By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
Just call him Tray OH-Wens!
The kids and coaches on the Corsicana team call him T.O., and whatever nickname Tray Owens wants to be called, all of Corsicana should say it -- and say it loud.
Owens, a sophomore who had back-to-back 100-yard nights to start the season, had a breakout game for the ages Friday, rushing for 356 yards on 23 carries to lead Corsicana to a 36-17 comeback win against Forney.
That’s right, comeback.
The Tigers were down 17-0, and finally scored on a Devontay Bell to Ralph Watts 23-yard TD pass with two seconds left before halftime to cut the lead to 17-7.
Then TO delivered the TKO.
He scored on a 1-yard run, then and -- after a punt pinned the Tigers at their 1 yard line -- he broke free for a 98-yard TD run on a third down play that lifted Corsicana to its first lead of the year, and all but defined this game. Owens came back later with an 82-yard TD run to finish his scoring. He also had a 79-yard run that didn’t reach the end zone.
The Tigers had been reaching for a win all season, and they danced off the field in celebration for first-year coach Steve Hoffman, who got his first W in Corsicana.
“That was amazing,’’ he said of Owens’ big night. “It was amazing, but not surprising because that kid is a good back and because he works so hard every day. He takes a lot of pride in what he does. He put it all together in the second half. Nothing that kid does surprises me.’’
Owens had just 22 rushing yards at halftime, but he turned on the switch and so did the Tigers.
“He’s such a team player. He gave credit to everybody,” Hoffman said. “We really overcame a lot of adversity. We were down 17-0 and they could have hung their heads and said, ‘here we go again,’ but they came back.’’
Hoffman’s Tigers scored 36 points in a row, and a defense that had struggled in losses to Denton Ryan and Red Oak, shut down Forney in the second half.
It was special for Bell, whose season ended against Forney in the third game of the season when he tore his ACL. He left the field in tears a year ago. He left bouncing with a smile on his face on Friday, just like all the Tigers.
“Devontay is a big reason (for Owens’ big night). He’s such a threat back there,’’ Hoffman said. “They make a great tandem. He could have had 200 yards.’’
Bell ran for 102 yards threw for 81 yards and a TD pass -- a beauty to Watts that seemed to change the tone of the game at he end of the first half. The Tigers took the second half kickoff and with Owens and Bell running by Forney (1-2), they drove 65 yards in seven plays and scored in 96 seconds to send a message about the second half when Owens scored on a 1-yard run.
Corsicana never punted in the second half and never looked back.
Bell almost scored twice. His 88-yard romp down the right sideline in the second quarter was called back because of a holding penalty, and his 35-yard TD run in the fourth ended when he fumbled the ball in the end zone. Donovan Fields scored on a 1-yard run on the next play to lift the Tigers to a 28-17 lead. Then Owens added one more TD.
Ooooooooh-Wens! What a night for the kid and the Tigers …
Corsicana 36, Forney 17
Corsicana 0 7 14 15 — 36
Forney 3 14 0 0 — 17
F — FG 37 Rhett Coleman, 4:36
F— 14 pass from Jake Guercia to Eastin Hargis (Coleman kick) 10:13
F — 15 pass from Luke Skipper to Jacob Gonzalez (Coleman kick)
C — 23 pass from Devontay Bell to Ralph Watts (Ryan Condley kick) 0:02
C — Owens 1 run (Condley kick) 10:24
C — Owens 98 run (Condley kick) 2:12
C — Fields 1 run (Condley kick) 9:03
C — Owens 82 run (Bell pass to Darius Watson) 6:58
Rush-yards 43-485 33-142
Passing yards 81 145
C-A-I 3-15-0 12-21-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 7-5
Punts-avg. 4-36 6-45
Penalties-yards 8-60 6-35
Rushing — C: Tray Owens 23-356, Devontay Bell 14-102, Donovan Fields 2-9, Ty Shefield 3-9, Kessandre Spence 2-11. F: Jake Guercia 6-29, Luke Skipper 12-56, AJ Atnip 10-46, Elijah Roberson 3-7. r
Passing — C: Bell 3-15-0 81F: Guercia 8-10-0-76, Skipper 4-7-0-58. F -- Skipper 3-7-58, Guercia 8-10-76.
Receiving — C: Owens 1-27, Shefield 1-31, Watts 1-23. F --Davis Burnett 3-61, Jacob Gonzalez 2-30, Colin Rucker 2-14, Roberson 1-4, Eastin Hargis 1-14.