|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Bulldogs edge Centerville 22-20 to win Region III Semi-final
By LINDA JACOBS Contributing Writer CROCKETT—The Corrigan- Camden Bulldogs survived a 'Tale of Two Halves' by fending off the Centerville Tigers 22-20 to win the Class 2A Division II, Region III semi-fi nals Friday night in Crockett. The Bulldogs got off to a roaring start against the Tigers, scoring on three of their four fi rst half possessions, including a 61-yard run by Keegan Mitchell before many fans had found a seat. Some were still in the ticket line as Corrigan brought a tremendous amount of fans to see the Bulldogs win their 13th consecutive game of the season. Mitchell jump started the game by escaping for the 61-yard TD on the second play of the game. Malyk Johnson scooted across the goal line to add the 2-point conversion to give the 'Dogs a lightning quick 8-0 lead. Mitchell and Johnson would both score another touchdown as the Bulldogs accumulated 220 yards and 14 fi rst downs enroute to a 22-0 halftime lead. That was just enough to get the Tigers all fi red up and red hot in the second half as the two teams suddenly exchanged momentum. Centerville took center stage and rolled up 181 yards and 12 fi rst downs after having made just one fi rst down and 34 total yards in the fi rst half. The Bulldog offense went icy cold and added just 73 yards and fi ve fi rst downs in the second half. Fortunately, two of their fi ve fi rst downs came on the fi nal drive when Corrigan was able to run the fi nal 4:29 off the clock to preserve the win. "Thank God we jumped out on them is all I can say," said a bewildered Coach Seven Armstrong, whose team will now face Waskom in a battle of two undefeated 13-0 football teams for the Region III championship Friday night in Carthage. "We kept waiting for something to happen in the second half instead of making something happen in the second half," commented Armstrong. "We told the kids at halftime that (Centerville) was not going to quit, that's not what they do. That was a good football team we just played and they fl at got after us. "We missed a lot of tackles in the second half that we've got to make and then offensively, we just didn't get on track in the second half." The play of the game was a pass interception by Malyk Johnson that halted a 2-point conversion that would have knotted the score up with 4:32 left in the ballgame. Centerville had matched Corrigan's three touchdowns and was going for a pass in the end zone to tie the game, but Johnson was able to get in front and pick the pass off. Johnson returned the pick nearly the length of the fi eld, being hauled down at the Tiger one yard line. "He made one heck of a play on the 2-point conversion," bragged Armstrong, "there's no doubt about it. The kids were let down that he didn't get in, but that wouldn't have meant anything. We had to go on a four minute drive and that's what we did." The Tigers attempted an onside kick, but it bounced out of bounds and Corrigan was able to take possession at midfi eld with 4:29 left in the game. On second and 10, Mitchell gained eight yards to the Tiger 42. Inguanzo picked up just enough on a 2- yard carry for a fi rst down at the Tiger 40 yard line. On the next play Johnson picked up six hard fought yards for second down and four at the 34. Inguanzo would come through again, picking up the four yards needed for another Bulldog fi rst down at the Tiger 30. With no timeouts left, Bulldog QB Haden Armstrong was able to take a knee to run out the fi nal seconds and preserve their 22-20 victory. First half Bulldogs The Bulldogs were off and running from the opening kickoff when LaKendrick Moore returned the Tiger kick from the end zone out to the Corrigan 44- yard line. After a fi ve yard penalty against the 'Dogs, Keegan Mitchell maneuvered his way 61 yards down the right sideline to score the game's fi rst touchdown at the 11:40 mark. Johnson scored the 2-point run to give the 'Dogs the very early lead, 8-0. The Bulldog defense played superb in the fi rst half and forced the Tigers to punt on all four of their drives. The Tigers didn't get a fi rst down until their third possession midway in the second quarter. They punted three times from inside their own territory and crossed midfi eld just once but had to punt at the Corrigan 47 yard line. Top tacklers for the defensive unit were, Cody Rogers, LaDarius Hamilton, Kade Moore, Carlos Inguanzo, Jay Lawson, Keegan Mitchell, Addison Kirkland, Calvin Burks, Jessie Mize, LaKendrick Moore, Chris Taylor, Justin Robbins, Malyk Johnson and Clay Nash. Corrigan had a more timeconsuming drive for their second touchdown. The drive covered 66 yards and chewed 7:28 off the fi rst period clock. Johnson had a 10-yard carry and Addison Kirkland rambled for 12 yards for the only double digit runs on the 15-play drive. Johnson scored on second and goal from eight yards out with 2:21 remaining in the opening quarter. The 2-point run came up short to leave the Corrigan margin at 14-0. The Bulldogs punted on their third possession. The drive had started from their own 13 and went to the Corrigan 45 when the 'Dogs decided to punt on fourth and one. Likewise, the Tigers were forced to punt on their next possession. The Tiger punt went out of bounds at the Corrigan 39 with 5:07 left in the first half. All four running backs, Inguanzo, Mitchell, Kirkland and Johnson carried the pigskin to start the drive and moved the ball down to the Tiger 40 yard line. Later in the drive, on third and two from the 28, Kirkland carried 10 yards to the 18. The Tigers were charged with a facemask penalty on the play, giving the 'Dogs another nine yards to the nine yard line. On the next play, Mitchell took a pitch out to the right and scored with 1:03 left in the half. Johnson picked up a key 2-point run to give the 'Dogs a commanding 22-0 lead at the break...or so one would have thought. Second half Tigers The Bulldogs kicked off to the Tigers to start the second half of action. Centerville quickly erased their goose egg by scoring on a quick 4-play, 64-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from QB Jordan Cannon to Tulley Pickens with 10:12 left in the third frame. Adrian Gaucin kicked the point after try for a 22-7 margin. Offensively, the Bulldogs could not gain much ground in the second half and was stopped twice on fourth downs by the Tiger defense. The Tiger offense continued to dominate and scored on a 1-yard run by Trevor Goolsby to cap an 11-play, 65- yard drive with :36 seconds left in the third. Gaucin's extra point trimmed the Bulldog lead to just eight points, 22-14 with plenty of time still left in the ballgame. On the following series the Bulldogs were stopped on fourth down at the Tiger 33 yard line and Centerville took over with 9:39 left in the ballgame. The Tigers converted on third down three times to march the ball down the field. On the 13th play of the drive, Tulley Pickens slithered his way through the Bulldog defense to score on a seven yard touchdown run to complete a 67-yard scoring drive with 4:32 left in the game. A 2-point conversion was a must for the Tigers' offense. QB Jordan Cannon was looking to pass to Pickens in the end zone, but Malyk Johnson stepped up, and in front of Pickens to pick off Cannon's pass, halting the Tigers chance of knotting the score at 22. Waskom Wildcats The toughest challenge of the season will be Friday when the 13-0 undefeated Bulldogs take on the undefeated 13-0 Waskom Wildcats in the Class 2A Division II Region III championship at Carthage High School. "Waskom is very, very talented," Coach Armstrong said. "We're going to have our hands full next week. There's going to be some speed on the field that we're going to have to deal with." The Wildcats, who defeated Crawford 33-14 last week, have three 1,000+ yard rushers in Kevin Johnson, June Bug Johnson and Dillon Benton. "We've got to go back to work, study film and make sure that we don't lay an egg like we did in the second half tonight," said Armstrong. "We can't wait on things to happen in the second half. We just kept waiting on somebody else to do it instead of saying 'hey, I'm going to be the one that gets this done, right now."