken Little said he was very pleased the defensive unit came up with an outstanding performance.
"All our experience is on defense, and we knew they'd have to carry us until our offense can catch up," he said.
The young Wildcat offense managed to produce 183 yards and a touchdown for the night. Mandel Christian led the ground attack with eight carries for 46 yards. Jones had 14 carries for 40 yards and Anthony Lewis had 39 yards on 11 carries.
Through the air, Jones completed four out of his 10 pass attempts. He paired up three times with Davis for 44 yards and threw to McFalls, who moved to tight end from the center position this season, for another 10 yards.
Sabine took the first lead of the game on a 6-yard touchdown run by Clark. Shaun Napier added the first of his two point-after kicks for a 7-0 lead
with 10:31 remaining in the second quarter.
Sabine threatened to extend their lead moments later; but while trying to convert on a fourth-and-27, Matthew Runion intercepted Clark's pass at the Rains 26-yard line and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown. The PAT
failed leaving a 7-6 score at the half.
After that, it was all Rains' defense as they took control and held the Sabine offense at bay. Twice Sabine managed to penatrate inside the Rains 30-yard line; however, both drives were halted with fumbles.
Friday night Rains will host the White Oak Roughnecks at Wildcat Stadium.
Rains 0 6 0 13 - 19
Sabine 0 7 0 7 - 14
SAB - Billy Clark 6-yard run (Shaun Napier kick), 10:31
RAI - Matthew Runion 74-yard interception (kick failed), 7:27
RAI - Tyler Jones 14-yard run (Justin McFalls kick), 9:05
SAb - Matt Prazak recovered blocked punt in end zone (Napier kick), 4:01
RAI - Daniel Davis 72-yard kickoff return (kick failed), 3:49
First Downs 10 6
Rushing Yards 37-134 23-127
Passing Yards 54 5
Passing 4-7-0 1-11-3
Punts-Avg 3-22 5-36.6
Penalties-Yards 4-39 8-50
Fumbles-Lost 6-4 3-2
RUSHING - Rains: Mandel Christian 8-46; Tyler Jones 14-40; Anthony Lewis
11-39; Aaron Combs 2-7; Derek Hurst 1-3; Aaron Potts 1-(minus 1). Sabine:
Ben Cagel 16-83; Ryan Walthers 5-27; Shaun Napier 3-11; Ryan Kennedy 12-4;
Billy Clark 2-2.
PASSING - Rains: Jones 4-7-0 - 54. Sabine: Clark 1-11-3 - 5.
RECEIVING - Rains: Daniel Davis 3-44; Justin McFalls 1-10. Sabine: Josh