By Scott Womack
TRINITY — Tiger Homecoming 2023 and Rivalry Week came together Friday Night, as the Groveton Indians crossed White Rock Creek to ruin the Tigers festivities.
Prior to kick off, Brooke Arnold and Creek Copley were named Homecoming King and Queen for 2023.
The Tigers and Indians traded first-possession punts and second-possession touchdowns to give the Tigers an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with an Indian scoring drive and a 14-8 lead. The Tigers first drive of the second quarter ended with a fumble on the Indian 39-yard line. The Indians drove the ball into the end zone and taking a 21-8 lead kicked off to the Tigers, but a fumble on the return gave the Indians the ball at the Tiger 28-yard line and they quickly extended the lead to 29-8.
The lone bright spot for the Tigers came on the last play of the quarter when Kaden Barnes ended a potential scoring play with an interception.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff of the second half, but a fumble gave the Indians the ball at midfield, and two plays later, a 36-8 lead. The Tigers misfortunes continued as they fumbled in their own end zone on the next drive, with the Indian recovery, they took a 42-8 lead.
The next Tiger drive saw some promise as they drove the ball into the Red Zone, but it came up short on an incomplete fourth-down pass. The Indians ended the quarter on another scoring drive and a commanding 49-8 lead.
The fourth quarter was not much better for the Tigers as they lined up to punt the ball, the snap went over the kicker’s head and was recovered by the Indians at the Tiger 13-yard line. The Indians took only one play to end the evenings scoring and took a 55-8 victory over the Tigers.
Coach Shawn Stout addressed the team and expressed the need to maintain composure during the game as the Tigers had four players ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct and each would have to sit out the first half of the upcoming game against Hardin.
The Tigers will be on the road Friday Night as they travel to Hardin to try and get a victory against the 1-1 Hornets. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
Stats for Trinity weren’t immediately available.
For Groveton, receiving was led by Billy Thomas with 1 catch for 9 yards, Bryon Thomas with 3 catches for 46 yards, Wyatt Snead with 1 catch for 35 yards, Phoenix Bowman with 1 catch for 30 yards and Daiton Chandler with 1 catch for 5 yards.
Thomas led rushing with 14 carries for 121 yards 3 TDs, followed by Jackson Cathey with 1 carry for 8 yards and 1 TD, Snead with 3 carries for 32 yards, Bowman with 7 carries for 60 yards and 1 TD and Tanner Steubing with 4 carries for 24 yards and 2 TDs.
On defense, Logan Townsend led with 4 tackles for loss, 2 tackles, and 2 caused fumbles, followed by Bowman with 1 tackle for loss, 3 tackles, 1 QB hit; Carter Cox with 1 tackle for loss, 1 tackle, 2 recovered fumbles, 1 defensive TD; Snead with 1 tackle for loss, 1 tackle; Austin Williams with 1 tackle for loss, 1 tackle, 1 recovered fumble; Darius McQueen with 1 tackle for loss, 1 tackle, 1 recovered fumble, 1 QB hit; Brody Thornton with 1 tackle for loss, 1 tackle, 1 caused fumble, 1 QB hit; Gunner Wilson with 6 tackles; Thomas with 5 tackles; Trystian Ards with 4 tackles; and Chandler with 4 tackles.
The Eagles regrouped from its first loss to overpower Fruitvale High 61-12.
Head Coach Cody Moree said the game was moved because of a shortage of referees.
Top producers were Dakota Campbell, who completed 20-of-23 passes for 322 yards and 7 touchdowns; Connor Kaufman caught 4 TDs; Hunter Davis had three touchdowns; and Zeth Dugat had two.
Defenisve standouts were Noah Thompson, Bradyn Kaufman and Andrew Pion.
The next game is Friday in High Island.