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LIBERTY CITY – For three of the first four games, the Sabine Cardinals found that winning magic. But Friday night at home, hosting Tatum, the rabbit just would not come out of the hat.
Following a bye week, the Cardinals played host to the Tatum Eagles to open District 8-3A, Division I play here at James Bamberg Stadium. The Eagles soared over the Cardinals, though, winning a 56-38 shootout.
Next week the Cardinals (3-2 on the season, 0-1 in district play) travel to Winnsboro.
Sabine punted on its first possession, and Tatum had great field position. The Eagles scored on the very first play from scrimmage for them, and went up 7-0 after the 21-yard score by quarterback O.B. Jones.
Sabine’s second possession again ended in a punt, and then the Cardinals’ defense stiffened, forcing Tatum to turn the ball over on downs.
Sabine quarterback Landon McKinney found a wide-open B.J. Stidham for a 21-yard gain, but that drive eventually stalled, as well. Fernando Jaimes hit a 32-yard field goal, though, to get Sabine on the board, trailing Tatum 7-3.
Coach Rex Sharp surprised Tatum with an onside kick, and Sabine recovered it. They kept the ball on the ground and got into the red zone (inside the Tatum 20-yard-line). But when McKinney went to the air, he threw a rare interception. After completing a 25-yard pass, Jones scored again, and gave his Eagles a 14-3 advantage.
Things got worse for the Cardinals, though, much worse. On Tatum’s next possession, Jones found Decartiyay Allison for a 32-yard gain, and then Jachais Jenkins ran the final 13 yards for a third Tatum score. Tatum would go on to score 35 points total in the second quarter.
They would get one more, unfortunately for Sabine and its fans, before the halftime break. On the next Tatum drive, with less than a minute left, Jones found Boyd again for another score and a backbreaking 42-10 halftime lead. Stidham scored for SHS on a 31-yard run.