Soaring Cardinals

Sabine quarterback Landon McKinney (above) accounted for five touchdowns (including a pass to A.J. Gresham) in the Cardinals’ 52-41 win at Tatum. Sabine hosts Winnsboro on Friday. (Photo by MARVIN HILLHOUSE)

If you’re one of the people who doubted Sabine’s success on the football field, maybe brushed it off as just a fluke, you’re running out of time to prove your point.

Sabine, which has already had its open date for the season, is 5-0, started District 8-3A, Division I on a roll with a win at Tatum last week, and is back at home this week. Fittingly, it’s homecoming at James Bamberg Stadium on Friday, as Sabine will host another district opponent, Winnsboro (4-2).

Sabine football coverage has been online every Friday night/Saturday morning on kilgorenewsherald.com, by Jeremy Newlin, as the Cardinals have taken down every opponent they’ve faced so far in 2019. Check out Newlin’s story on Sabine-Tatum from last week right now at https://www.kilgorenewsherald.com/sports/high-school-football-sabine-mckinney-pass-another-test-with-/article_4892fd22-e732-11e9-aaaa-cf8c04da72de.html.

The Cardinals scored almost every time they had the ball, but Tatum wouldn’t go away. Sabine finally pulled away, 52-41. It was the most points Sabine has scored this season, and that’s actually saying something: the Cardinals, until the game with Tatum, really hadn’t played a close game all year.

Sabine gets a tough Winnsboro team this Friday. Winnsboro dealt Sabine a couple of playoff losses a few years ago. The Raiders won their first three games convincingly, over Winona (33-0), Queen City (57-15) and Chisum (44-0). A pair of losses followed, to Art Briles-coached Mount Vernon (47-28) and at Gladewater (16-12).

The Raiders bounced back last week with a 37-20 win over White Oak, but are 1-1 in district play.

Sabine is averaging a gaudy 43 points per game, and until last week’s game at Tatum, had not allowed an opponent to score more than 14. Quarterback Landon McKinney had five touchdowns last week  -- four on the ground and a touchdown pass to A.J. Gresham.

Defensively, the Cardinals have 61 tackles from Brent Warren, and 41 each from Ty Francisco and Brannigan Willige. Warren also has three sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Clayton Fortson has three interceptions; Bre’den Ford and Clayton Simmons each have two.

Sabine’s schedule will get a little tougher from here, starting Friday night against Winnsboro. The Cardinals do have winless White Oak still to play, but they also have trips to 5-1 West Rusk (next Friday night) and 4-2 Gladewater (Nov. 1) on the horizon.

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