MALAKOFF — On a night their head coach celebrated his 40th birthday and 30th career win, the Malakoff Tigers opened District 7-2A, Division 1 action in grand style.
The Tigers, bouncing backing from their first lost of the season a week ago, used Damontes Dowell's 150-yard, four-touchdown rushing performance to make Jamie Driskell, in his fourth year at Malakoff, a winner on his special night.
Dowell, returning to the lineup after missing three games with an injury, scored on runs of 32, eight, three and one yards, as the Tigers improved to 4-1 on the year.
Malakoff built a 19-0 halftime lead on Dowell's first touchdown and a 10-yard Marcus Dowell scamper and a 33-yard pass from Tate Taylor to Stephan Wolfe.
Grand Saline, which fell to 1-4, got on the scoreboard with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter on a 25-yard run by quarterback Austen Truett. Truett later tossed a 15-yard touchdown to Dean Latta.
The Malakoff defense came up with three turnovers. Isreal Chavez recovered a fumble and Dariuhn Jackson and Wolfe picked off passes. Tate Taylor, Brandon Davis and Jesse Ochoa also had active outings for the Tigers on defense.
The Tigers are now 30-9 with Driskell at the helm.
Malakoff travels to Eustace next week and Grand Saline is at home against Quitman.