Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 1, 2013

ANALYSIS: Porous defense equates to poor season for Tigers football teams since 2001

By Raymond Linex II
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Editor’s note: Statistics used on this analytical piece do not include Friday night’s Whitehouse game, which kicked off after the Daily Sun’s weekend content deadline.



You don’t have to be a season ticket holder to realize this fall has been a foul one for the Corsicana football team. It will likely end up among the eight-worst in the last 70 years.

Best-case scenario, the Tigers win out, win a game in the playoffs and get to four wins. Second-best, they could end up 3-6. (Remember, the game versus Waxahachie was cancelled due to inclement weather.) Worst-case, they end up 1-8. Perhaps odds are they end up 2-7, but last week’s 16-point loss at Lindale proves what’s on paper means little to games played on the field.

Corsicana (1-6) plays undefeated Whitehouse this week, and closes at currently winless Jacksonville (0-8).

Since 1943, there have only been seven teams log 3-win seasons or worse. You have to go back to 1972 to find the last three-win season. In 1978, the Tigers went 2-7-1, but followed that up with 18 playoff appearances in the next 19 seasons.

The last 1-win team in CHS history? The 1945 team went 1-9, the third-straight season of one win.

•••

Ranking ’13

  Unless the Tigers (1-6) get into the playoffs and get to the 4-win plateau, this season will rank as one of the Top 8 worst in terms of wins in the last 70 years:

Year (Coach)         Record

1943 (Pete Allen)    1-7

1944 (Pete Allen)    1-9

1945 (Boyd Payne) 1-9

1957 (Ed Dusek)     2-7-1

1958 (Mark Culwell)3-7

1972 (Jim Payne)    3-7

1978 (Don Denbow)2-7-1

Source: Mike Montfort

•••

Defensively, this team will go down as the worst in terms of points allowed per game, even if it posts shutouts in the final two games. The Tigers are allowing 48.9 points per game, and are in a stretch of games where they have allowed 77, 51, 49, 48, and 42 — the latter to a Lindale team that was averaging 21.6.

The previous worst in terms of points per game? Last season. The Tigers allowed 36.2 in going 4-7. Only one other team in Corsicana history has given up more than 30 points per game, and that was the 5-6 team of 2006, which allowed 35.1.

Over the course of a season, this team is already fourth in most points allowed at 342, in seven games. The single-season high for points allowed is 425, in 2011. That season ended in the state semifinals. Over 15 games, that team gave up 28.3 points per game.

The other two seasons ahead of this year (2012, 2006) were played over 11 games.

Only three teams since 2003 rank among the Top 12 in all-time points scored for Corsicana. The 2011 team shattered the previous high, scoring 652 points in 15 games. The 1986 juggernaut team scored 487 in 12. The 2004 team is third on the list with 459, and the 2003 team ranks 11th with 390 points. The other teams that make up the Top 12 hail from the every decade from the ’30s up, except the ’70s.

It’s a different mix of years compared to scoring allowed record yields, which primarily have come in the last 13 seasons.

•••

Scoreboard frenzy

  Odds are high the three most-porous defenses in CHS football history will hail from the last three seasons. A look at the five worst, in terms of points allowed per season:

Year (Record)    GS    PA    PPG.

2011 (13-2)          15    425    28.3

2012 (4-7)            11    398    36.2

2006 (5-6)            11    386    35.1

2013 (1-6)            7*    342    48.9

2009 (6-6)           12    338    28.2

*- 2 games left to play.

Source: Mike Montfort

•••

There is no question scoring is up in high school football as teams have turned to no-huddle, attack-mode spread offenses. The 77-65 loss to Sulphur Springs this year ranks third all-time in 11-man Texas high school football for points scored. The No. 1 game included 12 overtimes. (No. 2 was a regulation game as well.)

In the three years in this decade, state title games among 4A and 5A schools have resulted in an average score of 35.3-21.1. That’s up from the last decade, where state championship games in the highest two classes averaged a 32.9-18.2 score.

Ironically, the scoring clip for the winning team was slightly up in the ’90s, at 33.1, but the defenses fared better that decade, allowing 15.0. Go back to the ’80s, when Texas crowned only one Class 5A and one Class 4A champ, and the average score in the 20 title games was 24.2-10.2.

In the ’80s, there were four shutouts among the 20 state championship games at the highest two levels. In the ’90s, where 5A went two divisions, and 4A joined it in 1996, there were four in 34 games.

In the 2000s, there were three, and two came in 2005, both at the 4A level, and the last season in which there has been a shutout at either level in a state finals game.

The Tigers have not logged a shutout since 2005, a year in which they posted three in a span of four weeks. In 2000, the Tigers posted five regular-season shutouts and gave up 118 points in 13 games.

Since 2000 ... Tiger defenses are responsible for 11 of the worst 14 scoring yield defenses in school history. Nine of those, including 2013, have .500 or worse records. In this era of two-division, four-teams per district playoff football, four of those nine teams have played in the playoffs, three of which ended with losing records.

If the Tigers give up 45 points combined in the last two games, the worst three scoring defenses all-time in school history will have come in the last three years. Only one team before 2003 will make the Top 10: the 1992 (5-5) team gave up 244 points in 10 games.