|Played Out: Terrell's best is good enough as Tigers end Wildcats' season|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Nov. 12, 2005 - GREENVILLE - The Terrell Tigers did what they do best, and it was enough Friday night.
Terrell scored on big plays, won the turnover battle and held Sulphur Springs scoreless in the second half en route to a 34-17 victory in the bi-district round of the Class 4A, Div. II playoffs at T.A. "Cotton" Ford Stadium.
The Tigers have built their 10-1 record by being able to score from long-range, not turning ball over and not allowing opponents to score more than 17 points. They did all three against the Wildcats.
Halfback Kebron Lampkin scored on a 52-yard run and caught a crushing 65-yard TD pass in the third quarter as the senior speedster was Terrell's leading rusher (142 yards on 14 carries) and receiver (91 yards on two receptions). Those were the eighth and ninth times this season Lampkin has scored from more than 50 yards out.
The Tigers overcame a 17-12 halftime deficit by forcing three turnovers in the second half. It was the 10th time in 11 games they have not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points.
It didn't look like that would be the case in the first half, when Sulphur Springs ground up 156 yards rushing and scored all 17 points in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Chris Person, a 9-yard reception by Tyler Rhoades on a Logan Turner pass, and a 42-yard field goal by Spenser Daniel on the final play of the second quarter.
"We won the first half, then they beat us, 22-0, in the second half," said SSHS head coach Brad Turner. "It was kind of a reverse from last year when they were ahead at the half, and we came back to win."
The Wildcats end their season at 6-5, having qualified for the playoffs for four consecutive years. Terrell will play the winner between Lewisville Hebron and Dallas Lincoln in the area round next week.
The Wildcats had chances to add to their lead early in the game. But, a dropped TD pass on fourth down stopped their second possession of the game, and a promising drive to start the third quarter ended without any points.
Terrell received the second-half kickoff, but the Wildcat defense, led by defensive tackle Cole Strawn, shut down the Tigers on three straight plays, forcing a punt, which traveled just 21 yards against the wind.
The Wildcats, ahead by five points, took over possession at the Terrell 45-yard line and drove down to the 14-yard line. But, on second-and-10, a holding penalty moved them back to the 24, where the drive stalled. Daniel then came on for a 42-yard field goal, but the ball knuckled and dipped below the crossbar.
Terrell, then took the lead for good on its next possession.
The Tigers had a 75-yard screen pass from quarterback Rolando Kennedy to Jamal King called back on a holding penalty. But, three plays later on third-and-11, Lampkin got behind a Wildcat safety and caught a long pass from quarterback Rolando Kennedy, completing the 65-yard touchdown into a strong wind out of the south. That gave Terrell a 20-17 lead, and the Tigers wouldn't relinquish it.
"The wind was a big factor, and I thought if we could make some hay when we had the wind to our backs in the third quarter, we'd be OK," Turner said. "We needed to get a stop, which we got, and we had a really good opportunity.
"We were not able to capitalize on the chance we had in the third quarter. I thought we had a chance - not to put them away - but to put a pretty big dent in them and make them have to do things they don't feel good doing, and we weren't able to do that."
Once Terrell took the lead, its defense clamped down. The last four Sulphur Springs possessions ended with an interception, punt, interception and fumble.
Terrell, meanwhile, added a 21-yard TD run by King and a 4-yard TD from Kennedy with 1:14 remaining in the game to seal the win.
Sulphur Springs drew first blood on the scoreboard following a scoreless first half. Terrell was stymied on its first two possessions when Strawn sacked Kennedy on fourth-and-3 from the Wildcats' 27, and then linebacker Zach Attaway and defensive end Fred Dale combined on a stop on third-and-11 on the next series.
The Wildcats then put together an 80-yard, 14-play drive in which all but one of the plays was a run. Person got the TD call from 1-yard out and Daniel kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Person finished the game with 122 yards on 21 carries and 88 yards receiving on four receptions.
Terrell, though, answered the touchdown with Lampkin's first score from 52 yards out. The extra point was blocked by SSHS safety Colby Mills.
Then, the final minute of the game saw a flurry of scoring. The Wildcats completed a 59-yard drive when Turner hit Rhoades with a TD pass with 51 seconds left in the half. The drive was kept alive by a 4-yard run by Person on fourth-and-3, and a 27-yard reception by Josh Riley, who finished with seven catches for 87 yards.
The Wildcats went up, 14-6, with 51 seconds left, but the Tigers came right back. They used a 43-yard kickoff return by Olando Kennedy and a 37-yard run by Lampkin to set up Rolando Kennedy's 5-yard TD that pulled the Tigers to within 14-12. The drive used just 22 seconds and left enough time for Sulphur Springs to score.
With Person gaining 26 yards on a draw and Josh Harrington picking up 13 more on a sideline pass, the Cats got within Daniel's field goal range, and his 42-yard kick gave the Cats a 17-12 halftime lead.
But, in the second half, the Cats had trouble corralling Terrell's speed.
"They're athletic," Turner said of the Tigers. "It was the same problems for us all year. We had trouble tackling their athleticism, and their speed was an issue.
"We weren't able to score in the second half. But, I was proud of our guys - they never quit trying. I feel bad for the seniors, but I'm proud of their effort."
Strawn led the defense with 11 tackles and a sack, while Attaway had 10 stops, Dale registered nine, Clay Wilks added eight and Stephan Petty registered six. Wilks, Strawn, Petty, Colby Mills, Dale and Keith Harris all had tackles for losses.