Game Notes: Wildcats and Lobos

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, Special to the News-Telegram

Oct. 4, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats are accustomed to being on the serving end of big plays, but Friday night they were on the receiving end of just as many.

Longview had eight plays of 15 or more yards against the Wildcats as the Lobos racked up 429 yards offensively. Sulphur Springs, meanwhile, had five plays of 15 or more yards as the Wildcats had 410 yards of offense. However, the Wildcats also had nine plays which lost yardage, compared to just three for Longview.

Sulphur Springs was also hit with six penalties, all on offense, to account for more negative yardage. Longview had just two penalties (each for five yards).

The Wildcats had 21 first downs compared to 18 for Longview. SSHS ran a whopping 87 offensive plays -- twice as many as Longview's 44.

In addition, Sulphur Springs won the turnover battle, 2-1.

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ON THE VERGE -- SSHS senior Jace Jackson caught his ninth touchdown pass of the year to move to within two of the school record set last year by Chris Thompson. Jackson is now tied for second with Kendall Wright (2003). He is also just one behind DaQualin Evans' school record of 16 TD catches in a career. ... Sulphur Springs running back Ryan Young came into the game with a district-high 739 yards rushing. But, the Lobo defense was able to contain him to 59 tough yards. ... Longview's Tyler McCray jumped into the rushing title picture with 186 yards on the ground. He now has 683 yards rushing this season.

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END OF STRING -- Friday's loss broke a 13-game regular season winning streak by Sulphur Springs, the second-longest in school history. ... It was also the first home loss by the Wildcats since playing Texas High in 2006. ... SSHS junior Lemarcus Kendricks had a fruitful night. He averaged a healthy 21.8 yards on five kickoff returns, plus he caught two passes for 51 yards after coming into the game with one reception this season. ... Defensive end Colton Nash recovered his second fumble of the season, and cornerback Anthony Mills had his second interception -- his first, of course, came on the final offensive play by Wichita Falls Rider in the ESPN2 game.

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BAD SACK -- SSHS quarterback Tyrik Rollison was sacked seven times. That accounted for minus-67 yards. Longview QB Aaron Johnson was sacked twice, once by Colton Nash and once by Jake Russell. ... Junior linebacker Tyler Higginbotham led the team in tackles with 10, while tackle J.B. Beachem and safety Bryant "Day Day" Jackson also had high tackle totals. ... SSHS sophomore Fernando Arellano attempted a 45-yard field goal in the second quarter, but it came up short. Longview kicker Kyle Jenkins hit a 27-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, but missed a 23-yarder when it hit the left upright and bounced back onto the field of play.

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ONSIDE, OUTSIDE -- Wildcat senior Austin Brewer tried two onside kicks, but Longview recovered them both. ... Longview, with more than 2,000 students, will be in the Division I bracket if the Lobos make the playoffs. Sulphur Springs, with 1,100 students, will be in the Division II bracket if the Wildcats qualify for the postseason. ... Longview is the only District 13-4A team with a 2-0 record.

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