By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
This one hurt.
Hurt way down deep, down were the sting stays. It’s the kind of hurt that doesn’t go away for a while.
And the only question left after Corsicana’s 51-22 loss to Tyler John Tyler Friday night is how long will it linger? How long will Corsicana’s near unstoppable Tigers have to live without Tray Owens?
Owens, the breath-taking sophomore tailback who breaks records almost as easily as he breaks tackles, limped off Earl Campbell Field at Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium after carrying the ball twice and never came back.
He has what is apparently an ankle injury and the Tigers just hope he heals in time to play next Friday against Nacogdoches. They’re playing district games now, the ones that count.
They have learned to count on Owens, who not only set a school record with 467 rushing yards in his last game, but had run for 823 in his last two games.
Earl Campbell never did that.
Ask the folks at Tyler how they would have felt to see the Tyler Rose leave the field, and maybe they will get the idea how fortunate their Lions were to play Corsicana without Owens.
TO (that’s what Owens goes by) is not Earl Campbell by any means, but he was the heart of Corsicana’s prolific offense that has looked formidable enough to start building some playoff hopes.
The Tigers can still build them, but this was a bitter loss on opening night in District 16-4A, where Corsicana had hoped to turn around a 1-3 season that has been soured by a defense that gets burned too often.
Even without Owens, the Tigers still ran the ball with power and confidence, and Donavan Fields stepped in and rushed for 209 yards and a TD. His 5-yard touchdown run with 2:08 left in the first quarter gave Corsicana a 14-0 lead. Fields, one of the best safeties in this part of Texas, set up his own TD with a 53-yard run to the Tyler 5, and scored on the next play.
It was that kind of bittersweet start for Corsicana. The Tigers couldn’t be stopped. They drove 80 yards in 11 plays and scored when quarterback Devontay Bell raced by Tyler for a 27-yard TD run, and then -- after a 76-yard punt that looked like it was going to bounce all the way to Louisiana -- they drove 97 yards in their second possession.
But both Bell and Fields played both ways against a big, fast and physical Tyler team that began the season ranked in the Top 10 in Texas, and whether it was fatigue or just a big night for the Lions, the results read the same in the box score.
Tyler gets the W. Corsicana gets the pain.
Tyler scored 44 points without stopping to take over, thanks to the arm and legs of quarterback Geovari McCollister, who ran for 105 yards and a touchdown and threw for 246 and two TDS.
McCollister completed 12 of 14 passes, including a 28-yard TD toss to nick Cain at the end of the third that gave Tyler a 37-14 lead, and a 37-yarder (on a fourth down play) to Jermy Wilson on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
The Lions scored 34 second points in the second half that was ignited by two big runs on their first two possessions. McCollister busted free for a 43-yard TD run on the third play of the second half, and then Reggie Gibson broke out with a 48-yard TD run on Tyler’s third play of its next possession as the Lions gave a whole new meaning to the term: “Three and Out.’’
Corsicana isn’t out of it, and has plenty of time to get into the playoffs and make a run.
But these Tigers run a lot better with a full backfield, and that means having T.O. back.
Tyler 51, Corsicana 22
Corsicana 14 0 0 8 — 22
Tyler 0 17 20 14 — 51
C — Devontay Bell 27 run (Ryan Condley kick) 8:13
C — Donavan Fields 6 run (Condley kick) 2:08
T — 32 FG Jose Perez 10:04
T — Reggie Gibson 6 run (Perez kick) 6:58
T — Jeremy Wilson 1 run (Perez kick) 1:20
T — Geovari McCollister 43 run (Perez kick) 10:50
T — Gibson 48 run (kick fails) 6:40
T — Nick Cain 28 pass from McCollister (Perez kick) 2:31
T — Wilson 37 pass from McCollister (Perez kick) 11:52
C — Bell 2 run (Tiano McDonald pass from Bell) 4:39
T — Cain 22 run (Perez kick) 1:58
First downs 22 19
Rush-yards 49-313 25-183
Passing yards 32 242
C-A-I 6-9-1 12-14-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Punts-avg. 2-37 1-76
Penalties-yards 2-15 7-73
Rushing — Corsicana: Donavan Fields 34-206, Devontay Bell 15-68, Tray Owens 2-9, Quinon Edmerson5-11, Caleb Bryant 3-27. Tyler: Geovari McCollister 14-130, Reggie Gipson 5-55, Jeremy Gibson 5-7.
Passing — C: Bell 6-8- 32. T: McCollister 12-14-0, 242.
Receiving — C: Ty Sheffield 3-16, Danair Martin 2-4, Hector Calvillo 1-12. T: Jermey Wilson 3-104, Nick Cain 3-62, Duntavion Gross 2-3, Rodney Bendy 2-31.