SULPHUR SPRINGS — If you wanted to see a dominant performance Thursday, then the No. 10-ranked Malakoff Tigers delivered.
In the Class 3A, Division I, Region 2 area round contest at Gerald Prim Stadium, the Tigers (9-3) blanked Pottsboro 42-0.
In the four previous meetings in the series, the two teams were tied at 2 wins a piece. The Tigers won 63-35 in 2018 and 52-0 last year, while Pottsboro (6-4) won 38-31 in 2019. The Cardinals won the first ever meeting in 2012 by a score of 41-0.
The win was the fourth straight area championship for Malakoff coach Jamie Driskell.
“It feels good guys,” Driskell said. “The kids played great and when you play a team like Pottsboro who does a whole lot right and gets after it, the kids played hard. It is a game that you always worry about because they do a lot of stuff the right way.
“Our kids did more the right way and I am proud of them.”
Malakoff plays the winner of the No. 4-ranked West Trojans or Mineola Yellowjackets in the Regional Semifinals next week at a site, time and date to be determined.
Those two teams played Friday at Forney’s City Bank Stadium.
In the shutout win, the Tigers opened the scoring behind freshman Jason Tennyson on a 33 yard run with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter. Juan Gonzalez booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, senior quarterback Judson Driskell found Corey Phillips for 42 yards for the 14-0 lead after Gonzalez nailed the PAT.
Duce Hart then scored his first of three touchdowns as he powered in from two-yards out for the 21-0 lead with 4:23 remaining in the opening quarter.
The final touchdown of the first half came on a Hart 7-yard run with 8:40 remaining. Gonzalez booted the PAT good for the 28-0 lead.
Driskell praised the play of his defense for their second straight shutout.
“The defense is playing good and we have to keep it rolling,” Driskell said. “They are flying around and getting after it. Coach (Brent) Watkins and the crew is getting them lined up where they need to be and the kids are executing and tackling well. We are hitting pretty good right now.”
In the second half, Hart cashed in on his third rushing touchdown from 7-yards out for the 35-0 lead with 9:55 remaining.
The final score of the game came with 18 seconds remaining in the third as Zack Studley scored on a 6-yard pass from Driskell. Gonzalez booted the PAT good for the 42-0 finale.