ROYSE CITY —
Speed may kill, but size hurts pretty bad, too.
The Pottsboro Cardinals took advantage of their superior size to end the Malakoff Tigers’ season, 41-0, in a Region II-2A Division I area game Friday night at Royse City ISD Stadium. Malakoff head coach Jamie Driskell’s Tigers – in the playoffs for four straight seasons for the first time in school history – finished the season 8-3. The Tigers have posted eight wins or better in each of Driskell’s four seasons.
Pottsboro senior Justin Lawler – a 6-5, 220-pound defensive end who has orally committed to Southern Methodist University – caught a pair of touchdown passes to go along with two sacks. Lawler, fellow senior Everett Baker – a 6-6, 230-pound Texas Christian commit – and the Cardinal defensive front bent the Malakoff offensive line over backward and shut the Tigers out for the first time this season in the process. Among the Cardinals’ scores was Baker’s 22-yard interception on an attempted screen pass from Malakoff senior quarterback Tate Taylor.
Taylor and another of the Tigers’ primary weapons, running back Damontes Dowell, had little room to breathe. The Cardinal defensive front was able to penetrate into the Tiger backfield often, finishing the night with 12 stops behind the line of scrimmage and holding Malakoff to just 81 yards of total offense.
The Cardinals scored four plays into the game on a 68-yard quarterback keeper by Tanner Frye, and Pottsboro went up 14-0, a little more than a minute into the second quarter on the first of Frye’s three touchdown passes – from 17 yards away to Dallas Sewell. Frye hit Lawler with a 59-yard touchdown pass with 6:15 left in the second quarter to push the lead to 21-0. Lawler, who proved to be a tough size mismatch for the Malakoff secondary, finished the game with four catches for 89 yards.
Baker’s interception return made it 28-0 45 seconds into the third quarter, and Pottsboro capped the scoring on a Frye-to-Lawler 23-yard connection and a one-yard run from Thaddeus Flinn, who wrapped up his night with 19 rushes for 111 yards.
The Tigers made it into Pottsboro territory twice. The first time, on their first drive, ended with a punt after Malakoff neared the red zone but got pushed backward on a nine-yard loss and then a sack. The second trip began at the Malakoff 15-yard line midway through the second quarter and ended 13 plays and 5:20 later when Taylor was stopped four yards short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-eight.
Taylor led Malakoff with 36 rushing yards on 12 carries, and he finished with a double-digit total in tackles from his linebacker position. Junior wide receiver Terrance Scott caught four passes for 33 yards.
Malakoff 0 0 0 0 — 0
Pottsboro 7 14 13 7 — 41
P – Tanner Frye 68 run (Kory Waller kick), 10:37
P – Dallas Sewell 17 pass from Frye (Waller kick), 10:41
P – Justin Lawler 59 pass from Frye (Waller kick), 6:15
P – Everett Baker 22 INT return (Waller kick), 11:15
P – Lawler 23 pass from Frye (kick fails), 4:47
P – Thaddeus Flinn 1 run (Waller kick), 10:05
First downs 9 17
Rush-yards 31-30 35-228
Passing yards 51 147
C-A-I 8-21-1 11-22-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Punts-avg. 6-24.0 1-50.0
Penalties-yards 6-53 9-85
Rushing — M: Marcus Dowell 4-2; Tate Taylor 12-36; Damontes Dowell 13-7; team 2-(-15). P: Thaddeus Flinn 19-111; Tanner Frye 7-85; Mikey Wade 1-6;Chris DeLeCruz 6-15;Colt Rutherford 1-20; team 1-(-9) .
Passing — M: Tate Taylor 8-21-1-51. P: Tanner Frye 10-21-0-138; Colt Rutherford 1-1-0-9.
Receiving — M: Stephan Wolfe 2-7; Damontes Dowell 1-(-2); Terrance Scott 4-33; Marcus Willingham 1-13. P: Dallas Sewell 5-40; Justin Lawler 4-89; Kory Waller 1-9; Austin Tol 1-9.