By Chuck Williams
Corsicana Daily Sun
Never have I ever witnessed a Tiger game or any football game like I witnessed on Friday night. With a beautiful pink backdrop on a night made for football, future Calicos, future cheerleaders and standing up for the fight against cancer, Tiger Stadium’s scoreboard posted unprecedented numbers.
Gone is the seven-year-old modern era combined points scored by the Tigers and their opponent. Back in 2006 in a triple-overtime affair, the Tigers escaped Lion Memorial Stadium in Ennis with a 50-48 triple overtime victory. I still remember Ricky Blackwell charging the field and leaping onto his then offensive lineman son, Andrew and the rest of his team in celebration. The teams combined for a whopping 98 points which would be exactly 44 points shy of the output four nights ago in Corsicana.
It didn’t take triple overtime either. It took 48 minutes of game time for Sulphur Springs, picked to finish first in its district, to give up 65 points ... and score 77! If you like offense, and a whole heck of a lot of it, and you missed getting to see it live, then you missed a lot of fun and a few more records.
Two weeks ago, sophomore Tray Owens missed an old Tiger single-game rushing record by just 20 yards by hitting the 356 yard mark against Forney. The current record then, 376 yards, was set by Ketric Sanford in 1995 against Whitehouse. Incidentally, 1995 is the year current quarterback Devontay Bell was born, so this isn’t just your run of the mill record of the 43-year-old modern era.
Common thought was that Owens, being just a sophomore, would have two-plus seasons in an attempt to get that record again. He took two weeks. On a night when it would be hard to steal the thunder from a combined 142-point dual outburst, Owens gave it his best shot rushing for 467 yards.
“I owe everything to my amazing offensive line,” said a humble Owens after the game. “They know their roles and with all the repetition they get they know what one another are going to do every play.”
The sophomore owes a lot to his line and a lot to his God-given ability to stay on his feet. His balance is incredible and his seemingly calm and cool way of waiting for things to develop makes you think of former Tiger and Florida Gator Omarius Hines. Hines was a receiver by trade, but the tendencies of Owens make you think of him. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Owens currently wears No. 5 and Hines donned it back in his day for the Tigers as well.
Like Hines, Owens is a runner that you don’t sling down. You better form tackle him or he will run for a while, 456 yards worth of while.
“I just keep my feet,” Owens said. “I do not like to be on the ground.”
I never thought I’d see Sanford’s single-season rushing record fall, and I did two years ago when Cameron Washington broke it. Up until 48 hours ago, I certainly thought there was no way Sanford’s career record of 6,762 yards would fall, but, gosh, you’d be silly not to do some math following 823 yards in two games. Then again, I never dreamed of a Tiger game with a score of 77-65 either. If the great Mike Montfort were still keeping the Tiger stats, he would have whittled six pencils down to the eraser.
With a bye week to get ready to open district against always tough Tyler John Tyler, the Tigers can relish the success of the offensive line and the offensive backfield while utilizing an extra week to tweak a defense that rendered 77.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have this record,” Owens said. “But I’d trade it if we could have ended this game with a win.”
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