One game. One shot. One last chance.
That’s what the Corsicana Tigers are looking at this week when they travel to Jacksonville to play the final game of their football season. The Tigers (1-7, 0-4 in District 16-4A) were officially eliminated from the playoffs a week ago and wrap up a frustrating season on Friday.
Still, there’s plenty to play for.
“It’s a big game,’’ Corsicana Coach Steve Hoffman said this week. “It’s the last game for our seniors and they want to go out with a win. We want to go out and end the season with a win.
“I think it’s important for us to end on a winning note,’’ he said. “I know it’s important to the seniors.’’
It’s a huge game for Jacksonville, which is winless this season.
“It is a big game for them,’’ Hoffman said. “It’s an important game for us because we want to win to kick off our offseason. Going into the offseason with a win would mean a lot.’’
Hoffman didn’t have much of an offseason last year. He wasn’t hired until April and he has had to play catch-up since he has been in Corsicana. His kids had to learn a new offense and defense and the growing pains were evident on the field, where Corsicana’s offense was unstoppable at times, but the Tigers struggled defensively all year and it cost them a trip to the playoffs.
Last year both Corsicana and Jacksonville reached the playoffs but the combination of the emergence of Nacogdoches and Lindale, which beat Jacksonville 59-55 last week with a TD pass with 6.5 seconds left in the game, and Corsicana’s up-and-on defense shut the door on the Tigers, who had high expectations in August.
It’s been a hard luck season at Corsicana. Just consider this: Had Jacksonville hung on and beaten Lindale last week, Corsicana would still have had a chance to get into the playoffs with a win on Friday, because that would have forced a three-way tie for the fourth spot in the district.
But not much has gone right for the snake-bit Tigers. They lost tailback Tray Owens, who set a school record, rushing for 467 yards against Sulphur Springs, on the second play of the district season when Owens suffered a ankle injury. He had gained 823 yards in his previous two games, but didn’t play in any district games other than his two carries against Tyler.
Donavan Fields took over and had some huge games before suffering an ankle injury against Lindale on a night when he ran for 244 yards. Fields ran sparingly in last week’ loss to No.3-ranked Whitehouse, and freshman Victor Wilkerson made his varsity debut. Wilkerson scored on a 19-yard TD run and rushed for 51 yards on six carries. You can expect to see more of him against Jacksonville.
“Absolutely,’’ Hoffman said. “He did a real good job. He’s a talented young man and we want to get him some more carries. But Donavan is healthier this week and we want to make sure he gets his carries.’’
Friday will be the final game for Corsicana quarterback Devontay Bell, who led the Tigers to the state semifinals as a sophomore before missing most of his junior season with an torn ACL he suffered in the third game.
Bell, who has also played cornerback, has had some remarkable moments this year and has rushed for 457 yards over his last two games.
“He’s had a great year,’’ Hoffman said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s a special player. He wants to go out with a win.’’
To beat Jacksonville, Corsicana’s defense is going to have to find a way to stop quarterback Carter McCowan, who is coming off a career-night against Lindale. McGowan ran for 253 yards and threw for 360 yards for a 613-yard night.
“They’re putting the ball in the air a lot,’’ Hoffman said. “Their quarterback has thrown the ball 103 times over the last two games, and he can run, too. He’s a big kid, about 6-3 and he throws the ball well. The last couple of games they have kind of turned him loose. We just have to go out and try to contain him.’’
Hoffman would like to see some strong finishes to drives. The Tigers have been haunted the last two weeks with long drives that end just short of the end zone.
“We’ve got to be able to punch it in when we have the opportunities. We have to take advantage of the opportunities.’’
It has been an uneven season for Corsicana, and a win on the final night of the regular season would go a long way to heal what’s left of this year and even a longer way to building the future.
One game. One shot. One last chance.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs sweep Bossier on Sophomore Day
From a one-sided laugher to a hold-your-breath finish, Navarro’s softball team celebrated Sophomore Day on Saturday in front of its largest crowd of the season.
The Bulldogs ripped Bossier 14-1 in a five-inning romp and then had to fight for their lives in the second game, finally winning 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a squeeze bunt that brought home Caitlin Moerbe, who ended the day with a dust-filled slide at the plate.
GC Softball: Hubbard, Curtis shut out Axtell 3-0
For Hubbard’s Olivia Curtis the magic number was 15 -- as in 15 wins and 15 strikeouts.
But don’t stop counting now. There’s plenty left for Curtis and her Hubbard teammates who have made the most of their stretch run in the district race, and capped off a huge week with a 3-0 win over Axtell on Friday.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Kerens' Anderson pitches perfect game (ADDS Dawson baseball)
Brett Anderson threw a five-inning perfect game Friday at home to lead Kerens over Neches 11-0 in a key district game that leaves the Bobcats in first place with a two-game lead.
CHS Baseball: Tigers lose to Nacogdoches 4-1
In a battle for first place in the District16-4A race, Nacogdoches and pitcher Brigham Hill stopped Corsicana’s Tigers 4-1 Friday to take over the lead in the district with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are now 5-2 and face Lindale, which is also 5-2, at Price Field on Tuesday night to try to gain ground in a tough district race.
GC Baseball: Kerens closing in on first district title since 1977
Step by step, inch by inch …
That's how the Kerens baseball team got here, right here on the threshold of what could be the program's best season since 1977.
GC Track & Field Roundup: Kerens girls win district
The Kerens girls ran away with the District 18-1A track & field meet at Cayuga, scoring 134 points to beat Dawson (108), Cayuga (101), Cross Roads (93), Hubbard (91), LaPoyner (42) and Wortham (16).
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- CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win