The Athens Review
Even when the Malakoff Tigers don't look their best, they still find a way to score points in bunches. Big bunches.
Such was the case Friday night when the Tigers eclipsed the half-century mark for the fifth time in six games and found the end zone eight times in a 54-10 win over the Eustace Bulldogs on Homecoming Night at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers (6-0) entered the evening as the highest-scoring 11-man football team in the state in all classifications. Last week, they broke a 79-year-old school single-game scoring record with a 73-0 win over Grand Saline in the District 7-2A opener. Maybe that's what attracted players from at least three Henderson County area teams to watch a marquee matchup between rivals on an otherwise slow football week around the area.
The Tigers got 129 yards and three touchdowns from senior running back Damontes Dowell and 87 yards and two touchdowns from junior Marcus Dowell — who added a highlight-film de-cleater to force a fumble early in the fourth quarter. Jared Givens and backup quarterback Jake Wooverton also scored rushing touchdowns and starting signal-caller Stephen Wolfe hit Kendrick Hornbuckle for a 58-yard touchdown pass on a flee-flicker.
In other words, it was a typical night for the Tiger offense.
What wasn't typical was the situation in which the Tigers found themselves in the second quarter, when the Bulldogs (3-3, 1-1) caught a spark from the hard running of Keenan Hargest and climbed back into the game. After the Tigers scored a pair of touchdowns on their first six plays, the Bulldogs started handing the ball to Hargest often. The move paid off, with Hargest running for 69 yards on the Bulldogs' first scoring drive, which covered 84 yards and ended with a five-yard run from Jesus Barcenas a minute-and-a-half into the second quarter. Ryan Brown's PAT trimmed the Tigers' lead to 12-7.
Brown later nailed a 39-yard field goal as the halftime buzzer sounded to trim the lead to 20-10.
The Tigers — who were pounded by the Bulldogs a year ago, 30-16 — weren't interested in keeping it close for long. Damontes Dowell's third TD two minutes into the third quarter pushed the lead to 17, then Marcus Dowell's nine-yard run eight minutes later left the margin at 24. Malakoff scored the game's final 34 points.
While the offense was doing its thing, the Tiger defense figured out a way to contain Hargest – who had 80 yards rushing in the first half but just 10 in the second half. The Bulldogs called Barcenas' number often in the second half, and he finished with 76 yards on 19 carries.
Malakoff will puts its undefeated record on the line on the road next week at Lone Oak, which beat Kemp, 49-20, on Friday. Eustace will host Quitman.
Malakoff 54, Eustace 10
Eustace 0 10 0 0 -- 10
Malakoff 12 8 14 20 -- 54
M -- Jared Givens 15 run (kick fails), 8:34
M -- Damontes Dowell 25 run (run fails), 3:47
E -- Jesus Barcenas 5 run (Ryan Brown kick), 10:46
M -- Dowell 4 run (Stephen Wolfe run), 1:00
E -- Brown 39 FG, 0:00
M -- Dowell 19 run (Omar Gonzalez kick), 1:00
M -- Marcus Dowell 9 run (Gonzalez kick), 2:11
M -- Wolfe 58 pass to Kendrick Hornbuckle (Gonzalez
M -- M. Dowell 4 run (kick fails), 4:39
M -- Jake Woolverton 35 run (Gonzalez kick), 1:16
First downs 11 19
Rush-yards 55-248 30-328
Passing yards 22 81
C-A-I 1-3-0 3-8-0
Fumbles-lost 5-2 2-0
Punts-avg. 3-15.6 1-34.0
Penalties-yards 8-67 3-25
Rushing — E: Daniel Hester 1-4; Keenan Hargest 17-
90; Jesus Barcenas 19-76; Ryan Brown 6-10; James
East 5-54; Clay Carson 7-14. M: Damontes Dowell 12-
129; Jared Givens 2-14; Marcus Dowell 9-87; Stephen
Wolfe 2-37; Dariuhn Jackson 3-35; Jake Woolverton 1
-35; team 1-(-9).
Passing — E: Ryan Brown 1-3-22-0. M: Stephen Wolfe
Receiving — E: Clay Carson 1-22. M: Kendrick
Hornbuckle 2-69; Garrian McCalister 1-12.