By Chuck Williams
Corsicana Daily Sun
Saturday morning at 9 a.m. the Tiger players began Week 2 of their season following a season opening 38-7 loss to 5A Denton Ryan. The final score sounds harsh, but these Tigers under first-year head coach Steve Hoffman are moving forward with building material acquired in Tiger Stadium’s 2013 opener.
With just over four months on the job, Hoffman’s enthusiasm for the game permeates through his players. Saddled with an opener against a top notch program one classification above Corsicana, the Tigers held steady early and never mailed it in when the score seemed to get out of reach.
“I love this football team and want to play hard for Coach Hoffman,” said sophomore running back Tray Owens making his debut at starting tailback by rushing for 106 yards on 21 carries with a TD to boot. “His enthusiasm is great, and he makes you proud to be a Tiger.”
Owens saw extensive action last season as a freshman for the Tiger varsity in the secondary, and will tote the pigskin on the offensive side of the ball in 2013. Yards were tough against a mammoth Ryan defensive line, but going against a 5A defensive line on a team picked to finish second in District 5-5A will bode well for the 4A classified Tigers down the line.
Owens and crew never could get completely on track, but quarterback Devontay Bell was able to eclipse the 100 yard passing mark hitting three different receivers. Again, building blocks for next week and beyond, and, perhaps, some success spurred by the Tigers re-entry into the 7-on-7 contests back in the spring. Bell took care of the ball and threw it away when the opportunities weren’t there. He passed the ball 26 times with 13 completions and zero interceptions.
“We did some good things out there (Friday), but we also have a lot of things to work on fundamentally,” tight end Tiano McDonald said. “Tomorrow is a new day. We will start fresh and give it our all in practice this week.”
Another positive from Game 1 is that the Tigers were only penalized three times for 15 yards, impressive for a team that just over four months ago had a different scheme and a different coach. These Tigers will be just fine moving forward. Thrown to the 5A wolves in Zero Week of a brand new era, your Corsicana bunch displayed the will to play for their new coach. The intangible benefit of that will be very tangible in the win column as the 2013 season travels its fascinating path.
“We will get better,” said offensive line coach and CHS alum John Griggs. “Our kids will respond this week and play hard next Friday. We will be OK.”
Red Oak visits Tiger Stadium on Friday night, and without a doubt players on this team from last season remember being ousted from the playoffs last season by the Hawks at Midlothian. Something tells me that 2012’s loss will be secondary motivation with the primary motivation coming from the fiery and intense filled Hoffman. The kids have bought in, and the benefits are coming.
“Coach Hoffman is a great coach and is always teaching and motivating us,” McDonald said. “I know he will have us ready to go next week. This will be a hard week of practice, but that is the only way we will get better.”
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