It’s a dangerous week for the Tigers, who are coming off an emotional high after their thrilling comeback on the road last week in Forney, where they scored with 46 seconds left to beat North Forney 27-24.
It was the kind of victory that can propel a team, and after the game coach Hal Wasson shouted to his kids that it’s time for us to “Spread our wings.”
Wasson knows how much a big win can mean to a young program, but he also knows some teams can have a letdown the following week, and that’s why this week’s home game against Terrell is dangerous.
Wasson knows you can’t overlook anyone, and that’s why practice this week has been intense and focused.
Terrell comes in with a 1-2 record in the district race and 1-4 overall.
Terrell has scored only 50 points in five games, and is coming off a 37-0 loss to Ennis.
Terrell’s lone victory this season came in the District 8-5A DII opener against Sulphur Springs, which made the playoffs a year ago, but has slipped dramatically.
Terrell has played four of its five games against East Texas teams, losing to Hallsville 33-21 and Paris 42-7 in non-district games.
Terrell beat Sulphur Springs 15-13 and lost to Forney 16-7 in its first two district games before hosting Ennis last week.
It’s ironic that Terrell has had trouble scoring because last year in Terrell is where the Tigers posted their first shutout of the season — a 28-0 win in which Tyler Farmer and Jacob Lopez had monster games on defense.
It could be another big night for the Tigers defense Friday at home, where they came close to a shutout in their last game at Tiger Stadium, a 40-7 win over Kaufman.
The Tigers, who take a four-game winning streak into the game, are not only winning, they are winning with one of the most balanced offenses anywhere.
They’ve passed for 984 yards and run for 1,106 yards in five games, and most of the running (1,070 yards) has come in the last four games.
Damarius Daniels has emerged as a force in the backfield, rushing for 527 yards and five touchdowns in four games.
Not only is the offense a nightmare for opponents because of the balanced attack, but quarterback Solomon James, who has completed 72-of-124 passes, has spread the ball around.
Five receivers have proven to be lethal targets for James and the Tigers. Lane Fuentes leads the Golden Circle with 25 receptions for 333 yards and three touchdowns and Qua Chambers has caught 12 for 228 yards and three TDs. Savion Miller has 12 catches for 114 yards and George Foster has 11 receptions for 164 yards and four touchdowns. Drew Denbow, who made the winning catch with 46 seconds left to beat North Forney 27-24 last week, has three receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns — a 68-yard catch and run TD in the opener against Burleson Centennial and last week’s 8-yard game winner.
Daniels caught four passes last week for 24 yards and has seven for 35 yards this season. Those aren’t scary numbers, but Daniels is a threat to score anytime he has the ball. He had a 55-yard run for a TD last week.
James is coming off a big game. He not only threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns, but he was clutch in the Tigers’ 75-yard, winning scoring drive, completing 3-of-4 passes for 56 yards, including an 11-yarder to Chambers on third-and-nine play from the Tiger 27. He came through with a beauty to Foster — a 37-yarder to the Falcon 25 — and of course the 8-yard TD pass to Denbow, which he had to complete twice because a penalty wiped out the first winning TD play.
Speaking of balance, the Tigers ran for two touchdowns last week and threw for two, and two weeks ago against Kaufman they threw for three TDs and ran for three touchdowns.
The Tigers defense has allowed only 38 points in three district games and most of that came on the road last week in their 27-24 win over North Forney.
They defeated Greenville 20-7 and beat Kaufman 40-7, and did not allow a point in the second half in either of those games.
Last year in Terrell the Tigers had eight plays for losses, including four sacks, and had three interceptions. They also forced seven fumbles, recovering two of them.
Terrell’s quarterback Trey Lunsford has completed 15-of-34 passes for 368 yards. Terrell has thrown for a total of 470 yards.
Deitrek George leads Terrell in rushing with 182 yards on 40 carries (4.6 average) and two touchdowns. Jarrius Scruggs has rushed for 179 yards on 41 carries. Gabriel Wright (26-for-117 yards) and Jaquavious Moore (24-for-109) have also run the ball for Terrell.
Regardless of statistics and records, it’s always dangerous when a team pulls out an emotional win one week and has to get up for a game seven days later.
That’s what the Tigers face Friday night when they try to win their fifth game in a row against a hungry team from Terrell that’s desperate for a win.
Then again, it might be time for the Tigers’ first shutout of the season ...