Corsicana Daily Sun
You might not want to turn the other way or even blink Friday night when Sulphur Springs comes to Tiger Stadium to face Corsicana in a game that might be as quick as any in Texas.
Both teams like the no-huddle and the one they’re bringing from East Texas may be the fastest quick-hit offense Corsicana has seen this season.
“They’re quick,’’ Corsicana coach Steve Hoffman said. “They run a no-huddle and they have a fast-paced offense. We’ve got to make sure we get lined up on defense.’’
Sulphur Springs isn’t just fast, the Wildcats are talented.
Corsicana knows their tailback all too well. Willy Ivery scored four touchdowns on short runs a year ago to help Sulphur Springs beat Corsicana 42-21 and — after being injured earlier in the season — Ivery is coming off a big night against Paris. He ran for 140 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns last week in a rout.
Sulphur Springs is the favorite to win District 14-4A and Texas Football magazine had the Wildcats ranked 25th in its Class 4A preseason poll.
“They’ve got a really good football team,’’ Hoffman said. “Their running back was hurt for a couple of weeks but he came back last week and had a good game. He’s an outstanding tailback.’’
Sulphur Springs not only breaks from the no-huddle like Corsicana, but the Wildcats have an electric QB. Larry Pryor, who played safety last year, was picked by Texas Football as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year in District 14-4A, but Pryor has made the move to quarterback and is coming off his best game, running for 161 yards on 15 carries and a TD and throwing for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
“Their quarterback had been their free safety, and still plays a little bit at safety but mostly quarterback for them,” Hoffman said. “He runs the ball well and he throws the ball well. They’ve got a good offense. We have our hands full. We’ve got a big task in front of us.’’
The Tigers are looking for some momentum in their final non-district game. They face Sulphur Springs, then have a bye week before traveling to Tyler John Tyler to open District 16-4 A play.
The Wildcats present another challenge for Corsicana, which has had to play Denton Ryan and Waxahachie as part of a tough non-district schedule.
“Our schedule is what it is,’’ said Hoffman, who has seen his team improve every week. It’s a shame the Tigers didn’t get to finish their game last week in Waxahachie, where lightning canceled the game with 5:56 left in the half. The Tigers looked unstoppable at times, driving 80 yards in nine plays to open the game, and scoring easily on a drive just before the lightning came. “We feel like we did some good things, but we made some mistakes,’’ Hoffman said. “I think we can take some momentum from the last two weeks and build on it. We need to stop giving up the big play. We feel like we’re getting better and are building on what we have.’’
Tray Owens, who ran for 356 yards against Forney two weeks ago, might have had another huge game against Waxahachie. He gained 72 yards on Corsicana’s first possession as the Tigers went 80 yards in nine plays. But the statistics from that game don’t count because the game was canceled and the schools decided not to make it up.
Corsicana QB Devontay Bell, who didn’t carry the ball until midway in the second quarter, appeared to be on his way to a big night before the game was called.
Bell and Owens have combined to rush for 902 yards in three games, but will face a defense that is coming off its best game of the season. The Wildcats held Paris to only nine points and a total of 139 yards and had eight plays for losses.
“They’re real quick defensively. They really get to the ball,’’ Hoffman said. “They run a 4-3 like we do’
“We’ve gotten better and better every week,’’ Hoffman said. “We’ve just got to correct our mistakes and control the things we control. The kids just work so hard. They felt they would have won that game (against Waxahachie). We want to build on that this week.’’
Sulphur Springs at Corsicana
7:30 p.m. Friday
At Tiger Stadium
RECORDS: Class 4A Corsicana 1-2. Class 4A Sulphur Springs 2-2.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Corsicana: WR/RB Ty Shefield, LB Brody Usery, RB Tray Owens, S Kaley Washington. Sulphur Springs: RB Willy Ivery, QB Larry Pryor, OL Jess Jenkins, FS Zack Sprignor.
UPDATE: The Tigers are coming a canceled game against Waxahachie in which they felt they would have won ... Owens had 78 yards when the game was called off with 5:56 left in the half ... Corsicana’s OL did its best job of the year creating holes for Owens and Bell, who also was having a big game ... Owens has gained 587 yards and Bell has rushed for 321 yards in just three games ... Ivery scored four TDs in Sulphur Springs’ 42-21 win last year, and has gained 303 yards in three games ... Sulphur Springs’s defense is coming off its best game of the season, but the Wildcats gave up 61 points to 16-4A’s Whitehouse earlier this season ... Pryor has thrown for 724 yards (60.7 percent) and 5 TDs and rushed for 241 yards and 2 TDs.