LIBERTY CITY – Sept. 11, Patriot Day, a day the nation remembers the sacrifices made 19 years ago. All the players on the James Bamberg Stadium field Friday night for Sabine-Daingerfield were born after Sept. 11, 2001, but were solemn for the moment of silence to observe it.
The visiting Tigers dealt Sabine its first loss of the season, 35-14. It was Sabine’s first loss at home since the 2018 season.
Coach Rex Sharp’s Cardinals (2-1) visit 3-0 DeKalb next Friday night.
Sabine’s very first play of the game against Daingerfield was a 6-yard pass from Jace Burns to Alex Galyean. The teams traded possessions back and forth, though, throughout the opening quarter until finally, after crossing midfield, Daingerfield’s Martez Allen broke free for a 43-yard touchdown. After his two-point conversion run, the Tigers took an 8-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals offense plodded down the field themselves, until Burns found Kile Stripland for a 25-yard pass play. This was followed up with a 2-yard pass to Galyean for a touchdown. Eduardo Jaimes’ extra point cut the score to 8-7 as the second quarter began.
The Tigers dominated the second quarter, though, after each team traded punts. Allen and quarterback Zaylon Jeter traded runs of 13 and 16 yards. The Cardinals suffered a blow that would affect them, then, as the game was paused for defensive standout Brent Warren – who had 19 tackles a week ago against West Rusk – was carted off the field with a leg injury.
When play resumed, Daingerfield’s Dee Lewis ran the ball in for the touchdown, then the two-point conversion and a 16-7 lead. The Cards were forced to punt again on their next possession, forcing their tired defense back on the field.
Daingerfield quickly took advantage and had three straight pass completions, the final a 34-yarder to Coby Wright for the touchdown. The failed conversion left Daingerfield in front, 22-7, with five minutes left in the half.
Sabine’s offense couldn’t get anything going. Burns tried to thread the needle, but the Tigers, DD Rodgers read it and took the interception 31 yards for the score. The point after was missed, but Daingerfield still led 28-7.
Still with plenty of time in the half, the Cards moved downfield. They used 14 plays to do it and got to the Daingerfield 2-yard-line. Burns kept the ball and as he was crossing the goal line, the ball squirted free and was recovered by the Tigers to end the half.
The Tigers opened the third quarter with a 22-yard pass to Wright, followed by a 16-yard run by Allen. The Cardinal defense held tight, however, and forced a turnover on downs.
The rested Sabine offense went to work. Daylon Branham took a 12-yard handoff, followed by some short runs. Then Burns found Kaden Manning over the middle for a 46-yard touchdown. Jaimes’ extra point cut Daingerfield’s lead in half, to 28-14.
Sabine’s defense continued to play hard and again stopped the Tigers. The next possession, though, saw Burns throw his second interception, this time to Braxton Jimmerson. Again, the Sabine defense held. The two teams continued to trade punts into the fourth quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, still trailing by 14, coach Sharp called a trick play. Burns threw a lateral pass to Galyean, who then found Corbin Odle wide open for an apparent 64-yard touchdown. The refs thought different and called an illegal double forward pass. This took the wind out of the Cardinal sails.
The Tigers added a late touchdown by Lewis and got the extra point by Amerie Stephens, the lone female on the team, for the final score of 35-14.