If you were wondering where Corsicana's running game ran off to, you found the answer Friday night in the Tigers' home opening night 40-34 win over Saginaw Boswell.
A running game that produced just 36 yards in a season opening night loss to No. 13 Burleson Centennial exploded Friday night at Tiger Stadium, where two new running backs showed up and combined to run for 293 yards against Boswell.
Enter Eric Dickson and Damarius Daniels, who lifted the Tigers to their dramatic comeback win and proved this team can run the ball.
That was one of the biggest questions hanging over the Tigers, who lost 92 percent of their offense, including the quarterback and both running backs from the 9-3 district champs from a year ago.
"Obviously, I feel a lot better this week about our running game," said Tigers coach Hal Wasson, who took over an empty backfield when he arrived in January.
"No doubt we found two backs who are able to find creases. It starts with the mentality of the offensive line and the running backs' ability to hit the holes. But we have to be more consistent."
Wasson said he feels differently about his running game after Friday night's performance, but promises the Tigers will improve.
"I feel a lot better about our running game," he said. "I'm never happy, but I do feel better."
He said that would be one of the things the Tigers focused on this week in practice as they prepare for their District 8-5A DII opener in Greenville.
"We still have a long way to go," Wasson said. "We have to execute our running game when it means the most. We have to be more disciplined and more consistent."
The overall leap in production from Week 1 to Week 2 in the backfield also means teams will have to work harder to prepare for the Tigers, who saw sophomore quarterback Solomon James throw for 397 yards in the season opener.
James had a good night against Boswell, completing 19-of-32 passes, including two impressive TDs as he hit Lane Fuentes with a 13-yard touchdown pass and made his best throw of the season on a fourth-and-28 play with a beauty to Qua Chambers, who hauled in the 42-yard TD to cut the lead to 34-32 with 10:23 left in the game.
James has now thrown for 567 yards and five touchdowns in two games.
James also ran for 1-yard TD against Boswell, and made a huge play when he picked up two yards on a keeper on a fourth-and-one at the Boswell 14 in the final minute of play. Daniels scored on a 12-yard run on the next play to give the Tigers a 38-34 lead with 34 seconds left, and James connected with Fuentes for the two-point conversion to put Boswell away 40-34.
Daniels, a sophomore who made his varsity debut Friday, finished with 100 yards on 12 carries, including a 64-yard TD run that got the Tigers on the board and cut Boswell's lead to 13-7.
Dickson, an All-District linebacker last season who saw some action in the backfield during spring drills, didn't start in the backfield against Centennial, but he was one of the leaders on defense in the opener and came up with a memorable big hit to stop the Spartans on a fourth-and-two play.
He made the most of his first start in the backfield Friday with a breakout game, rushing for 193 yards on 18 carries. He busted the game open with an 82-yard TD run with 5:31 left in the half to close the gap to 26-20 and he helped set up James' 1-yard TD run with a 40-yard gain to the Boswell 12 in the third quarter.
Both Dickson and Daniels had monster nights, and Wasson knows the Tigers will need a running game to go along with his electric passing game that can score quickly.
It's difficult to imagine any team making such big strides from one week to the next, but as Wasson says often: "We're a work in progress."