West Rusk visited Grand Saline Friday night – and Grand Saline probably wishes they’d stayed home.
The Raiders ran through Grand Saline like a runaway locomotive, scoring 48 first-half points en route to a 54-6 win, their fifth straight.
West Rusk is 5-3 overall, leads District 9-3A, Division II, and has one game remaining in the regular season: a home game against 0-9 Quitman next Friday night.
In the rout of Grand Saline, quarterback Andon Mata, just a sophomore, was 8-of-11 for 223 yards and a touchdown, a 72-yard pass to Will Jackson, who had two catches for 84 yards and the score. Omarion Anthony had two, as well, for 81 yards. Geremiah Smith had three for 71, and Jimmie Harper and Bryan Mason each had a catch. Xander Mason had a 40-yard completion to Smith.
James Greenalch, a senior, had 88 yards rushing on 10 carries, and three touchdowns. Jamal Ford had 67 rush yards and two scores. Mata had a 39-yard run, as well, and Noah Murphy, just a freshman, had 14 yards. The Raiders finished with 471 yards of total offense.
Jeremiah Edwards, Harper, Ty Harper, Torami Dixon, and Barry Decker each had eight tackles; Dixon, Decker, and Keldon Johnson each had a tackle for loss.
The Raiders collected five sacks in the game: two by Alvaro Cortez, and one each by Harper, Edwards, and Dixon. Decker had a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown. Kicker Alexis Magallanes was 6-for-8 in extra points.
Lindale 52, Palestine 20: The Lindale Eagles used a suffocating and opportunistic defense to stifle the Palestine Wildcats 52-20 Friday night at Eagle Stadium. The win sets up a showdown next Friday night against the Kilgore Bulldogs in Kilgore for the District 9-4A district championship.
Lindale (7-2 5-0) scored on the first offensive play of the game on a double pass from quarterback Sam Peterson to senior Arik Williams who hit Jacob Seekford in stride for a 47-yard touchdown and the early lead. The Eagles defense got a quick stop and then drove 40 yards before settling for senior kicker Landon Love’s 37-yard field goal to make the score 10-0.
Palestine (6-4 4-2) demonstrated why they sit alone in third place in the district standings with a nifty six play 85-yard drive to close the gap to 10-7. Senior running back, Jakaryon Conley, had runs of 40 and 24 yards on the drive. However, Conley would only net 55 yards the rest of way as the Birds defensive line led by seniors Jaret Allen, Jaymond Jackson, and Braxton Field clogged up the running lanes.
The Eagles scored on their next possession on a three-yard dive by senior Jordan Jenkins to up the lead to 17-7 and then Williams stepped in front of a pass and raced 38 yards for a pick-six. It was Williams’ seventh interception of the year and his second game in a row with an interception for a touchdown. The defensive touchdown gave the Birds a 24-7 lead with 1:38 to play in the first quarter.
The Wildcats used six minutes off the clock on their next possession but could not convert the drive into points. It proved costly as the Eagles then drove 77 yards for the score with Jenkins again punching it over from three yards out. Lindale converted an onside kick that was recovered by Williams. Jenkins would notch his third touchdown of the night, this time from six yards and the Eagles led at halftime 38-7.
Peterson used his legs for two touchdown runs in the second half, one from 31 yards and the other from 22. The first Peterson touchdown was set up by senior Jaymond Jackson’s strip sack and fumble recovery.
Shedrick Dudley and Taj’Shawn Wilson added touchdown runs for the Wildcats after intermission to tally the final score at 52-20. (From WALTER WILHELMI)
Henderson 27, Mabank 20: Henderson got two huge defensive plays in this game that made all the difference in the world for coach Phil Castles’ Lions.
Daylon Garrett returned a Mabank fumble 102 yards for a score with 7:56 left to tie the game, after Mabank started the fourth quarter with a 20-13 lead.
On the next Mabank possession, the snap went awry and got past the punter. Jacob Taylor recovered the ball at Mabank’s 22-yard-line for Henderson, and running back D’Cameron Walker scored on a 4-yard run, with three minutes left.
Mabank had one more shot, and did scare the Lions, but failed to get the win. On fourth down and goal at Henderson’s 7, Christian Brown got an interception at the goal line to end the threat, and the game.
The Lions play at Chapel Hill on Friday; the winner makes the playoffs as the fourth seed.
Gilmer 54, North Lamar 0: The Gilmer Buckeyes scored at will in the first half and cruised after the break, earning a 54-0 win over the North Lamar Panthers in a District 8-4A Division II contest.
The Buckeyes put this one away early, building a 28-0 lead after one quarter and taking a 41-0 cushion in at the half.
Jaron Choyce got the scoring started for Gilmer at the 8:14 mark of the opening quarter, scoring on a 7-yard run to c ap a 10-play, 65-yard drive.
After a 15-yard run by Cody Guidry gave Gilmer a 14-0 lead, Davion Smith returned a punt 50 yards to add to the lead. Jared Ward made it 28-0 after on with a 5-yard TD run.
In the second, Smith rambled 73 yards for a touchdown and Parker Gillow tossed a 9-yard TD pass to Will Blakley for a 41-0 lead at intermission. Ashton Haynes (2 yards) and Michael Colbert (6 yards) did the scoring honors for Gilmer in the second half.
The Buckeyes will host Pleasant Grove on Friday. North Lamar will visit Spring Hill.
Carthage 56, Madisonville 0: It was hard to tell which side of the ball the Carthage Bulldogs were more dominant on Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
Either way, the Madisonville Mustangs had no answer for the top team in Class 4A.
The offense scored each time it had the ball in the opening half — except for the final drive when they ran out of time, putting up 370 yards of offense and six touchdowns.
The defense had four 3-and-outs, gave up just 10 yards, one first down and picked up a pair of turnovers.
The No. 1 Bulldogs could have named the score, picking up a 56-0 win and clinching the District 10-4A title heading into next week’s finale. The Bulldogs travel to Shepherd Thursday night for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
Carthage is now 7-0 for the season and 4-0 in district. The Mustangs drop to 3-6 and 1-3.
Quarterback Kai Horton picked up where he left off last week, completing his first seven passes for 155 yards. He finally threw an incompletion, but finished the night before intermission completing 12 of 16 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns.
Mason Courtney opened the scoring with a 34-yard score, tip-toeing down the sideline into the end zone.
Horton and Craig McNew hooked up on a 43-yard touchdown later in the quarter to make it 14-0.
Nick Stewart scored from the 3 late in the first period to make it 21-0.
Zay Woods, who usually does his pass catching on defense, caught a 24-yard TD pass from Horton to make it 28-0.
A fumble on the kickoff was picked up and returned deep into Mustang territory by Kavonte Brown. That set up an 8-yard TD pass to Montrel Hatten to make it 35.
Horton and McNew hooked up once again late in the half with McNew catching a short pass, putting a move on the defensive back, and scoring from the 16 untouched to make it a 42-0 game.
Brandon King had an interception early in the second half and returned it more than 50 yards for a score. But an illegal blindside block wiped it out.
The Bulldogs scored on the next play as Javarian Roquemore kept it and went 19 yards for the score. The backup QB ended up the leading rusher for the team with 104 yards.
Carthage would get in the end zone one more time when Tavarious Johnson went in from the 3.
The Mustangs managed to put together a drive in the fourth quarter that saw them pick up three first downs. But they got as far as the 32 before getting shut down.
Carthage finished with 455 yards of total offense, while holding the visitors to just 53 yards and four first downs.