This one counts.

That's the only thing that should concern Corsicana's Tigers, who have spent the recent months trying to find their identity after losing 92 percent of the offense to graduation, and starting fresh with a young team under legendary coach Hal Wasson.

After making giant strides in the first two weeks of the season, they will find out a lot more about themselves Friday night in Greenville, where they open the District 8-5A DII race against a Lions team that looks and plays a lot better than the team Corsicana ran by a year ago.

For the third week in a row the Tigers, who brought back only a handful of starters from their district champion team, will face a team loaded with experience and at least 15 returning starters.

Greenville (1-1) could present problems for the Tigers' young secondary with a big-play offense that hits quickly. The Lions have had several plays go for 30 yards or more in their first two games and the folks who follow this team are saying this is the fastest Greenville team in years.

Quarterback Brandon Stephens and receivers Shawn Brown and Caleb Johnson were all members of Greenville's 4x100 relay team, and those three have combined to throw and catch six passes for 183 yards in the first two games -- that's an average of more than 31 yards a reception.

Now consider this: Stephens completed just two passes for 24 yards last year (2-for-12) against the Tigers, who sacked him five times in Corsicana's runaway 40-14 victory in the district opener at Tiger Stadium.

He has thrown for 230 yards in his first two games as Greenville's offense has already put up 82 points in a tough 38-37 loss to Dallas White and a big 45-12 win over Dallas Lincoln last week.

 Stephens was the backup QB last year who was filling in for the injured starter, but now he returns at QB along with 14 other starters for a Greenville team that looks much better than the group that went 1-7 in the district race a year ago.

Lester Turner, a big, tough running back who rushed for 104 yards against the Tigers last year, is one of those returners, and he leads Greenville's running game again. He has rushed for 198 yards on 26 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry.

Stephens has run for 163 yards and is averaging 8.2 yards a tote, and Miles Denson is also  averaging 8.2 yards a carry (12-for-98) for Greenville's big-play offense.

The Tigers defense shut out Greenville's offense last year. The Lions' only points came off a 96-yard kickoff return and a 25-yard fumble return against Tiger backups late in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers are coming off a big comeback win over Saginaw Boswell at Tiger Stadium, where Damarius Daniels scored on a 12-yard run with 34 seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 40-34 victory. It was the only time the Tigers, who trailed 34-20 with 7:41 left in the third quarter, led all night.

The Tigers have trailed 13-0 in both of their games, but have bounced back twice. They came back to tie No. 13 Burleson Centennial 13-13 before losing 34-21, and tied Boswell 13-13 last week before coming back twice to win.

The defense made several big plays last week, including picks by Ja'Braylan Douglas, who made a leaping interception, and Daylan Slade who sealed the victory with an interception on the game's final play.

These Tigers can move the ball. Sophomore QB Solomon James threw for 397 yards in his debut against Centennial and he has completed 37-of-61 passes for 567 yards and five touchdowns in just two weeks.

Lane Fuentes has been driving opponents nuts and has already caught 14 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Qua Chambers has eight catches for 168 yards and two big-time TD catches, including a 42-yarder on a fourth-and-28 play in the fourth quarter against Boswell.

No team in Texas saw its running game make the kind of strides the Tigers made from Week 1 to Week 2. Wasson promised to make changes after watching his Tigers rush for just 36 yards in the season opener, and Eric Dickson, an All-District linebacker, and Daniels, a sophomore who had never played in a varsity game, moved into the backfield and exploded for a big night on the run.

Dickson ran for 193 yards on 18 carries, including an 82-yard TD and a 40-yarder that set up another TD, and Daniels broke out with a 64-yard TD run and the game-winning 12-yarder to finish with 100 yards on 12 carries.

Wasson has brought a new face and a new energy -- not to mention another level of intensity -- to the Tigers, but everything up until now has been to prepare for Friday's game.

This one counts...

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