The Athens Review
Those Malakoff Tigers ... they just keep doing things that have never been done before.
The Tigers (8-3) held on for a thrilling 28-22 win over the Redwater Dragons (5-6) Friday at Jack V. Murphy Bear Stadium — handing Malakoff playoff wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. The Tigers and head coach Jamie Driskell had already visited the record books last season by making the playoffs three seasons in a row for the first time ever.
Malakoff will face Pottsboro (10-0) in a Region II-2A Division I area contest next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Royse City ISD Stadium. Pottsboro, which had a first-round bye, entered this week as the No. 13-ranked team in Class 2A by the Associated Press.
The Tigers’ lead was cut to 28-22 with 2:18 left after running back Damontes Dowell was tackled in the end zone. The Dragons got the ball back on their own 49 after the ensuing free kick, but the Tiger defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs to end the threat.
The Tiger defense also forced a turnover on downs to snuff out a 17-play, 56-yard drive by the Dragons that ate 9:38 off the clock in the fourth quarter.
Driskell was in a fightin’ mood — so to speak — after watching his team grind out the victory.
“You fought and you fought and you fought,” he said to his team after the game. “The defense fought, the offense fought — all I can say is, you all fought!”
Dowell, a junior, had a spectacular night for the Tigers. He ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns, including a 78-yarder on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage. Senior quarterback Tate Taylor scored the Tigers’ other touchdown — a five-yard run that tied the game at 20-20 with 6:32 left in the third quarter. The touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery by Isreal Chavez.
After the Taylor score, Dowell found the end zone from four yards out to push the Malakoff lead to 26-20, and Taylor’s two-point run gave the Tigers an eight-point cushion heading into the final minutes of the game.
The Dragons trailed, 14-12, heading into the second half but got the ball back after a pooch kick to start the third quarter. A little less than a minute later, Dalton White gave the Dragons a 20-14 lead on a 23-yard run.