The Tigers knew the odds were stacked against them Friday night, that they had to win by at least 13 points and get some help in Waco.

So when they were up on Waxahachie by a touchdown after a quarter Friday, the feeling of energy was noticeable on the Tigers' sideline and among the fans who decided to show up for their team's last-ditch effort to make the playoffs.

“We were feeling a lot of energy,” Tigers quarterback Andey Means said. “We were really clicking out there.”

That good vibe was gone late in the fourth quarter, as the rival Indians were putting the finishing touches on what turned out to be a 49-20 rout of the Tigers before 6,000 fans on Senior Night at Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers (4-5, 2-4) will miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1977-78 seasons and are guaranteed of their third consecutive season without a winning record.

“I don't think about it,” Tigers coach Dave Henigan said about what is now a two-year playoff drought. “It's a year-to-year thing for me. It's other people's job to look at that stuff.”

The Tigers' playoff hopes basically evaporated with less than eight minutes left when the Indians converted on a fourth-and-15 play at the Tigers 34, already leading 28-20.

Waxahachie quarterback Cody Martin finished the drive that crushed the Tigers' playoff hopes with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jason Gonzalez.

The Indians scored touchdowns on all four of their second-half touchdowns as the Tigers' had no answer for anything Waxahachie threw at them. They started two of those drives deep in Tigers' territory after an interception and the Tigers turning the ball over on downs.

The game, which was actually close most of the way, turned at the end of the first half. Waxahachie converted three crucial third-down plays on a drive that started at the Tigers 46. The last one, a 2-yard touchdown pass from Cody Martin to LaDarius Brown, came on third-and-goal with three seconds left before halftime to give the Indians a 21-14 lead.

Waxahachie carried the momentum over into the second half as Oshae Cofer returned the opening kickoff of the half 58 yards to the Tigers 30. The Indians needed eight plays to score a touchdown, but again had a crucial conversion, this one on fourth-and-6 at the Tigers 25. Arxavier Brown, who rushed for 171 yards, capped the drive with a 2-yard run for a 28-14 lead.

The Tigers answered that punch from the Indians, using 20 plays and 8 minutes, 6 seconds off the clock to cut the lead to 28-20. The Tigers converted on two fourth down plays, one on a spectacular catch by Jonathon Neal, and another on a 4-yard run by JaVonti Hines. Means threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Neal on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Tigers missed their second extra point of the night.

The Tigers' defense had another chance to give the offense the ball back with a chance to tie, but the Indians hit on another big fourth-down play to seal the win, the fourth-and-15 play in which Martin found Gagliano for 18 yards.

“We busted a coverage there,” Henigan said.

The Tigers did what they had to do to give themselves a chance against Waxahachie, winning the first quarter.

The Tigers opened the game with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that featured running back Cody Evans at quarterback in a version of the “Wildcat” offense. Evans gained all but 16 yards on the drive, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 with 5:38 left in the first quarter.

After Waxahachie scored in four plays, the Tigers needed just two to retake the lead as Evans followed up a 52-yard run with a 1-yard touchdown plunge for a 14-7 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers forced the Indians to punt on their second possession, giving the Tigers a chance to add to their lead. But the Tigers went three-and-out and after a short punt into the wind, Waxahachie needed two plays to tie the game at 14-14 as Andrew Kindred scored on a 11-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers responded, driving down to the Waxahachie 18 after a pass from Andey Means to Hank Kirkpatrick gained 30 yards. But the drive stalled as Evans was stopped for no gain on third-and-3. A trick play on fourth down that had receiver Jonathon Neal passing to JaVonti Hines fell incomplete in the end zone.

—————

Todd Wills may be contacted via e-mail at twills@corsicanadailysun.com



Waxahachie 49, Corsicana 20



Waxahachie 7 14 7 21 - 49

Corsicana 14 0 6 0 - 20



First Quarter

C — Cody Evans 3 run (kick failed), 5:38

W — Cody Martin 49 run (James Gish kick), 4:35

C — Evans 1 run (Johnathan Anderson run), 4:12

Second Quarter

W — Andrew Kindred 11 run (Gish kick), 11:32

W— LaDarius Brown 2 pass from Martin (Gish kick), :03

Third Quarter

W — Arxavier Boyd 2 run (Gish kick), 8:06

Fourth Quarter

C — Jonathon Neal 8 pass from Andey Means (kick failed), 11:58

W — Jason Gonzalez 3 pass from Martin (Gish kick), 6:45

W — Boyd 8 run (Gish kick), 4:31

W — Tanner Brady 4 run (Gish kick), 2:07



W C

First downs 22 16

Rush-yards 37-269 48-244

Passing yards 114 70

C-A-I 9-16-0 5-14-1

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Punts-avg. 2-39.0 2-38.5

Penalties-yards 5-50 3-25



Individual

Rushing - W: Cody Martin 5-92, Arxavier Boyd 15-68, Venique Benton 7-57, Andrew Kindred 5-32, Sam Gagliano 3-14, Tanner Brady 1-4 Tyronne Crawford 1-2. C: Cody Evans 30-171 Andey Means 6-23, JaVonti Hines 5-23, Johnathan Anderson 3-20, Jameel Taylor 3-8, Jonathon Neal 1- (-1).

Passing — W: Cody Martin 8-15-0-98, Mervyn Salas 1-1-0-16. C: Andey Means 5-13-1-70, Jonathon Neal 0-1-0-0.

Receiving - W: Sam Gagliano 5-83, Jarale Richardson 1-16, LaDaruis Brown 2-12, Jason Gonzalez 1-3. C: Jonathon Neal 4-40, Hank Kirkpatrick 1-30.

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