Cougars maul Tigers, advance to Regional

Branch and Dunn pool to fool the Tigers, both passing and both dashing to make a daring team statement.
Branch and Dunn pool to fool the Tigers, both passing and both dashing to make a daring team statement.

NACOGDOCHES – All the action was at Stephen F. Austin University last Friday as the Crosby Cougars blasted past the Texarkana Texas High School 62 to 42.

The Cougars go on to face the fierce, Top Ranked Huntsville Hornets the day after Christmas in the 5A DII UIL State Regional Playoff. The Hornets seem perennial contenders for the State Title. Now fresh from their 49 to 19 victory over the Barbers Hill Eagles all eyes are on Woodforest Stadium in Shenandoah at 2:00 p.m.

The Tigers showed up to scratching and grubbing for a fight but soon it was apparent that Crosby’s Jerry Prieto had a plan. “The more the week went on the more confident I was in our game plans. We wanted to score first and jump out to a lead on them because they had not trailed this year in a ball game yet. We were able to score on our first possession and scored on 9 of our 13 possessions,” said Prieto.

But the question is how was this ventured lead for the Cougars?

“Reggie Branch, Deniquez Dunn, and Jaylen Herman had huge games offensively for us. Our defensive line controlled the front and shut down their run game. Our kids came out ready to play and we’re the more physical team from the first snap on.” summarized the Crosby Head Coach.

The Cougars were ahead from early to finish even with 3 turnovers.

It must be said that where many teams would pit Reggie Branch against Deniquez Dunn for the top spot pushing down the other, Crosby has combined them for dynamite in the back field. Other teams don’t know who is passing or dashing and that confusion is paying dividends. Branch had five touchdowns including a 67 yard run in the 2nd Quarter. He scored three on short runs in the first half. A 60 yard reception from Dunn in the third quarter doubled the Tigers 42 to 21.

True to the Cougar’s Coach’s plans they were ahead 28 to 0 before the 5th Ranked Tigers awakened in the second half. That saw Quarterback Brayson McHenry of the Tigers hit Rian Cellars for a 31 yard touchdown pass. A little more than a minute later a second touchdown pass to Caden Miller connected with less than three minuets left in the first half. The teams seemed equal in ability but Crosby was up 35-14 at the half.

The Cougars broke out again as the half time lapsed as E’Monte Wilson caught and hauled a 25 yarder from D. Dunn.

The Tigers put together a time consuming drive to score again.

Jayden Herman had three touchdowns right after the half. The Cougars were ahead by 34 points half way into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers came alive again in the Fourth when Daquerreon Witcher scored on a long drive. The Tigers made a fumble pay off seconds later with a touchdown originating on the Crosby nine yard line when McHenry threw a touchdown. Crosby had not allowed 42 points since they played powerhouse Manvel at the start of the season.

Crosby stands at (9-3) taking on the Huntsville Hornets (11-0) next Saturday but then the Tigers had not been defeated before last week.