By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers football team rocked and rolled on Homecoming, beating Palestine Westwood, 46-14, to remain unbeaten at 7-0. The Tigers are ranked No. 3 in the state by The Associated Press.
Three more regular-season games remain for the Tigers: tonight’s game (Oct. 21) at West, which as of Friday’s slate of games is 3-1 in district; Oct. 28’s game hosting Teague (4-0 in district); then the regular-season finale, at Elkhart (2-2 in district) on Nov. 4. Those three games stand in the way of Malakoff’s first district championship since 2013 and the second undefeated, untied regular season in school history, the first coming in 1940.
The Malakoff Homecoming matchup with Palestine Westwood was the twelfth meeting between the schools since 1972, with Malakoff now holding a 7-5 victory margin over Westwood with Oct. 14’s win. The Tigers have won four consecutive games in the series since 2013.
Malakoff started the beating of Westwood with a Judd Miller-to-Tyler Russell 48-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage for the Tiger offense, which set up shop in Westwood territory after Russell ran back the opening kickoff to midfield. Only 16 seconds elapsed from the clock, and Malakoff led 6-0 after the failed two-point conversion.
Malakoff struck quickly after a Westwood fumble on the kickoff return was recovered by Tiger defender Xavier McCullar at the Westwood 44-yard line, with 11:41 left in the first quarter. That drive was capped when QT Barker took a swing pass 10 yards for a touchdown at the 10:22 mark of the opening stanza. The extra-point kick gave Malakoff a 13-0 advantage.
Touchdown No. 3 for Malakoff came with 7:08 left in the first quarter, when ShaZarrion Bailey plunged into the end zone from one yard out. The extra-attempt clanged off the upright, leaving the score at Malakoff 19, Westwood 0. Bailey again scored a Tiger touchdown, this time on a 38-yard throw-and-run that put Malakoff ahead 26-0 with 4:35 left in the first quarter, including the successful point-after kick.
Westwood got its first stop on defense late in the first quarter, then early in the second quarter, the Westwood offense picked up its initial first down of the game. A chop-block penalty killed that Westwood drive, with Malakoff essentially finishing off their visitors with a 61-yard Miller-to-Russell touchdown pass on Malakoff’s first play after Westwood punted the ball back. Malakoff now led 33-9 with 8:10 before halftime.
Malakoff’s defense forced another punt, which went out of bounds at the Westwood 48-yard line. Two plays later, with five minutes before halftime, QT Barker caught a 43-yard touchdown pass, upping Malakoff’s lead to 40-0 (extra point kick good), which stood as the halftime score
Six more Malakoff points were rung up with 7:43 left in the third quarter (the extra-point kick was blocked), when Miller connected with Russell for a 22-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down-and-eight play. After going up 46-0, Malakoff’s lineup was littered with backups, with Westwood scoring two late touchdowns to account for the 46-14 final.
Posted by : October 20, 2016| On :
By Russell Slaton
Posted by : October 13, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The Eustace Bulldogs lost 49-6 to the third-ranked Malakoff Tigers in Malakoff Sept. 7 at Tiger Stadium.
The Tiger’s offense was on a roll Friday night, dishing out 300 yards of total offense in the first half alone, while the Bulldogs were held to just 173 all game. The Tiger’s record raises to 6-0 and 3-0 in district 9-3A alone.
Malakoff quarterback Judd Miller was accurate all night, completing 15 of his 18 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns. He added 57 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground.
Tigers running back Breashawn Williams led the game in rushing with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including a 95-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Scoring got underway quickly, as Malakoff reached the endzone on the first drive of the game when Miller found QT Barker for an 8-yard pass. After the failed two-point conversion, Malakoff led 6-0.
The Bulldogs started to get an offensive drive going to fight back, but a pass was picked off by the Tigers to force the interception and turnover. The Tigers used that turnover to score again, this time on a 26-yard run by Miller. The two-point conversion was good and the Tigers led 14-0.
Eustace scored its lone touchdown of the night next, capped off by a 32-yard pass from Alejandro Sanchez to Clifton Johnson on a fourth down play to make the game 14-6 at the 10:50 mark in the second quarter.
The Tigers were not phased. Miller answered back with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Barker to take the 20-6 lead. The PAT was no good.
From this point on it was all Malakoff. Tiger touchdowns in the first half include a 20-yard Miller pass to Russell and a 6-yard Williams run.
Barker finished the game with six catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns, and Russell had five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs used three quarterbacks in Shanchez’s first game back returning from an injury.
Cameron Rogers was the leading runner for the Bulldogs with 23 carries for 89 yards.
Posted by : October 6, 2016| On :
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
TRINIDAD–A Trinidad Trojan second-half comeback came up short in a 51-50 Homecoming loss to the Fannindel Falcons, played Saturday, Oct. 1 at Trojan Field.
Trinidad fell behind 31-18, early in the third quarter, when the Trojan comeback commenced. With 6:30 left in the third quarter, Trinidad’s Colby Snider found Jerry Bannister for a 40-yard touchdown pass, but the extra-point conversion failed when the run was stopped short of the goal line. That got Trinidad closer, 31-24.
The first play for Fannindel after the Trinidad touchdown, a long pass to near the goal line, was intercepted by Trojan Jaden Garcia, who brought the ball all the way back to the Fannindel 20-yard line. From there, on the first play on offense, Trinidad’s Jerry Bannister scampered 20 yards for a Trojan touchdown. Ronald Marcus rumbled in for the one-point, point-after conversion, which gave Trinidad a 32-31 lead with 6:04 left in the third quarter.
Fannindel retook the lead at 38-32 with 4:29 left in the third quarter, but Trinidad responded with a score of its own, tying the game at 38 points apiece when Trojan fullback Nathan Williams plunged across the goal line from two yards out for six points with 31 seconds left in the third quarter (the extra-point play that followed failed).
Ronald Marcus of Trinidad recovered a Fannindel fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the ensuing drive ended with a Falcon score on an interception returned for a touchdown, moving Fannindel ahead, 44-38, with the point-after conversion run failing with 8:19 left in the game.
Fannindel went up further, 51-38, following a 10-yard touchdown run and successful PAT with 6:11 left in the game. Trinidad chipped away at the Falcon lead when Ronald Marcus ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 5:24 left in the game, which came after Trinidad receiver Romal Womack was interfered with on a long touchdown pass attempt.
Fannindel faced a fourth-down-and-five-yard play at the Trinidad 25-yard line, but the Falcons fumbled and Trojan Colby Snider scooped up the football and scooted down the sideline for a Trinidad touchdown, bringing Trinidad to within one point with 3:52 left in the game. However, Fannindel stopped the Trojan point-after conversion run, which if successful would have tied the game at 51.
Alas, Fannindel held the football and ran out the clock inside the Trinidad 10-yard line, clinching a 51-50 victory over Trinidad. Fannindel is now 3-2 on the 2016 season, while Trinidad’s record evens at 3-3. The Trinidad Trojans return to the gridiron on Oct. 21 with a football contest at Milford.
Posted by : September 30, 2016| On :
By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
MABANK–The Athens Hornets picked up their first win of the 2016 season after defeating the winless Mabank Panthers 41-14 in the District 8-4A opener Sept. 23 at Panther Stadium.
Mabank (0-5) were bested by the Hornets (1-4) by the tune of 41-14 and hope to get in the win column this week when they travel to Brownsboro to face the Bears.
The Hornets got scoring underway with just 2:21 remaining in the first quarter when Noah Bush ran the ball in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. After the missed PAT, Athens led 6-0.
A Panthers miscue handed the ball back to the Hornets, when Panthers return man Jacob Collinsworth fumbled the kickoff, with Athens recovering on the Mabank 35-yard line.
Fifteen yards later on fourth down, Junior quarterback Xavius Fulton ran the ball to the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. Fulton also converted the two-point play to take a 14-0 Athens lead.
The Panthers threatened to cut the lead in half at the 7:14 mark, but Collinsworth fumbled again, giving the ball over to Athens at the 10-yard line.
The Hornets punished the Panthers on the resulting drive, as Bush powered his way into the end zone for the second touchdown of the night to make the score 21-0 after the PAT.
Athens wasn’t done. Before the halftime buzzer sounded, Fulton ran in 1-yard touchdown with just five second remaining, followed by a successful PAT, to give Athens a 28-0 lead at the break.
The Panthers got their only touchdown of the game in the third quarter when quarterback Clay Conway ran the ball into the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown. After the PAT, the score was 28-7.
The Hornets scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, a 7-yard run by Fulton and a 28-yard run by Kamion Tanner to bring the score to 14-7. Mabank’s final points came on a Ty Mathis touchdown run with 40 seconds remaining.
Panthers Head Coach Mikey Thompson was pleased with the boys effort, but says the Panthers have to cut out giving away turnovers if they are going to win.
“Our kids played extremely hard for all four quarters of the game,” Thompson said. “We have got to get over the hump of being a ‘young team’ and quit making mistakes. Turnovers and penalties at key moments of the game have cost us all year.”
According to Thompson the Panthers are averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per rush, and are, on average, giving up less than 300 yards defensively per game.
“I am proud of our kid’s effort,” he said. “We don’t give up! Rebuilding this program is a process.”
Joey Schmidt led Mabank in rushing with 41 yards on four carries. Its defense was led by Hunter Caves with 12.5 tackles, including one for a loss.
Posted by : September 22, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
TYLER–The No. 4-ranked Malakoff Tigers improved to 3-0 on the season with a 46-14 victory over the Tyler Grace Community Cougars Friday at Tiger Stadium.
QT Barker had a highlight-reel 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown early in the game to bring the Tigers into a tie 7-7. In the second quarter the Tigers took the lead for good when Judd Miller found Tyler Russell for a seven-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion gave Malakoff the 15-7 lead.
JaQuaylon Hart helped the cause on defense, running back a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a 22-7 lead. The final Tigers touchdown in the first half was another pass from Miller to Russell for a 9-yard strike. Malakoff led 29-7 at the break.
After halftime, the Tigers just kept bringing it to Tyler Grace. Barker got things going again with a 48-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, followed by a PAT by Everardo Garcia to make the score 36-7.
Garcia booted a 28-yard field goal to build the lead to 39-7. Grace answered by their final touchdown of the night to make the score 39-14 in the fourth quarter.
RJ Carr scored the final touchdown on the night with a 86-yard run to bring the score to the 46-14 final.
The Tigers are back in action Sept. 23 in the District 9-3A opener against the Whitney Wildcats at Tiger Stadium.
Posted by : September 15, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets are still looking for their first win of the season following a 42-21 loss to the 5A Red Oak Hawks Sept. 9.
The Hornets got out on the right foot, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a 11-yard run from JaQuaylon Bowman. Dakota Anderson made good on the extra point for the Hornets to take a 7-0 lead at the 7:15 mark in the first quarter. That’s as good as things got for the Hornets, as the Hawks scored 28 unanswered points to take a stranglehold in the contest.
Red Oak’s first touchdown came in the opening seconds of the second quarter when quarterback Chris Bugg found Jordan Munoz in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass at the 11:52 mark. Kicker Edgar Perez kicked the PAT to tie the game 7-7.
The Hawks scored again just two and a half minutes later when Bugg went deep to Brock Houston for a 41-yard touchdown pass at the 9:30 mark. Red Oak led 14-7 and stayed in the lead for the remainder of the contest.
The Hornets surrendered momentum to Red Oak on the ensuing kickoff by fumbling the ball on the one-yard line, where the Hawks recovered and followed up with a touchdown run to take a 21-7 lead with 9:13 remaining.
The Hawks were not done as with 6:01 remaining in the half, Bugg ran in a 12-yard touchdown for the 28-7 lead.
Athens got one more score on the board before halftime when quarterback Xavius Fulton found Noah Bush for a 32-yard touchdown with 1:57 remaining. Anderson kicked PAT for the 21-14 deficit.
Red Oak came out in the second half and extended the lead back to three touchdowns when Houston caught a six-yard touchdown at the reception in the fourth quarter.
The Hornets final touchdown came at 6:08 when Fulton connected with Bush again, this time for a 68-yard touchdown strike to bring the game to 35-21.
The Hawks scored one more time, with a 83-yard run from Blake Sonnier at the 2:52 mark to bring to the score to its 42-21 final.
Fulton finished the with 100 passing yards and two touchdowns and four interceptions. He had 29 yards rushing. Athens finished the night with 270 yards of offense, compared to 416 for Red Oak.
The Athens Hornets are in a spot they have not seen since the 2005 football season following a 42-21 loss to the Red Oak Hawks in the home opener.
The Hornets fall to 0-3 and the Hawks improve to 2-1. Athens hopes to pick up its first win of the season Friday when they host the Robison Rockets for homecoming. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Robinson is 3-0 after its 56-14 victory over Troy last week.
Posted by : September 8, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The visiting Fairfield Eagles came away with a 18-0 win over the Athens Hornets in the second week of high school football action Sept. 2 at Bruce Field.
The only score in the first half was a field goal kick by Fairfield’s Erik Rodriguez Reyes in the second quarter.
Both teams went into the locker room at half with Fairfield leading 3-0.
The third quarter remained scoreless for both teams.
Fairfield had success moving the ball in the fourth quarter and the Eagles’ quarterback Zach Barlow hit Erik Rodriguez Reyes with a pass for a touchdown. Although Fairfield thought about a extra point kick, they decided to go for a two-point conversion and had success with Reyes scoring the two points, bringing the score to 11-0 Fairfield.
The Eagles scored a rushing touchdown by Kameron Ransom to close out the game along with Reyes kicking the extra point, ending the game with Fairfield up 18-0.
This loss along with week one’s loss brings the Athens Hornets to 0-2 for the season. Athens hosts Red Oak Friday, Sept. 9 at home. Red Oak won Sept. 2 beating Arlington Heights of Fort Worth 17-14 Sept. 2 and they are 1-1 for the season.
Fairfield lost to La Vega in week one and are now 1-1 for the season. They travel to Palestine and play the Wildcats also Friday, Sept. 9, who beat Jacksonville 49-40 Sept. 2 and are 2-0 for the season.
Posted by : September 1, 2016| On :
The News Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–The No. 7-ranked Malakoff Tigers came out on fire in the opening game of the season against the Bullard Panthers Aug. 26 at Tiger Stadium.
Malakoff thumped Bullard by a score of 46-7 to improve to 1-0 on the year. The Tigers return to action Friday on the road at Rusk.
In the victory over Bullard, the Tigers opened up the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown by Jaquaylon Hart for the 6-0 lead. Malakoff went for two but the pass to Tyler Russell was incomplete.
The Tigers held a 12-0 lead as senior Q.T. Barker picked off a Bullard pass and ran 102-yards for the touchdown. Malakoff went for two but missed the conversion.
In the second quarter, Malakoff quarterback Judd Miller connected on a pass to Barker for a 32-yard touchdown. The Tigers went for two but failed on the conversion for the 18-0 lead.
Malakoff scored again with a long run as Breashawn Williams scampered 32 yards for the touchdown. Everardo Garcia nailed the PAT for the 25-0 lead.
Running back A.J. Cook added a four-yard touchdown. Garcia nailed his second PAT for the 32-0 lead.
Following an interception by Zee Bailey, Miller capped off the first half scoring with a four-yard run for the 40-0 lead. Miller found Russell on the two-point conversion. It was a conversion of 34 yards after two penalties following the touchdown.
In the second half, the Panthers got on the score board as Cleet Bowman found Will McCowin on a three yard pass for the 40-7 deficit. McCowin booted the PAT good.
Malakoff ended the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run by Williams for the 46-7 finale.
Miller finished the game 7-of-13 passing for 144 yards and one touchdown. Williams rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Cook finished with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown. Hart was the leading receiver with three catches for 74 yards.
“It was a typical early in the year game where a lot of mistakes were made,” Tigers Head Coach Jamie Driskell said. “We capitalized on some of their mistakes early, so it was a good first half. In the second half, we were tired, they were tired. We still have a mountain to climb. We gotta get better and better each week. We gotta get in shape, it was so hot and muggy tonight and we played a lot of guys both ways. I’m proud of them, though.”
Posted by : August 18, 2016| On :
By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF-The Malakoff Lady Tigers emerged victorious in three sets over cross-lake rivals Eustace Lady Bulldogs in a Aug. 16 matchup in Malakoff.
The clean sweep by Malakoff was the only meeting of the two teams this season. The Lady Tigers won by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-23.
In sub-varsity action, the Eustace freshman defeated Malakoff in two sets, 25-18, 25-15; and the Malakoff JV won in three sets, 25-23, 22-25 and 15-10.
Eustace jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game one before extending it to 11-8. The Lady Tigers fought back to take the lead 20-18 before securing the victory 25-23.
Malakoff never trailed in game two, jumping out to a 4-1 to begin the set. Eustace eventually tied it up 7-7, but the Lady Tigers reclaimed the lead and never surrendered it. Malakoff went up 15-12 before advancing the lead to 18-15, then 22-19. They won game two 25-22.
After the hard fought game both teams set their sights on the Eustace tournament this weekend. The Lady Bulldogs’ first game is August 18 at 8 a.m. against Blooming Grove. The loss drops Eustace’s record to 4-4.
The Lady Tigers open play in the Eustace tournament at 3 p.m. against Quinlan Boles. The win over Eustace gave Malakoff its first win of the season.
Posted by : August 11, 2016| On :
By Ryan Moulds
The News Sports Writer
EUSTACE–The Athens Lady Hornets started the season off right with a 3-0 victory over Mildred during the first game of a triple header at E.L. Kirk Gymnasium in Eustace Aug. 9.
The Lady Hornets won all three sets by scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-15.
In the first match of the night, the Lady Hornets looked sharp from the whistle, scoring the first seven points against the Lady Eagles.
Athens opened with a kill from Alicia Grogan off an assist from McKenzie Fowler. Fowler had back-to-back kills during the opening set to open things up for the Lady Hornets.
Following a kill by Mildred, Athens went on another mini run to extend the lead to 11-1.
The final point of the first set came on a kill from Jennifer Bradford for the 25-9 finale.
The second set started off tighter between the two teams until Athens scored the final seven points of the game to pull away late and take the 2-0 lead.
With the Lady Hornets up 22-11 on a kill by Nicole Hill, Sam Smith followed with an ace and the combination of Fowler and Hill put it away with a kill from Hill.
In the final set, Hill had three kills late while Smith had two aces for the final six points of the match.
“I thought we played well for it being our first game,” Athens coach Kayla Benton said. “We still have some stuff that we need to work on but I think that we will have everything worked out by the time district play starts. We have a lot of senior leadership on this team and it really showed today.”
The victory made Athens 1-0 on the season.