COMMERCE – The No. 4-ranked Malakoff Tigers proved they had not forgotten about last year’s 38-31 loss to the Pottsboro Cardinals in the third round of the playoffs.
The Tigers put together a dominate effort in a 52-0 victory Friday at Texas A&M-Commerce.
No. 4 Malakoff (9-2 overall) gets its rematch with No. 2 Grandview (11-0), who defeated Tatum 49-23 at Bruce Field last Friday in the regional round this Friday. The game is set for 1 p.m. from Waco ISD Stadium.
“That has been our achilles heel and they are a heck of a team,” Malakoff coach Jamie Driskell said. “They have set the bar and hopefully we can match it.”
Here is the Sideline Review for the No. 4-ranked Tigers and No. 5-ranked Cardinals.
– DOMINATION: It was a word Driskell said numerous times in his postgame interview as the Tigers had 569 yards of total offense. They held Pottsboro to 187 yards of offense. The Tigers averaged 9.3 yards per play and had 399 yards rushing behind 134 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns from junior Duce Hart.
Hart had all five touchdowns in the first half on runs of 5, 3, 30, 9 and 1 yard. His final touchdown gave the Tigers a 32-0 lead. Takeenan Langley had nine carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns on runs of 18 and 32 yards. The final touchdown came on a pass from Darion Peace to Nathan Jones for 22 yards with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter.
“The very first play we missed a block and he (Hart) broke a tackle and got 12-to-15 yards,” Driskell said. “That was the night and when we did make a mistake, we overcame them. I am proud of the kids and they played great.”
– QUICK HITTERS: Of the eight touchdowns in the game for the Tigers, six of them happened in under three minutes. The longest scoring drive was an eight-play, 74 yard drive that lasted 3:44 on Hart’s second touchdown.
– PRAISE FOR THE COACHES: The Tigers coaching staff put together the perfect game plan to handle Pottsboro quarterback Braden Plyler, who was 12 of 31 for 101 yards and two interceptions. Plyler’s top target was Jake Kubik with two receptions for 33 yards, while Titus Lyons had two receptions for 28 yards.
“It was a battle and they are a heck of a team. We played perfect and about as good as we could play offensively and defensively,” Driskell said. “The defensive coaches put together a heck of a game plan to stop their better players and our kids executed it perfectly. Our offensive coaches put together a game plan and we scored 52 points.”
– DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: When it comes to the defensive leaders, Brandon Nations led the team in tackles with nine, while recording a quarterback hit. Cole Gaddis was second on the team with seven and had one sack. DK Rose and Zamir Ruiz had five each. Recording interceptions were Riggin Smith and Karter Fuller.
– FINAL THOUGHTS FROM DRISKELL: “The offensive line dominated up front and the defensive line dominated and by the third quarter, they didn’t want anymore.”