Go ahead, pick your “ing” – suprising, astonishing, amazing, astounding, dumbfounding.
Any of those would work after the Malakoff Tigers beat the Kerens Bobcats Friday night, 29-27.
Malakoff (3-0) led for only a little more than three minutes of game time, gave up more than 400 yards of offense and turned the ball over four times. But all of that didn’t stop the Tigers from winning their third straight game to start the season.
The win marks back-to-back victories for Malakoff over Kerens, something the Tigers hadn’t done since 1990-1991.
Friday night, Tiger quarterback Jordan Teague struggled through the first three quarters, completing just six of 17 attempts for 128 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The junior quarterback didn’t get much help from his receivers, either, who dropped some very catchable passes.
All that changed in the fourth quarter when Teague and the Tiger offense became unstoppable. With Malakoff down 27-13, Teague went on a tear completing 5-of-7 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
The first fourth-quarter score came on an inspired scramble, with Teague buying time to find Cody Davies for a 35-yard score. With kicker Cesar Garcia injured earlier in the game, the Tigers went for two with Teague hitting Terry Shamlin for the conversion to draw to 27-21.
Malakoff next got the ball back on its own 23 with just 3:38 left in the game; the Tigers needed less than half of that.
With 2:05 remaining, Teague hit Shamlin on a wide receiver screen, and Shamlin followed his blocking and scampered 38 yards to tie the game at 27-27.
Again Malakoff went for two, and this time Teague ran, stretching the ball over the goal line for the winning points.
Perhaps fittingly, the defense secured the victory. On the Bobcats’ first play after the ensuing kickoff,Marquise Dowell broke into the backfield and batted an attempted pass by Kerens’ quarterback Jayveon Williams high into the air and into the waiting arms of Kash Armstrong, his second interception of the night.
It was fitting because the Tigers’ offense would have never been in position to win at the end if it weren’t for the defense doing enough to keep the score close. Although Kerens was able to run up some impressive yardage, three times deep in Malakoff territory the Bobcats had to settle for field goal attempts, hitting two.
In addition to Armstrong’s picks, Isaiah Thomas recorded an interception for Malakoff.
Malakoff opened the scoring early in the first quarter when Teague hit Cameron Fletcher for a 56-yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Corey Brookins ran seven yards for a score, the senior’s third straight game with a rushing touchdown.
The loss marred an outstanding effort by Kerens senior Micheal Jordan, who nearly brought the Bobcats victory single-handed. Jordan rushed for 211 yards, caught two passes for 70 yards, scored all three Kerens touchdowns, and registered three interceptions on the night.
But in the crucial fourth quarter the Tiger defense was able to shut Jordan down, holding him to just 10 yards on seven carries.
The Tigers will try and stay perfect and extend their winning streak to four next week when they host the Kemp Yellowjackets for homecoming. Kemp lost Friday night to Mineola, 61-7.