Oh so close.
That’s the way it looked.
That’s the way it felt when the ball just got past Danair Martin in the left corner of the end zone, skipping past his fingertips.
It was there and then it wasn’t. The pass was just that close.
Just like this season seems to be for Corsicana’s near miss Tigers, who just missed again Friday night in a 48-41 loss to Nacogdoches, which has emerged as one of the biggest surprises in all of Class 4A football in Texas.
The Tigers almost emerged Friday.
They climbed out of a 21-0 hole, knotted things at 21-21, and then had to come back again when Nacogdoches went up 34-21.
No problem. Corsicana can score with just about anyone and wouldn’t you know it, the Tigers tied it again at 41-41 with 8:24 left in the game when Donavan Fields ran for his fourth touchdown of the night, a 25-yarder that had the homecoming crowd on its feet.
But the Dragons, who came back from an 0-10 season a year ago to shock all of high school football with a 6-1 start, had one more drive in them.
And when Corsicana shoved them back to the Nacogdoches 34 and a third-and-18 play, quarterback Bryce Matthews, who ran for four TDs and threw three touchdown passes, hit Tae Thomas over he middle for a 25-yard gain to keep the drive alive. It ended with a 9-yard TD pass from Matthews to Thomas that lifted Nacogdoches to a 48-41 lead with 5:43 left.
The Tigers stormed back one more time and drove to the Dragon 26, but on a fourth-and-12, Devontay Bell’s would-be touchdown pass to Martin in the left corner of the end zone was just a bit too long -- just out of Martin’s reach .
Bell had a remarkable game, running for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He gave Corsicana the spark it needed early in the second quarter when he took off for a 40-yard run to the Nacogdoches 19 to set up Fields’ first TD of the night, a 2-yard payday into the end zone with 10:20 left in the half that seemed to serve notice.
The Dragons (6-1 and now 2-0 in District 16-4A) scored three quick TDs in the first quarter to go up 21-0 and it looked like it might be a rout.
But Corsicana, even without its sensational tailback Tray Owens, who is out with an ankle injury, knows how to move the football. The Tigers have been moving the ball and scoring all season.
They kept moving on Friday. Bell raced for an 11-yard run and then Fields scored on a 13-yard dash to tie it at 21 with 1:26 left in the half.
But Matthews, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 155 yards in the first half, hit Red Watson for a 31-yarder and then found Watson for 11 more to the 5-yard line, and then carried the ball twice, scoring on a 1-yard run with 0:08 left in the half to break the tie.
The Tigers were less than a yard short on a fourth-and-1 play at the Dragon 27 on their first series in the second half, and Matthews answered with a 53-yard TD run. Cana came back again, driving 65 yards in 11 pays and closed to 34-27 on Fields’ 3-yard TD run. Matthews ran for a 10-yard touchdown and Bell answered with an 18-yard TD run of his own and the two teams went to the fourth with Nacogdoches hanging to a 41-34 lead.
It stayed that way until Fields scored with 8:24 left, but Matthews had an answer, and when Corsicana came back again, but the ball slipped just past Martin -- just that close.
Oh so close.
GC Baseball: Kerens' Anderson makes TSWA/Collin Street Bakery all-state team at four positions
Call it the rarest of rares, at least as far as all-state teams go. Brett Anderson of Kerens shows up on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery all-state team not one, not two, not three, but four times. Dawson's Lane Dotson was a second-team outfielder, and the Bulldogs' Trent Underwood made the third-team as a pitcher, and also garnered an honorable mention nod at first base. Kerens outfielder Brent Warren was also an honorable mention pick.
Morgan: All-star games and all-star shame
If there is anything more useless than a political promise, it’s an all-star game. I don’t care what sport at what level. Any all-star game is simply an exhibition, a reward for being among the best (maybe). Any one of them is about as relevant as the IRS’s “dog ate my homework” excuse for losing emails.
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YOUTH SOFTBALL: Mildred Screaming Eagles fifth at TTAS 8-under state
The Mildred Screaming Eagles 8-under softball team took fifth place out of 13 teams this week at the Texas Teenage Softball state tournament in Temple.
NC Baseball: Long-time assistant Podjenski takes over reins
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Following a method that has proven successful time and time again, Navarro looked in its own backyard for its next baseball coach. On Thursday, after interviewing three finalists, college administrators named assistant Matt “Pudge” Podjenski head baseball coach.
UIL moves state basketball tourney to San Antonio
Texas high school athletic officials have voted to move the boys' and girls' state basketball tournaments to San Antonio after 93 years in Austin.
Kerens 8U baseball headed to state
The Kerens Bobcats won the Texas Teenage Baseball 8-under district tournament last week, beating teams from Ennis and Mildred. They are undefeated going into state next week in Groesbeck.
TTAS State: Frost 12-under tops Whitehouse, 8-4
Frost doubled up Whitehouse on opening day of the Texas Teenage Softball state tournament Monday. Jenna Moore struck out nine, had a home run and five RBIs, and Frost erupted for four runs in the fourth to take an 8-4 win.
Bear witness: BU great Smith to visit B&G Club
A former college All-American and first-round NFL pick is visiting the Boys & Girls Club Thursday, and he’s not one of the many former Tigers who have recently played on Sundays. Jason Smith of Dallas’ W.T. White High School and Baylor will speak at the Boys & Girls Club at 2 p.m.
TTBB 14U: Mildred sweeps through district
That looked easy.
What else could you say about the way the Mildred 14-and-under baseball team played this week?
The Eagles swept through the Texas Teenage Baseball 14-U district tournament this week at Mildred, where Mildred outscored three opponents 39-2.
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