Texas High just too much for Jacksonville

Kasey Candy, left, catches 6-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Clater that gave the Indians an early 6-0 lead over Texas High on Friday at the Historic Tomato Bowl. The Tigers went on to win, 52-23.

Texas High kept its undefeated record intact by defeating Jacksonville 52-23 before a sparse crowd at the Historic Tomato Bowl on Friday night.

The Tigers (8-0, 5-0) are alone at the top of the District 9-5A-II standings after Pine Tree upset Whitehouse, 27-14, on Friday. The Pirates and Wildcats are both 4-1 in conference play now.

Jacksonville (1-7, 1-4) had its moments in the game, but not enough of them to be able to come out on top on the scoreboard.

The Indians took an early 6-0 lead after a nine play 69-yard march on the first possession of the game.

The drive ended with Kasey Canady hauling in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Clater.

Clater connected with Canady for a 13-yard pick up early in the march and Dominik Hinojosa adsde4d an 11-yard run from scrimmage to boost the Indian in moving the chains.

Clater had trouble getting the snap down on the point after touchdown attempt by Jose Salado and the kick was no where close to splitting the uprights as jacksonville led 6-0 with 9:34 left in the first period.

That score put to rest a 10-quarter scoreless streak by the Tiger defense.

Prior to Friday, Texas High last allowed points in the second quarter of its 56-17 victory over Hallsville back on Oct. 30.

That score seemed to get the Tigers' attention. Texas High responded by going on a 28-0 run that burned 8:59 off of the clock, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

Trailing 28-6, Jacksonville closed the gap to within two touchdowns when Clater dialed up Devin McCuin for a 58-yard touchdown reception that came with 7:36 to go in the first half.

When McCuin, who was running a go route along the Tribe sidelines, made a quick cut, the Tiger defender slipped down, which left McCuin wide open.

Texas High came back to tack on two more touchdowns before trotting off to the locker room with a comfortable 42-13 lead.

The Indians scored twice in the second half, getting a 32-yard field goal by Solano that came with 7:33 left in the third stanza and an 8-yard run by McCuin with 6:10 to play in the game.

Tiger quarterback Brayson McHenry brought his “A” game on Friday. He completed his first eight passes of the night and went 15-21-0 through the air for 280 yards and four touchdowns.

Blake Rogers was on the receiving end of scoring strikes of 24 and 35 yards, respectively, while Rian Cellars had touchdown grabs of 37 and 23 yards. Cellars was the game's leading receiver, reeling in six passes for 178 yards.

Clater led Jacksonville in rushing, carrying eight times for a net of 33 yards. Via the air the senior went 18-30-1 for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

The top pass catchers for the Tribe was McCuin with one catch for 58 yards and Isaiah Mallard (5-25).

Texas High had 473 total yards (193 on land, 280 by air) while Jacksonville amassed 290 total yards (70 rushing and 220 passing).

Next week Jacksonville will travel to Whitehouse (7-1, 4-1) for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Black Friday while Texas High hosts Nacogdoches.

In other District 9-5A-II games, Marshall (4-4, 2-3) disposed of Mount Pleasant (3-5, 1-4), 26-7, and Nacogdoches (4-3, 3-2) picked up a 2-0 COVID-19 forfeit from Hallsville (0-7, 0-5).

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