Throughout 7 on 7 football season so far, the Wildcats have mostly matched up with smaller schools. That changed Saturday during a state qualifier tournament in Tyler and the Wildcats held their own in pool play winning two and losing one. They missed out on moving on from pool play due to a tiebreaker. It was the first state qualifier tournament for the Wildcats this year.
They opened with a triple overtime win over Marshall. The Wildcats converted a two point play at the end to win, 48-46. Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Matt Young said it was a big win. He said the Wildcats had the chance to put the game away earlier but were also on the verge of getting beat but continued to make plays. Coach Young said quarterbacks Ryan Humphries and D’Corian Young did a good job moving the ball down the field and taking what Marshall gave them. He said Simeon Taylor and Austin Dodd did a good job of making catches in the red zone and Landry Tyson and Jase Thompson also made some big catches. Coach Young added defenders Kylan Wade and Hunter Smithson had big interceptions. He praised the senior leadership of D.J. Abron, Terrell Turman, Ryan Humphries and Simeon Taylor who know to keep playing.
Against John Tyler, a 6A school, the Wildcats fell behind 13-0 before rallying to tie the score, 13-13 at halftime. In the seesaw second half, the Wildcats jumped out ahead 20-13 but then fell behind, 26-20. After a critical pick six that the Wildcats gave up, they still rallied for a late score to make John Tyler’s win only 33-26. Coach Young had praise for defenders Cor’Tavius Pruitt, Rio Becerra and Cason Churchman.
Pool play ended for the Wildcats with a win over College Station, another 6A school, in a wild shootout. Coach Young said the Wildcats played like champions. They won in dramatic fashion as receiver Simeon Taylor caught a touchdown on a corner route on the game’s final play to give the Wildcats a 56-53 win. Coach Young said there were great plays on both sides of the ball and singled out Turman, Pruitt, Tyson, Cason Goodson and Searn Rodgers. We said quarterbacks Humphries and Young just continued to make plays.
Pool play resulted in a three way tie between the Wildcats, Marshall and John Tyler. Marshall advanced due to most points scored. The Wildcats have one more chance to qualify for the state tournament. They travel to Rowlett Friday for another state qualifier tournament.