Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

September 4, 2013

Corsicana Football: Red Oak at Corsicana

Mike Phillips
CHNI

Corsicana — Revenge always tastes pretty good on a football field, but what would a double dose taste like?

That’s what Corsicana’s Tigers want to find out on Friday night when they face Red Oak, a team that not only beat the Tigers in the regular season, but beat Corsicana in the playoffs.

Two-for-one sales might be common at HEB, but they’re rare on the gridiron.

“No doubt about it. The kids are excited about this game,’’ said Corsicana coach Steve Hoffman. “They got beaten by them twice. They’re anxious to play on Friday.’’

A win wouldn’t just exact a bit of revenge, but it could set the season right after last week’s 38-7 loss to Class 5A Denton Ryan, which used big plays and some timely defensive stops to hold back the Tigers. who drove inside Ryan’s 30 three times without scoring in the first half.

“We’ve just got to be able to punch it in,’’ Hoffman said. “We have to take advantage of our opportunities, If we did it would have been a different game. We have to be more physical up front.’’

Hoffman wants more running room for his backs and more time for quarterback Devontay Bell, who didn’t have much room to ramble against Ryan. He did rush for 85 yards on 18 carries and he threw for 102, but he never got free for the big play that has defined his career.

Bell rushed for 125 yards against Red Oak last year in a 34-31 regular season loss that saw Corsicana fall behind 34-0 and then storm back. But Bell, who tore his ACL in the third game of the season a year ago, didn’t play in the 58-20 first-round playoff loss to the Hawks.

The brightest spot in the opening night loss came from sophomore tailback Tray Owens, who rushed for 106 yards, including a  25-yard TD run, and also ran a kickoff back 56 yards that set up a drive that ended inside the Ryan 10.

Hoffman said his kids bounced back strong after the loss.

“We had a real good week of practice,’’ he said. “You can’t dwell on the negatives. You’ve go to fix them. This group is really a good group. They came back this week and really worked hard every day. I’m really excited about this group. These kids give you everything they’ve got.’’

Hoffman said his team worked on tackling better, and that tackling was a key to the loss to Ryan, which broke several big plays.

“We’ve got to tackle better,’’ he said. “We played well in spots. I thought (defensive linemen) Tiano McDonald and Darius Watson both had good games and Donovan Fields had a heck of a game at safety coming up and making plays. We’ve just got to get better, and we’re working at that every day.’’

Red Oak had to come back and beat Wylie East, 23-22, with a last second field goal that came after — on fourth-and-13 — Logan Thompson threw a 32-yard pass to Garrett Davis to set up a 40-yard game winning field goal with four seconds left. Thompson, who rushed for 105 yards, did a little of everything last week, and Hoffman is more than aware of the Red Oak QB.

“Red Oak is an option team. Their quarterback does a good job of running and throwing. They make you play the whole field,’’ Hoffman said. “They have good balance. They threw the ball 20 something times last week and they’ve got good receivers. “

The Tigers will be the underdog, but couldn’t be more motivated. They’re coming off a loss and playing a team that hurt them twice last year.

“The seniors on this team that got beat last year remember those losses,’’ Hoffman said. “We had a great week of practice and we’re ready to go.’’

•••

Red Oak  at Corsicana

7:30 p.m. Friday

At Tiger Stadium

RECORDS: Class 4A Corsicana 0-1. Class 4A Red Oak 1-0.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Corsicana: QB Devontay Bell, C Chris Jones, RB/S Donovan Fields, RB Tray Owens.

Red Oak: QB Logan Thompson, R Tyler Scott, R Travier Jackson, CB Garrett Davis.

UPDATE: The Tigers lost twice to Red Oak last season, losing in the regular season, 34-31 after falling behind 34-0 and staging a comeback that fell short ... Red Oak won the first round playoff game but the Tigers were without Bell ...Red Oak was led a year ago by tailback Jeremiah Gaines, who gained 131 yards in the regular season game ...He is now at SMU ... The Hawks lost 30 seniors from the team that beat Corsicana twice and had one of the best seasons in school history, reaching the regional semifinals ... Bell ran for 125 yards and threw for 38 against Red Oak last year ... Owens rushed for 106 yards and scored on a 25-yard TD run ... Red Oak beat Wylie East, 23-22, on Andy Santoyo’s 40-yard field goal with four seconds left in the game last week ... Thompson ran for 102 yards and two TDs and threw for 110 yards.

    — Mike Phillips