Corsicana’s Tigers had plenty of punch on Friday night in their opening night game against Denton Ryan at Tiger Stadium.
They just didn’t have that last bit of punch it takes to get it done, and what could have been a close game turned into a 38-7 win by the Raiders.
Talk about a frustrating start, the Tigers did everything but score early in the game. On their first possession they drove to the Ryan 29 and turned the ball over on downs on a fourth-and-six incompletion, and after Ryan gambled and lost on a fourth down fake punt that turned into an incomplete pass by Cole Carpenter, they took over at the Ryan 28. On fourth-and-one, the Tigers went for it at the Ryan 19, and tailback Donovan Fields was stopped for no gain.
Those two drives ended just short and all but set the tone for the night.
The next series set the theme for the evening when Tyrone Williams broke free for a 75-yard TD run to lift Ryan to a 7-0 lead with 3:00 left in the first quarter.
From that point on Williams put the Raiders on his shoulders and lifted them all night, rushing for a career-high 214 yards on 11 carries and scoring three TDs (on runs of 75, 12 and 61 yards.
He scored on a 12-yard TD run with 6:12 left in the half, but the Tigers stormed back and it appeared they would drive themselves right back into the game.
Down 14-0, Tray Owens returned a kickoff 56 yards to the Ryan 44, and it ignited the Tigers, who drove to the 3. Bell hit a 12-yard pass to Lakeem Christmas to the 19 and then hit Ty Shefield with a bullet to the 7, before keeping the ball for a 4-yard run to the 3, but thats when Ryan’s defense held.
Ryan’s huge defensive line that is headed by Division I prospect J. T. Williams (6-3, 270) pushed Corsicana back to the 7, and on fourth down, Ryan Condley’s 24-yard field goal attempt came up empty with 1:35 left before halftime.
Ryan drove for a last-second field goal, thanks to Williams, whose 35-yard run set up a 37-yard field goal by Marc Orozco, who nailed it with four seconds left in the half.
Ryan went to halftime leading 17-0, and on the first series in the second half Williams broke free for his 61-yard TD run, and it was 24-0.
“We had our opportunities,’’ said first-year coach Steve Hoffman. “And we didn’t take advantage of them, and you can’t do that against a team like Denton Ryan.
“I thought we played well in spots. We got them bottled up and then they would make a big play. Those big plays hut us, but our defense played well at times and I thought our defensive front was physical..’’
Then he paused.
“That’s the biggest football team I’ve ever seen. They’re big,’’ he said. “But I was real proud of our kids. We grew up tonight.’’
The Tigers had their moments. QB Devontay Bell, who ran for 214 yards in last year’s loss to Ryan, never had much room to work against a Ryan team that was determined to stop him. He rushed for 85 yards on 18 carries and completed 13 of 26 passes for 102 yards.
Owens finished the night with 106 yards on 21 carries and got the Tigers on the board with a 25-yard TD run with 7:14 left in the game. But Ryan scored two fourth quarter TDs on a 33-yard run by Maurice Gordon, who rushed for 109 yards on nine carries and — after Corsicana fumbled a punt at it 4-yard-line in the final minutes — Ryan scored on a 3-yard run by A.J. Anderson with 2:39 left.
Denton Ryan 38,
Denton Ryan 7 10 7 14 38
Corsicana 0 0 0 7 7
DR — Tyrone Williams 75 run (Marc Orozco kick)
DR — Williams 12 run (Orozco kick)
DR — Orozco FG 37
DR — Williams 61 run (Orozco kick)
DR — Maurice Gordon 33 run (Orozco kick)
C — Tray Owens 25 run (Condley kick)
DR — A.J. Anderson 3 run (Orozco kick)
First downs 19 16
Rushing yards 41-396 44-222
Passing yards 30 102
C-A-I 4-11-1 13-26-0
Fumbles lost 4-1 2-1
Punts-avg. 3-49 5-33
Penalties-yards 5-65 3-15
Rushing -- DR: Mitchell Bridges 7-48, Tyrone Williams 11-214, Maurice Gordon 9-109.
C: Tray Owens 21-106, Devontay Bell 18-85. Danair Martin 1-20.
Passing -- DR: Bridges 4-10-1. C: Bell 13-26-0
Receiving --- DR: Paul Hunter 2-20, Danny Meza 1-12.
C: Ty Shefield, 6-55, Lakeem Christmas 2-19, Hector Calvillo 3-24