The Tigers wanted to build off of last week’s feel-good victory at Nacogdoches.
Donovan Fields made sure it happened.
Fields exploded for big play after big play, from a 34-yard touchdown run on the first offensive play of the game to a 100-yard kickoff return for a score on the opening kickoff of the season half. That showed the way to a 40-22 victory over Lindale on homecoming night at Tiger Stadium in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.
Fields finished the game with 278 all-purpose yards, 178 of them rushing on eight carries. That included a 75-yard run in the first quarter that set up a touchdown. Oh, and he also played safety most of the night as the Tigers’ defense had a stretch of seven quarters without allowing a touchdown snapped late in the game.
“He had a great gamer, didn’t he?” Tigers coach Phil Castles said. “He started us out right in the first half and on the kickoff in the second half.”
The Tigers (3-5, 2-1) won their second straight game, setting up a showdown next Friday at Whitehouse (8-0, 3-0) in a game that could vault Corsicana into second place in District 16-4A.
The Tigers built a 40-6 behind another big game from the ground game – 297 yards – plus big plays on special teams and turnovers on defense.
“A lot of those things finally came together as far as the special teams,” Castles said.
The Tigers stunned Lindale right from the start, forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff and scoring on their first offensive play 13 seconds into the game. Cedric Weaver recovered the fumble and Fields took a handoff on a stretch play and ran untouched for 34 yards for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers’ defense, which didn’t allow an offensive touchdown in last week’s 28-7 win over Nacogdoches, stopped the Eagles on their first drive. Corsicana then used the big play as Fields weaved his way for a 75-yard run for a first-and-goal at the Lindale 10. On third-and-goal, Ronnie Devearux scored on a 4-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
Corsicana’s special teams, which struggled early in the season, came up with another big play as Darius Watson blocked a punt and recovered the loose ball at the Lindale 12. Devearux scored his second touchdown, this one a 6-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers took a 27-0 lead after forcing another turnover deep in their own territory and driving inside the Lindale 10. Rash faked a handoff, rolled to his left and hit tight end Tiano McDonald in the flat for a 10-yard touchdown with 8:31 to go in the second quarter.
Lindale did produce two field goals late in the first half as Luc Swimberghe made kicks of 25 and 42 yards. But the Tigers continued their trend of strong defense, making it six straight quarters without allowing a touchdown.
Whatever momentum Lindale had disappeared on the second-half kickoff. The Tigers snuck Fields back on the return team, and he took a direct kickoff and ran to the home sideline, where his teammates set up a wall for him. Fields got to midfield, made a cut inside and raced the rest of the way for a 100-yard kickoff return for a 34-6 lead.
The Tigers made it 40-6 as Fields scored his third touchdown of the game, this one on a 7-yard run with 7:02 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers defense’s touchdown streak came to an end in the fourth quarter as Cody Slice threw two touchdown passes to Dee Jackson.
By that time the Tigers had their second straight district victory well in hand.
Corsicana 40, Lindale 22
Lindale 0 6 0 16 -- 22
Corsicana 21 6 13 0 – 40
C – Donovan Fields 34 run (Ryan Condley kick), 11:47
C—Ronnie Devearux 4 run (Condley kick), 8:11
C – Devearux 6 run (Condley kick), 4:48
C – Tiano McDonald 10 pass from Zach Rash (kick failed), 8:31
L – Luc Swimberghe 24 field goal, 3:37
L – Swimberghe 42 field goal, :32
C – Fields 100 kick return (Condley kick), 11:46
C – Fields 7 run (kick failed), 7:02
L – Dee Jackson 28 pass from Cody Slice (Swimberghe kick), 11:00
L – Swimberghe 27 field goal, 7:23
L – Jackson 27 pass from Slice (kick failed), :32
First downs 32 19
Rush-yards 19-114 30-297
Passing yards 165 49
C-A-I 15-19-0 2-2-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-3
Punts-avg. 3-47 1-24
Penalties-yards 6-41 4-35
Rushing – L: Trey Acy 32-108, Luc Swimberghe 1-6, Aaron Jackson 2-4, Cody Slice 2-(-4). C: Donovan Fields 8-178, Ronnie Devearux 14-78, Earnest Lewis 3-21, Jarrett Hall 1-13, Bobby Wallace 1-7, Tygarius Sheffield 3-4, Jacob Grayson 1-0.
Passing – L: Cody Slice 15-19-0-165. C: Wallace 1-1-0-39, Rash 1-1-0-10.
Receiving – L: Dakota Meurer 9-72, Dee Jackson 3-48, Kolton Pierce 1-28, TJ Griffin 1-13, Aaron Jackson 1-4. C: Rash 1-39, Tiano McDonald 1-10.