By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
LONGVIEW–The Malakoff Tigers’ unprecedented run through the high-school football playoffs ended Friday, Nov. 29 in the regional semifinals in Longview with a 34-27 loss to New Boston.
Malakoff finishes the season at 11-2, which includes a district, bi-district and area championship. The 11 wins tie the 1940 Malakoff football team for most-ever victories in a season, and bested 1947’s 10-win season. The 1940 team went 11-0, won its district, and beat Tatum 19-7 to claim a class B bi-district championship. That was as far as Malakoff could advance at that time, as the University Interscholastic League held a single state championship game between larger schools until 1948, when state championships expanded to all school-sizes.
“Do not let this (loss) dictate your season. It was the best season in Malakoff history,” coach Jamie Driskell told his team following the game.
After falling behind 20-7, the Tigers tied the game on a three-yard quarterback keeper by Deric Greenhaw with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter. New Boston pulled away with two quick scores, including a 76-yard touchdown to Jeff Gladney, then linebacker Wes Teague returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown on Malakoff’s next possession to give New Boston a 34-20 lead with 3:27 left in the game. Malakoff responded with a 19-yard Damontes Dowell touchdown run to pull within seven with 52 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by New Boston, which ran out the clock.
New Boston scored on the first Tiger play on offense when Quinn Dedmon picked up a Malakoff fumble and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Dariuhn Jackson returned a punt 41 yards for a Malakoff touchdown to knot the score at 7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. New Boston then struck with a 15-yard slant pass to Gladney to take a 14-7 halftime lead. Gladney finished the game with four catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and included a key third-and-long conversion.
New Boston tacked on a third-quarter touchdown on a five-yard pass to Juwaun Johnson, missed the extra point, but extended its lead to 20-7. Malakoff responded with two three-yard touchdown runs, one by Damontes Dowell, the other by Greenhaw which tied the game for the final time.
The Tigers racked up 256 yards rushing, led by Damontes Dowell’s 121 yards on 16 carries, with 88 more from Marcus Dowell. Malakoff held New Boston to only 114 yards on the ground, but gave up 180 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Dream season ends with close playoff loss
Posted by : December 9, 2013| On :
By Russell Slaton