By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
The Malakoff Tigers are headed to the playoffs for a school-record third consecutive time after beating Elkhart Friday night, 48-18.
The win improves Malakoff’s record to 8-1, 4-0 on the year. Over the first three seasons of head coach Jamie Driskell’s tenure, the Tigers are a combined 25-5. The accomplishment is even more amazing considering the two years before Driskell’s arrival Malakoff was a combined 1-19.
Friday night the Tigers got off to a slow start, but outscored Elkhart 27-0 in the second half to break open a close game. Malakoff was up 21-18 at the half.
Malakoff was led by senior quarterback Jacob Teague, who threw
for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Teague was the leading runner for the Tigers, rushing for 85 yards on 12 carries and scoring on runs of 26 and 6 yards. He was 10-of-17 through the air for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
His first touchdown throw was a 51-yard bomb to Kash Armstrong in the first quarter. While Teague’s throw was on target, Armstrong was covered and the Elkhart defender got a hand on the ball; but Armstrong make a great adjustment and grabbed the tip before gliding into the end zone.
Teague had a touchdown toss in the fourth quarter as well, this time a sideline throw to Kameron Fletcher that the speedy senior took 88 yards to the end zone.
Malakoff got a big boost from Trevor Chambers to start the second half. Chambers picked up 59 yards for the Tigers on the opening drive of the third quarter, finishing off the six-play, 69-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run.
Jesse Ochoa had a two-yard touchdown run for Malakoff as well, and Tate Taylor had a 12-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Cesar Garcia hit on 6-of-7 PAT attempts for the Tigers.
Defensively, the Tigers were gashed on the ground in the first half by the Elks, giving up 238 yards rushing, including 168 by sophomore Jeffery Wilson. Wilson scored on a 60-yard run, and set up an Elkhart field goal with a 41-yard run. The Tigers also gave up a 43-yard touchdown run to Tevin White in the first half.
The second half was a different story, however, with Malakoff allowing just 25 yards rushing and shutting out the Elks.
The Tigers were able to force five turnovers on the night, including interceptions by Fletcher, Terrence Scott, and Damontes Dowell. Malakoff also had fumble recoveries by Taylor and Dustin Higgs.
The Tigers will finish the regular season at home next week, playing host to Crockett. The two teams will be playing for the district title.