Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

October 23, 2013

Corsicana Football: Corsicana at Lindale

Corsicana — Do the math.

There’s nothing complicated about what Corsicana’s Tigers have to do. It’s as simple as 1-2-3 — or at least 2-out-of-3.

That’s where the Tigers are today. They have to win of their last three games to reach the Class 4A playoffs, and one of those games is against unbeaten and state-ranked Whitehouse.

You start to get the idea just how important Friday’s game is.

“We’ve got our backs against the wall,’’ Corsicana Coach Steve Hoffman said.

And they’re against the wall without Trey Owens, the sensational sophomore tailback who broke the school’s single game rushing record this season with a 467-yard night against Sulphur Springs. He gained 823 yards in the final two games he played before suffering an ankle injury against Tyler two weeks ago.

Owens had surgery on his ankle Wednesday and won’t play again this season.

“He was having a great year and he’s got two more,’’ Hoffman said. “He’s young and he has a bright future. We want him to be as healthy as he can be. The surgery was successful and he will be back as good as new.’’

The Tigers have missed Owens, but they are still moving the ball.

Corsicana’s offense, which has been electric all season, put up 41 points last week in a 48-41 loss to Nacogdoches. The Tigers had the same problem they have had all season. They can score with anyone, but they have struggled defensively.

“We’ve got to play better defensively,’’ Hoffman said. “It’s a broken record. We’ve got to play better. There were times last week when we played well, but we gave up too many plays on third down. We couldn’t get off the field. We’ve got to play better on third down.

“We gave up too many big plays,’’ Hoffman said. “Big play, I hate that word.’’

Lindale has had its own problems. The Eagles (1-6 and 0-2) gave up 112 points in its first two District 16-4A games. They were playing the top two teams in the district, losing to Whitehouse, 63-7 and falling to Tyler John Tyler 49-17. Corsicana lost to Tyler 51-22.

Lindale’s only win was a 24-21 victory over Class 3A Van, but the Eagles are in the same position as Corsicana. If they win two of their last three games they will make the playoffs.

“It’s a big ball game,’’ Hoffman said. “It was a big game last week and we didn’t get it done. We have to go to Lindale and take care of business. They’re in the same place. They need to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.’’

Corsicana beat Lindale a year ago 40-22. Donovan Fields had a monster day, rushing for 178 yards on eight carries and running a kickoff back for a 100-yard TD. Fields, who is one of the top safeties in the district, took Owens’ place in the backfield and has rushed for 301 yards in two games. He scored four touchdowns last week, and the Tigers will need another big game from him — on both sides of the ball — Friday.

“Donovan has stepped up and done a real good job,’’ Hoffman said. “We knew he was a real good running back.’’

QB Devontay Bell, who has also been playing both ways a lot more of late as a cornerback, had his best game running the ball last week, rushing for 190 yards and two TDs.

Hoffman knows what Bell and Fields can do, but his big concern is Lindale’s big offensive line and tailback Delenis Garrett, who has rushed for 745 yards and eight TDs this season.

“He’s a big back, a big pounding back,’’ Hoffman said of Garrett, who didn’t play in the second half against Tyler. “And their other back is shifty and quicker. They’ve got a big offensive line. They have three offensive lineman who weight over 300 pounds, and they do a good job.

“We have to play better defensively. This is a huge game for us. We’ve talked to the kids about it, about making the playoffs. We control our own destiny. We just have to go out and win.’’

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