TYLER — While a win, or two, would have been nice, perhaps what a young Jacksonville 7 on 7 team needed most — experience playing together — was harvested on Saturday at Tyler's Lindsey Park, home to the Tyler 7 on 7 State Qualifying Tournament.
The Tribe played its best in its first Pool C game, which resulted in a 47-34 lost to College Station. The Cougars went on to win the pool, but fell, 35-15, to DeSoto in an afternoon semi-final affair — John Tyler spanked Chapel Hill, 42-22, in the other semi final, with the Lions slated to join DeSoto in College Station later this month for the Division I State Championship Tournament.
In the Tribe's second game, Jacksonville lost to Lindale, 32-9, with the Indians closing out play by falling to another District 9-5A-II rival, Pine Tree (30-18).
Patrick Clater, who only became the varsity starting varsity quarterback during spring practice, following Tristen Shewmake's sudden transfer to Bullard, led Jacksonville under center the entire way, except for the second half of the Pine Tree game when Ryan McCown spelled Clater at quarterback.
During the second half of the Pine Tree game, several of the non-starters were inserted into the Jacksonville line-up for a look-see.
Jacksonville's offense featured a number of receivers, but aside from recent Colorado-commit, Chris Carpenter, and Jaylon Freeney, the rest of the bunch could be categorized as inexperienced at the varsity level.
The Tribe was coached by a familiar duo, brothers Randy and Luke McCown.
Both are former star quarterbacks for Jacksonville, with Randy going on to quarterback the Texas A&M Aggies and Luke playing for several NFL teams before retiring in April 2018.
College Station 47, Jacksonville 34
The teams traded a pair of early touchdowns, with Clater hitting a wide-open Carpenter on a 40-yard bomb that gave the Indians their first points.
Leading 7-6 after each unit turned the ball over on downs, the Cougars scored from 14-yards out to take a 14-6 lead over the Tribe.
When a Cougar receiver split Jacksonville defenders in the end zone to make the scoring grab, College Station moved ahead, 21-6.
The Cougars went on to lead 27-12 at halftime.
A Clater-to-Freeney scoring toss from 15 yards out accounted for the Indians' remaining points of the half.
The second half began with each defense holding the opposing offensive unit to three and out.
Jacksonville then closed the gap to 27-18 when Tyrice Gibson, running a slant route, reeled in a 28-yard pass from Clater.
The Indians made the 2-point conversion (Clater-to-Freeney) try to pull to within seven points, 27-20.
On the ensuing College Station possession, Carpenter came up with an interception and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown.
Jacksonville tacked on a 1-point conversion to knot the game at 27.
The Cougars rebounded by scoring from 14 yards out, but a Devin McCuin interception return for touchdown tied the game at 34.
College Station, however, went on to score 13 unanswered points to claim victory.
Lindale 32, Jacksonville 9
Holding Pine Tree to just six points in its first game, the Lindale defense proved to be stingy once again as the Eagles topped the Tribe, 32-9.
Lindale led 20-0 at halftime.
The highlight of the opening segment for the Indians was a interception by Steven Gallegos late in the opening half.
Gallegos picked off Lindale's PAT try following the Eagles' first touchdown of the second half, and returned it for a score (2 points), which trimmed the Lindale lead to 28-2 at that point.
On the Tribe's following possession Freeney caught a 13-yard scoring strike from Clater, which turned out to be the Indians' only touchdown of the game.
Pine Tree 30, Jacksonville 18
After the Pirates had driven down to the 13 yard line on their opening march of the game, the Indian defense clamped down on the boys from Longview, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs.
Clater found Freeney on a 40-yard scoring play that came on Jacksonville's first possession of the game tp give the Indians the early lead.
Lindale responded by scoring on a long touchdown pass and catch to tie things up, 6-6.
The advantage shifted back to the Tribe after Clater tossed a dart to Kasey Canady from 12 yards out as Jacksonville led 12-6.
The two district foes each had 12 points at the break after Pine Tree scored from 7 yards out on its next to last possession of the opening half.
Going up against the Tribe's reserves, Pine Tree was able to score on its first three possessions of the final half. The Pirates scored from 28, 2 and 45 yards, respectively.
Ryan McCown, a freshman, was the victim of several dropped balls, but ended the game by throwing an 8-yard scoring strike.