By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
The Malakoff Tigers running game is become a dangerous weapon, as Lone Oak learned Friday night.
Coach Jamie Driskell’s Tigers rushed for more than 300 yards, including a four-touchdown, 160-yard effort from junior Damontes Dowell, to power a 41-20 victory over the Buffaloes.
And while Damontes Dowell provided the the zip, cousin Marcus Dowell and quarterback Tate Taylor added the boom with 90 and 70 yards respectively.
Taylor added 80 yards on 6-of-12 passing. Stephan Wolfe also had a 48-yard completion to Terrance Scott on a nifty reverse halfback pass in the second half.
Scott wound up with three catches for 77 yards.
The win was big for the Tigers, keeping them near the top of the District 7-2A standings at 2-1 (5-2 overall). Lone Oak fell to 1-1 in district (4-2).
The Tigers scored on seven of their first eight offensive possessions, with the only miss being a one-play drive to end the first half when Malakoff just ran out the clock.
Not all of those possessions ended in touchdowns, however. Twice, homecoming king Cesar Garcia trotted out to knock down field goals of 32 and 24 yards. He also converted on 5-of-5 PAT attempts.
Damontes Dowell scored on runs of 35, 41, 5, and 21 yards. Taylor added a 17-yard touchdown run to cap Malakoff’s scoring in the third quarter.
Lone Oak kept up with Malakoff early, finding the end zone on its first possession of the game on a 32-yard pass from Kyle Crow to Jace Hart. Crow also hooked up with Kason Freelen on a 45-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
The game was close at the half, 20-13.
Coordinator Brent Watkins’ came alive in the second half, however, holding the Buffaloes to just 76 yards of offense. Most of those yards came on Lone Oak’s final possession, when the game’s outcome was assured. Crow threw a third touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining to set the final score.
The defense also continued its ball-hawking ways, forcing another turnover on the season, this time an interception by Dariuhn Jackson.
The Tigers will be traveling to Kemp next week for another important district contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.