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Polk County Sports

On fire after halftime

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Gavin Nichols was injured in the game, but expected to make a quick recovery. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCH | PCEGavin Nichols was injured in the game, but expected to make a quick recovery. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCH | PCEBy Brian Besch
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The Leggett Pirates led much of Monday’s non-district contest versus Hull-Daisetta, claiming a 69-27 win over the Bobcats. A big third
quarter would distance the two teams and decide the game.

It took a few minutes for the Pirate offense to begin operating, as turnovers, missed free throws and jumpers kept Hull-Daisetta competitive. New coach Ra’Shod Jefferson was disappointed in how the team began the match.

“It was a rough start and we didn’t play up to our capability in the first quarter,” he said. “We came back playing in the second quarter. We lost our freshman post in the second quarter (to injury); he’s doing well now. by the time district comes around, we will be there and we will be tough.

However, Leggett still held a slim 11-7 lead after eight minutes.

The defense continued to perform well into the second quarter, again holding the Bobcats to seven points. Jesse Calderas began to knock
down long-range shots, with four 3-pointers in the first half. He finished with six and led all scores with 32 points.

“Starting in the beginning of the season, the guys wouldn’t shoot and wouldn’t play defense,” Jefferson said. “After some sprints, I guess they got tired of conditioning. We started playing defense and all I want to play is man and full-court press the whole game. For our shooting, our senior player, (Jesse Calderas), is a great shooter.

We are finally getting him to come out of his shell. If I can get my junior, (Brian Calderas), to come out of his shell and shoot the ball more, I think we will be good outside shooting the ball.”

The Pirates came out of halftime on fire and reeled off 35 points, with Jesse Calderas and Joshua Perkins leading the charge. Perkins had 18 points in the third quarter alone, and had 24 total in the win.

The coach said his team needs to crash the boards a little more, but likes the way that his team plays together and finds the open man. his
team should be well prepared after playing schools anywhere from class 2A to 5A in non-district.

Leggett will visit Richards and then enter tournament play following the Thanksgiving break.

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Big Sandy takes Polk County (Wild)cat fight

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BigSandyTakesPolkCountyBigSandyTakesPolkCountyBy Brian Besch

Big Sandy was able to pick up a home win Friday with defense leading the way, taking a 55-34 decision over Onalaska.

Onalaska had been impressive on offense coming into the game, averaging 72 points in two wins to start the season. However, the Big Sandy defense that was smothering throughout last season’s playoff run was up to the challenge.

“In the first half, you saw how we tried to play a little slower because we know how great their defense is as a team,” Onalaska coach Nick Tyerman said. “They play amazing team defense; I saw it on film. I knew it was going to be extremely tough to go against, so we were trying to slow the pace down to try to get them to extend a little bit. You are going to have games like that, but you can’t start out that slow. They do such a good job of taking things away that you have to pick and choose your moments. It makes it really hard when you let them get some kind of double-digit lead, because then you have to start picking up the tempo to try to get something.”

The visiting Wildcats were able to knock down just three shots in the first half, limited to seven points through 16 minutes of play. The score at the break was 22-7 in favor of the home team.

“The first half, I thought our defense was outstanding,” Big Sandy coach Kevin Foster said. “In the second half, I thought we lost our focus and intensity a little bit. That, and Onalaska stepped up their’s. They started pressing us, and we got a little careless and lazy with the ball. They started making some shots and we knew they could shoot the ball coming in. Our goal was not to give any of them open looks. We gave them way too many and they made some of them in the second half.”

That second half had a much different look, as both schools picked up the pace in more of a fast-break game. Onalaska more than doubled their first-half output in just one quarter, picking up 16 points.

Lucas Jackson had a couple of baskets and Brady Smith scored seven in the period. Big Sandy nearly kept pace and led 36-23 with the game still in doubt heading into the final quarter.

“That is what I love about these kids. They want to play hard and they want to do their best. It is a great group to coach. It is super early and this will help us get ready for district, which is what it is all about. When we had some shots not fall, we had to make some adjustments and try to speed it up in the second half,” Tyerman said. “I like the physicality that we had in the second half, but again, we just have to be able to make shots. I am proud of the kids. We scrapped and we fought, and it is a good game experience for us. We have to get ready, because we have the No. 4-ranked 2A team in the state on Monday, Douglass, at home. Then, we have Central on Tuesday to help us get better experience.”

Big Sandy saved its best for last, adding on 19 points in the fourth.

Adrian Thompson had 10 points and four others contributed a bucket.

 For the game, Thompson led all scores with 19, while Javen Criswellhad nine, Jorden Martinez had eight and Seth Beene-Williams six.

Onalaska was topped by Smith with 13, Jackson had seven and Kevin Redden added five.

“Early in the season, we haven’t been shooting the ball like we’re capable of. We had a lot of clean looks tonight, but we just couldn’t hardly buy any,” Foster said. “We just haven’t quite hit that stride yet. From an offensive standpoint, I thought we executed OK, but I felt like we left a lot of pints on the floor. I think we have a chance to be good. Starting out, we haven’t really been all together yet. I have a couple of kids that are out.”

Both schools are now 2-1 on the season, with Big Sandy also defeating Warren and dropping a game to Orangefield. Onalaska has beaten Goodrich and Spurger.

The next few games for Big Sandy will also be challenging, traveling to Splendora Monday and returning home Tuesday for a tip with Bridge City.

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Bulldogs to share field with state champs

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Bulldogs to share

By Albert Trevino

The 3-2 Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs will finish the regular season on the road to face the 5-0 Newton Eagles this Friday.

The playoff-bound Bulldogs clinched their postseason spot last week against Warren and expect their toughest challenge this Friday against the Eagles.

Second-year head coach Brett Ratliff has helped lead Corrigan to a bounceback  year after missing the playoffs last season.

“It means a lot to this town and community.” said Ratliff. “Obviously, we have a tradition of winning here and I have been a part of that tradition. It took us a year to get going like we wanted. The kids have done everything I have asked them to do and we have played as a team. We have had a lot of fun and now we are in the tournament.”

The Eagles are also looking to improve from last year’s effort, being eliminated by Pewitt in the second playoff round.

Newton is coming off a 52-22 win last week at Hemphill and will finish undefeated in district with a win over Corrigan. Last year’s matchup resulted in 61-0 shutout loss for the Bulldogs.

Ratliff expects to utilize his entire playbook and offensive weapons to better compete with Newton and finesse some big plays this time around.

“We have to play as hard as we can and worry about ourselves, not the other team.” Ratliff said. “I think our style of play can keep them off balance if we are doing it well. We have to use our entire toolbox ...We hopefully can find some weak spots. There are very few, but if we can ever find something to exploit, we will.”

Newton’s signature power-run offense will be led by returning senior running back Deanthony Gatson. Other offensive playmakers include senior back Trinis Wash, junior back Tyler Porter and senior receiver Maliek Woods.

“[Gatson] is one of the better running backs in the state of Texas.” said Ratliff. “We have to stop him before he ever gets started. If he ever gets a head of steam, he is big, strong and fast.”

Regardless of the result in this matchup, the Bulldogs hope to keep enough of their winning momentum from the season to make a run in the playoffs.

“I say ‘Let us get to the tournament.’ If we can get to the tournament, great things can happen. I have seen fourth-seed teams do some amazing things.” said Ratliff.

Kickoff for Friday’s match is set for 7 p.m. at Curtis Barbay Field (Newton High School.)

 

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Bulldogs succumb to Eagles

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Christian Guzman fights the tackle to get a short gain. (Photos by Albert Trevino)Christian Guzman fights the tackle to get a short gain. (Photos by Albert Trevino)

By Albert Trevino

The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs came up short in a 19-13 loss against the Woodville Eagles on Friday.

Early mistakes versus the quick physicality of the Eagles squad kept the game out of reach for Corrigan, although the Bulldogs would fare better late in the game.

Bulldog junior quarterback Christian Guzman delivers a pass to JaVarion Williams.Bulldog junior quarterback Christian Guzman delivers a pass to JaVarion Williams.“Our first step was not the best early and they were moving around, stunting so many people ... That was the first time we saw that all year and we needed to see that before district starts,” said Bulldog head coach Brett Ratliff. “They are a really good football team and for us to play like this, I am proud of the guys. But I am disappointed because I felt like a couple of things here and there that we do better, we win the ball game.”

The Bulldogs quickly reached the red zone on its first possession, but later turned the ball over on downs.

This allowed the Eagle offense to strike first with a short pass from quarterback Jack Fowler to Raylon Williams that went 91 yards for a touchdown. With the extra kick, Woodville took the 7-0 early lead.

Later in the first quarter, Corrigan’s offense found themselves starting deep inside their own 5-yard line.

It did not take long for the Bulldogs to crumble under defensive pressure up front and allow a fumble recovery in the end zone for a defensive touchdown to extend the Eagle lead 13-0 into halftime.

The Eagle offense threatened to further extend the lead during the third quarter, marching deep into the Corrigan red zone.

However, a pass attempt was picked off by Bulldog junior JaVarion Williams, who ran the length of the field for Corrigan’s first touchdown. This helped cut the Woodville lead 13-7 for a one-score game.

Eagle defender LeBron Millers breaks up a pass attempt to Bulldog sophomore Tony Cooper.Eagle defender LeBron Millers breaks up a pass attempt to Bulldog sophomore Tony Cooper.Woodville came back with a run-heavy scoring drive in the fourth quarter, finished off by Pop Prejean’s three-yard touchdown rush to go up 19-7 late in the game

The Bulldog offense responded with desperation fourth-down pass from junior quarterback Christian Guzman to Williams for a touchdown to make it 19-13 in the final minutes. 

Corrigan’s defense was unable to prevent a first down on the following Eagle drive, which sealed the win for Woodville.

Ratliff noted that, despite the loss, it was another solid four-quarter effort by his team.

“You learn a lot about your team. Are we going to start to slow down and give up when things are not going our way, or are we going to fight back and keep working?” Ratliff said. “These kids kept fighting and fighting. That proved to me that I know for four quarters, every single week we show up, we are always going to be in a football game.”

The Bulldogs will travel to Elkhart to battle the Elks for the last non-district game of the season this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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Corrigan-Camden prevails in overtime

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JaVarion Williams breaks free for a big kickoff return.JaVarion Williams breaks free for a big kickoff return.

By Albert Trevino

The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs have a two-game win streak to start the season after defeating the Centerville Tigers 27-19 on the road Friday.

It was a physical battle until the end, just as advertised, with Centerville and Corrigan swinging the momentum throughout the night and taking it into overtime.

“We did what we had to in order to win.” said Bulldog head coach Brett Ratliff. “Coach Hardee has those kids hardnosed ... We knew we were going to have to play all four quarters and it actually took longer, but we did it.”

JaVarion Williams throws a touchdown under pressure on a reverse play. (PHOTOS BY ALBERT TREVINO)JaVarion Williams throws a touchdown under pressure on a reverse play. (PHOTOS BY ALBERT TREVINO)The Bulldog coaching staff made the necessary adjustments to help keep offense flowing and had the defense stepping up with big stops late in the game.

“These kids played the perfect team game tonight ... They did their jobs and what we ask of them. After four quarters and a little bit, it feels good to get this win.” Ratliff said. “[Centerville] had to earn every single yard that they got. [Defensively,] we had them figured out when it mattered the most.”

Corrigan struck first on the opening play from scrimmage with a reverse to senior JaVarion Williams, who threw his first highlight pass of the game to sophomore receiver Tony Cooper for a 68-yard touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, Tiger sophomore running back Andrew Newman answered by returning a punt over 50 yards to score and tie the game at seven points each.

Centerville would take a lead early in the second quarter with a strong drive, capped off with a short touchdown run by junior running back John Robinson. 

The two-point attempt was intercepted and no good, which made it a 13-7 lead for the Tigers.

Late in the half, the Bulldog offense turned the ball over inside the red zone on a fumbled handoff. However, the Tigers would fumble the ball right back to Corrigan. 

That turnover led to a short scoring drive for the Bulldogs, featuring some different formations with Williams and senior Deveion White under the gun. The drive was finished with a short touchdown run by White.

Tiger fullback Paxton Hancock is stopped by the Corrigan defense for a short gain.Tiger fullback Paxton Hancock is stopped by the Corrigan defense for a short gain.Corrigan’s extra kick was blocked, which tied the game at 13 points at halftime.

The Tigers came out strong in the third quarter, with junior fullback Paxton Hancock powering through 80-yards for a touchdown run. The two-point attempt was no good.

Late in the third, Williams’ second highlight pass would occur on a severely botched play.

A high snap fumble in the backfield was recovered by Williams, who also managed to sling the ball to senior receiver Ruger McLain under heavy pressure.

McLain broke away inside Tiger territory for another game-tying touchdown, followed by one last failed extra point.

Both defenses managed a shutout in the fourth quarter, which led to overtime.

Corrigan first took the field in overtime and scored on a Williams run, followed by a successful two-point pass. The Bulldog defense carried this momentum and followed this up with a quick three-and-out against Centerville to seal the victory.

The Bulldogs play their next match at home against the Woodville Eagles Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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