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Lovelady wins rivalry game over Groveton

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090122 lovelady grovetonLovelady quarterback Shaun Easterling reels off a long gain against Groveton. Photo by Lawanna Monk

By Lawanna Monk

LOVELADY — The Lovelady Lions pulled away in the second half to beat the visiting Groveton Indians 28-7 and claim bragging rights in the long-running gridiron rivalry for the second straight year.

After forcing a punt on Groveton's first possession, the Lions struck on their third offensive play when quarterback Shaun Easterling scampered 68 yards to score the first touchdown on the new sod field in The Lions Den. Easterling's conversion run put the Lions up 8-0 at the 9:36 mark in the first quarter.

A miscue on a Lovelady punt late in the first quarter set up Groveton's only score. Punter Skylar Pipkin picked up a low snap and ran to the 21 yard line where Groveton took over.

Groveton scored early in the second quarter on a five-yard run by Darius McQueen on fourth-and-three. The Indians converted an earlier fourth down on a handoff from quarterback Ian Utz to McQueen, who picked up a first at the 6 before being stopped by Erik Castillo and Jordan Blackmon. After Brandon Fry shut down the next play for no gain, Utz picked up a yard to set up the TD run. Jackson Cathey kicked the extra point to make it 8-7 with 10:49 left.

Jayton Crawford returned the kickoff from the 22 to the Groveton 40. Blackmon and Skinner each carried for 3 and Easterling ran for 10 to the Lion 24. Blackmon picked up a yard and Skinner gained 2 before a mob of defenders stopped him at the 21 yard line. With the entire offensive line of Terrelle Easterling, Silas Strength, center Tyler Gilchrist, Ben Monk and Erik Castillo providing solid blocking, Easterling took the snap and made his way to the end zone behind the lead block of Blackmon. The conversion play failed and the Lions led 14-7 with 7:24 left in the half.

A big hit by Cody Davis forced Groveton to punt on its next possession. After the ball rolled dead at the Lion 35, Lovelady drove down the field and scored on a 9-yard run by Dayvian Skinner, who broke a tackle and dived into the end zone with :42 left in the half. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Lions with a 20-7 halftime lead.

The eight-play drive included two carries by Blackmon for five yards, two carries by Easterling for 11 yards and a seven-yarder by Skinner. Crawford caught a pass for 12 yards and Pipkin had a 29-yarder.

Early in the third quarter, the Lions extended their lead after forcing a fumble and recovering at the Groveton 14. Easterling scored on the first play to make it 26-7 with 9:01 left in the third, Another two-point conversion was no good.

Late in the third quarter, Groveton made a goal line stand to hold the Lions at 1 yard line on fourth-and-goal.

The Indians took over but the Lovelady's Landen LeBlanc sacked the quarterback in the end zone for safety with :03 left in the quarter. Skinner, Terrence Easterling, Strength and Blackmon also provided defensive pressure on the play.

Late in the game Pipkin picked off a Groveton pass and the Lions took a knee to end the game.

 District 12-2A DII results, schedules

Week 0 Scores
Lovelady 28, Groveton 7
Colmesneil 20, West Hardin 19
Hull-Daisetta 22, Kountze 12
Tarkington 35, Evadale 18
Frassati Catholic 46, Sabine Pass 0
Deweyville 40, Mt. Enterprise 26

Week 1 Matchups
Lovelady (1-0) at Grapeland (0-1)
Colmesneil (1-0) at KIPP (Houston) (1-0)
Hull-Daisetta (1-0) hosts Warren (1-0)
Evadale (0-1) at Hardin (0-1)
Deweyville (1-0) hosts Cushing (0-1)
Sabine Pass - open

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Last-second field goal sinks Sandies

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090122 sandies lovelady advance

From Staff Reports

FRANKSTON — A 22-yard field goal by sophomore Coleman Merritt in the closing seconds lifted the Frankston Indians to a24-22 win over the visiting Grapeland Sandies Friday.

Trailing by a point, Frankston drove down the field to Sandies 12 on the running of quarterback Reese Hicks and was able to set up and kick the field goal with five seconds left.

The score was knotted 14-14 early in the fourth quarter until Frankston took a 21-14 lead with 5:43 left. Grapeland scored a touchdown and two-point conversion to go in front 22-21 with 1:49 left in the game.

Grapeland led 8-6 after the first quarter and that’s where the score stood at halftime.

The Sandies struck first on a 55-yard pass play from senior quarterback Johnny Lamb to senior Omarian Wiley and a two-point

conversion by Trey Gilmore with 3:42 left in the period.
The Indians answered shortly afterward a 47-yard scamper by the quarterback. The two-point conversion try failed , leaving

Grapeland up 8-6 with 2:07 left in the period.

Grapeland scored first in the third quarter to go ahead 14-6 on a six-yard pass from Lamb to Wiley with 7:54 left in the period. The two-point conversion failed.

The Indians gave the home fans something to cheer about as they tied the game at 14-14 and then went ahead 21-14.

Frankston finished with 229 yards rushing and 92 passing for a total of 321 yards.

Grapeland rolled up 283 yards of offense.

Lamb completed 9 of 16 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

Omarian Wiley had four receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns while freshman Maleek Johnson had four catches for 70 yards and 1 touchdown. Kitraviunce Gilmore also had a catch.

The Sandies’s rushing game produced 135 yards on 41 carries.

Kitraviunce Gilmore picked up 74 yards on 27 carries, Jax Vickers had 46 yards on eight carries and Maleek Johnson picked up 15 yards on four carries.

 District 11-2A DI results, schedules

Week 0 Scores• Frankston 24, Grapeland 22
Timpson 53, Beckville 22
Tenaha 50, West Sabine 38
Joaquin 48, Arp 14
Shelbyville 48, Alto 44
Garrison 35, Hughes Springs 30
Hemphill 42, San Augustine 0

Week 1 Matchups
Grapeland hosts Lovelady
Timpson hosts Jefferson
West Sabine hosts Alto
Joaquin at Beckville
Shelbyville hosts Hemphill
Garrison at Arp
San Augustine at Tenaha

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Week 1 matchups

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090122 Porter catchCrockett receiver Dylan Porter hauls in a pass under tight coverage during the Bulldogs' 48-31 victory over Marlin. Photo by Larry Lamb

Crockett at Rusk
7:30 p.m. Friday

Crockett and Rusk are both riding momentum from impressive opening week victories.

The Eagles cruised past Fairfield 35-3 on the road while the Bulldogs upended Marlin 48-31 at home.
Rusk, a class 4A DII squad, is picked to finish third in its district which is headed up by No. 1 ranked Carthage, the projected state champion.

The Eagles return six starters on offense and four on defense from last year's 9-3 area finalist team.

Wide receiver Aiden McCown, a senior, moved to quarterback this year, replacing his older brother at that position. "Aiden is really good. He does some things in the pocket with his feet, he knows how to extend the play, step up into the pocket and he has the ability to break down and see coverage really well. He knows where he's going with the ball," said Dixon. "It's a lot different when you grow up with a dad who's a professional football player."

The McCowns' father, Josh McCown, is a former NFL quarterback and now a member of the Rusk coaching staff.
"Rusk has really good receivers in Bryce Grimes and Chad McCuin," said Dixon. Grimes, a senior, and McCuin, a sophomore, are both key defensive players.

Sophomore Spencer Barnett is the spark plug in Rusk's running game. "He's a sneaky, fast kid. He does a lot of good things in pass protection and running the ball,"said Dixon. Barnett turned heads last season as a freshman on defense with 35 tackles and three interceptions.

Rusk boasts size in the offensive line. "They're really big and move really well. It's going to be a challenge for us.

"Rusk is a well-rounded football team so we've got our hands full offensively and defensively," added Dixon.

"Defensively they have an odd front. They do a lot of things with their safeties that can make things difficult for you in the run game and pass game. They do a good job of sifting through coverages and they play really hard. It's going to be a real test for us because of the way they play and good they are playing that defense. It's going to be challenge. There are lot of things we don't know that we've got to learn.

Rusk carries 38 players on its varsity roster, which is 10 more than Crockett. "They have a platoon of kids and good experience with a big bunch of seniors and juniors."

The Eagles squad consists of 20 seniors, 12 juniors and six sophomores.

Rusk's depth was a factor last year in Crockett's 47-21 loss.

The Bulldogs had a 21-20 lead late in the first half but couldn't keep pace with the Eagles as fatigue began to set in. Rusk scored twice before halftime and added a pair touchdowns in the third.

Lovelady at Grapeland
7:30 p.m. Friday

Lovelady and Grapeland are rekindling their long-running football rivalry after a two-year hiatus.

The 2022 Houston County Class 2A championship will be decided Friday night in Sandie Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Lovelady handily defeated Groveton 28-7 in its opener while the Sandies lost a heartbreaker to Frankston 24-22 on the road.

The county rivals last faced off during the 2018 and 2019 seasons when they were in the same football district. Grapeland won both of those contests 53-16 and 26-20.

The Sandies and Lions haven't played the past two seasons since they went their separate ways, so fans are excited about the gridiron reunion.

Any time Grapeland and Lovelady face off in any sport, fans can expect a playoff-caliber atmosphere. The two schools are in different football districts but compete in the same districts for some of the other sports.

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Dogs knock off Marlin

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090122 Collins crockett fbCrockett quarterback Jadyn Collins eludes a Marlin defender in last week's season opener. The Bulldogs won 48-31. Photo by Larry Lamb

By Larry Lamb
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CROCKETT – The Crockett Bulldogs took control in the second half to upend highly ranked Marlin 48-31 in their season opener Friday night.

Marlin came to town boasting a No. 4 ranking in class 2A DI and were heavily favored to win the matchup.
Trailing 25-20 at halftime and 31-26 at the end of the third, Crockett struck for three fourth quarter touchdowns and the defense pitched a shutout to put Marlin away.

Driskell Stadium's newly installed LED "dancing touchdown lights" dazzled the Bulldogs and their fans. Each time Crockett scored a touchdown, the stadium lights flashed in celebration.

“The biggest thing was having the right mindset coming out in the second half. We took control right away and imposed our will in the run game," said head coach Alton Dixon. "Our offensive line did a great job moving the line of scrimmage forward and the backs did a good job of the basic things we work on every day. You could actually see the drill work that we do come to life."

Dixon added, “Defensively, it was our pursuit and our relentlessness, It was just the mindset of the whole team.”
The Bulldogs rolled up 196 yards through the air and 178 on the ground for a total of 374 yards.

Quarterback Jadyn Collins competed 10 of 13 passes for 196 yards. Collins threw one touchdown pass and had no interceptions. In addition to passing, Collins carried for 32 yards and ran for an 11-yard touchdown.

“Jadyn is a great leader and he made some great plays. He had a few turnovers but his ability to work through adversity, his ownership and way of calming his teammates down was really big. His leadership kept us going," said


Devin Bedford had four catches for 83 yards, Dylan Porter caught three for 83 yards and Corey Simon had a pair of catches for 44 yards, including one touchdown.

Junior Tywoin Delane led the rushing attack with 121 yards on 21 carries, including five touchdowns.

"We had 374 total yards and our goal is to get to 400 yards. We were close but you take away some of those turnovers, some bad snaps and things like that we’ll hit our goal,” said Dixon. “My hat’s off to Coach Torres and

Marlin for being such a good football team. It was a really tough, physical and fast game.”
The Bulldogs fumbled five times and lost two. Three extra-point kicks were blocked. Crockett blocked two kicks and Marlin blocked one.

Crockett's defense had plenty of standouts as well. Zandric Anderson was credited with 14 tackles and two assists while Courtney Byrd logged seven tackles, three assist, one TFL and two sacks. Jahkeim McKnight recorded four tackles and two PBU, Jonathan Lockhart had three tackles and three assists, and Ajani Ellis had two tackles. Corey Simon had three tackles and three assists in addition to a 34-yard interception return that set up a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“Devin (Bedford) came in defensively and started covering No. 0 (Trajon Butler). That gave us an opportunity to take away some of their screen game just because Devin is quicker and faster. He can play out in space and that was a big deal. He was one of those unsung heroes,” said Dixon. “All in all, we shut them out in the second half. We gave up the punt return for a touchdown but Marlin did not score on offense in the second half.

After receiving the opening kick, Crockett’s offense got off to a shaky when a high snap on the first play pinned the Bulldogs back to their own 4 yard line. Unable to dig out of the hole, Crockett punted and Marlin’s Zha’mauryon Lofton returned it to the 13 yard line. Marlin scored three plays later on a 4-yard pass from quarterback Desmond Woodson to Trajon Butler. Kicker Ezekiel Chavez made it 7-0 at the 8:49 mark.

A lost fumble thwarted Crockett’s second series but the men in blue got the ball back when Tristen McGraw recovered a fumble and returned it 14 yards to the 45.

Crockett’s offense scored 10 plays later when Delane plowed into the end zone from the 1 yard line with :58 left in the first. Marlin blocked the PAT to preserve its 7-6 lead.

Marlin answered with a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive. Woodson hit Lofton on a 30-yard strike to the 12 yard line and capped the drive on a 10-yard keeper with 9:21 left in the half. A blocked extra point kick held Marlin to a 13-6 lead..

The Bulldogs closed the gap with an 82-yard scoring drive. Facing fourth-and-13 at the Marlin 27, Collins threw a sideline pass to Porter, who managed to keep one foot in bounds for a first down at the 11. On the next play Bedford broke several tackles to set up a 2-yard touchdown blast by Delane. A failed two-point conversion left Marlin in front 13-12 with 4:54 left in the half.

Marlin increased it lead to 19-12 with 2:00 on the clock when Woodson scored on a 9-yard keeper. Anderson blocked the extra point and Simon recovered.

Crockett slipped in front 20-19 with a 65-yard drive consisting of four passes. Porter hauled in a 21-yarder, Bedford had an 11-yarder and Delane had a 6-yarder to set up a 34-yard TD strike to Simon, who took the ball away from the defender. Collins ran for the conversion to put Crockett in front 20-19 with 1:11 left.

Marlin struck quickly to regain the lead with :29 left on a 44-yard pass to Butler Marlin went for two but Jim Carruthers sacked the quarterback to keep the Bulldogs within five, 25-20, at halftime.

Early in the third quarter Crockett put together an 80-yard TD drive. Collins hit a wide-open Bedford on a 45-yard pass and Delane scored from 11 yards out with 6:29 left. The PAT kick was low.

Marlin went back in front 31-26 when Zha’mauryon Lofton slipped a tackle and returned a punt 56 yards with 1:46 left in the third. Crockett shut down the conversion.

Early in the fourth, Crockett had a touchdown pass called back and turned the ball over on a fumble at the Marlin 20.
The Bulldogs got the ball back at the 12 yard line when Delane a blocked a punt but gave the ball right back on a fumble on their first play.

After a low snap on a Marlin punt gave Crockett possession at the 9 yard line, Collins scored from 11 yards out to nudge the Dogs in front 32-31 with 4:50 left. Another two-point play came up short.

An interception and 34-yard return by Simon set up Crockett’s next scoring opportunity at the Marlin 31 yard line. Delane carried the next two plays and scored from the 22 with 3:06 left. Collins strutted into the end zone untouched for the conversion that put the Dogs up 40-31 lead.

The Bulldogs took over on downs at the Marlin 28 and scored on two runs by Delane up the middle. Delane carried on the conversion to put Crockett up by 17 with 1:37 left.

Crockett’s defense continued to flex its muscle and forced a turnover on downs at the Marlin 35 with :58 left.

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Latexo spikers victorious in home opener

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082522 LATEXO vbLatexo's Madelyn Smith (left) passes the ball while Kaitlynn Patterson (4) and Lauren Woodard (5) defend the net during a dual match with Trinity and Onalaska last Tuesday in the LHS gym. Photo by Larry Lamb

LATEXO — Fans packed the Latexo High School gym for the Lady Tigers' volleyball home debut on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and were treated to a pair of three-set decisions.

Taking on two class 3A squads, the Lady Tigers swept Trinity 26-24, 25-16, 25-8 and then knocked off Onalaska 25-23, 25-14, 25-20.
The Lady Tigers then travelled to Trinity on Friday and notched their 10th victory of the season with a four-set decision.

Latexo's varsity roster consists of Izzy Yorgensen, Katy Allen, Kennedy Patterson, Kaitlynn Patterson, Lauren Woodard, Madelyn Smith, Natalie Nicol, Shelby Coker, Cammy Parrish and Taylor Dise.

The Lady Tigers hosted Buffalo on Tuesday ahead of an appearance in the Anderson Tournament Thursday through Saturday. Next week, Latexo travels to Crockett for a Tuesday match before another tournament appearance at Coldspring on Sept. 1-3.

Latexo begins its District 23-2A campaign Sept. 20 at Groveton. Other teams in the district are Grapeland, Lovelady, Colmesneil and Corrigan-Camden.

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