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Daily Sun photo/Ron Farmer

Corsicana's Kyleon Chambers blocks against Kaufman as Kolby Kinkade (33) prepares to block for Damarius Daniels. who is getting the ball from QB Solomon James. Everyone in the photo has played a big part in the Tigers' success this year.

Be honest, how many thought the Tigers would be 4-1 and unbeaten in the district at the halfway point of the season?

If you didn’t believe, it doesn’t matter, because they did. This team that had a cloud of question marks over it last spring when the Tigers began has come so far so fast that it’s hard to realize there are only five games left.

No one could have guessed the Tigers, who lost 92 percent of their offense from a year ago -- the most by any team in Texas -- could have an offense scoring more than 35 points a game.

And who could have projected the way this group has come together in close games.

They’ve won four in a row, and they won three of those games because they simply out-played their opponent in the fourth quarter, including two dramatic comebacks in the final minute.

Growing pains?

Make that growing up pains.

Coach Hal Wasson doesn’t just talk about getting better every week, he believes in it, and so do his kids, the kids who have embraced the new coach and the new ways this Tiger team prepares for Friday nights.

The intensity at practices that began as an idea months ago is now a standard way of life for a Tiger team that has grown by leaps and bounds.

Wasson still talks about “baby steps” and that’s because he knows how far his team needs to go, and because he believes this group will make the journey.

It excites Wasson to talk about where they’re going, and if you haven’t heard him, it’s time to listen. They’re 4-1 on a four-game winning streak.

After gaining 36 rushing yards in the opener, Wasson changed the backfield and found new backs to carry the ball, and now sophomores Damarius Daniels and Anthony Young are confident and growing along with Eric Dickson, who has excelled on both sides of the line.

The offensive line has gotten better each week and players such as Kyleon Chambers and Verson Davis, Cameron McFadden, Nathan Sims, TE Kolby Kinkade have done the big job up front.

After spending opening night searching for a running game that wasn't there,  the Tigers made adjustments and went to work and have run for 1,070 yards in the past four games, with Daniels (61-for-527 yards) leading the way.

The offense is so balanced it drives opponents crazy in preparation. The Tigers have thrown for 984 yards off of Solomon James’ young arm. He’s a sophomore with five games under his belt and arguably the best quarterback in the district.

Look how far receivers Lane Fuentes, Qua Chambers, Drew Denbow (who plays both ways), Savion Miller and the fast emerging George Foster have come.

James has targets everywhere he looks.

Everyone knew the defense would be led by Tyler Farmer, a passionate linebacker who leads in every way possible.

Farmer has led and there are a number of big-play defenders leading with him from linemen Brayshun Parrish, who is having a monster season, and Jacob Lopez and defensive end Ricardo Olvera, who put constant pressure on opponents, to Dickson, who has had some big moments at linebacker to Ja’Braylan Douglas, who leads a young secondary.

Before the season started Wasson talked about having a team that can get on I-45 and cruise at 75 mph.

The Tigers have sped along through their first five games, and Wasson knows they haven’t really reached fourth or fifth gear yet.

He believes that’s coming — that cruising speed that leaves teams in your dust.

He sees it get better every week and he sees his kids pushing in practice every day.

Five down, five to go, and Wasson believes this team will get there — and so do his kids.

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