The Tigers wanted to have some momentum going into the most important part of the season, the playoffs, next week.
They can look no further than their kicker, their quarterback and their run defense, plus their old reliable ground game, all spurring a 35-25 victory over Jacksonville on Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers (4-6, 3-2) will play Red Oak in a Region II-4A DI bi-district playoff game at 7:30 p.m. at Midlothian.
Jacksonville (4-6, 2-3) will open the playoffs against Lancaster.
The Indians and Tigers were stuck in a tie game at 25-25 to start the fourth quarter. Corsicana quarterback Zach Rash, who was on the money all night, hit two big passes to receiver Bobby Wallace. Tailback Ronnie Devearux, who finished with 194 yards rushing, had several big runs. And kicker Ryan Condley, who made his first field goal of the season at the end of the first half, nailed a 22-yard field goal with 9:33 left to give the Tigers back the lead at 28-25.
The Tigers then made a big stop on fourth down at midfield, stuffing Jacksonville’s Ladarius Session a yard short of a first down to get the ball back with 7:39 left in the game. Corsicana responded with a five-minute drive, capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Bobby Wallace to take a two-score lead at 35-25 with 2:22 left in the game.
Bobby Wallace’s interception – the Tigers’ second takeaway of the game – sealed the win for Corsicana.
The Tigers took an 18-17 lead at halftime on a 36-yard field goal by Condley, Corsicana’s first made field goal of the season.
“We talked about it,” Tigers coach Phil Castles said. “Coach (Gary) Jessie, the eternal optimist, said we would make it.”
The field goal came after the Tigers drove from their own 25 to the Jacksonville 19 on the passing of Rash and the running of Devearux. Fullback Hunter Easley also had a key reception of 16 yards on the drive.
Condley’s field goal spun around into a 12-mph wind, just clearing the cross bar with :01 left in the first half.
Corsicana jolted out to a 15-0 lead. Devearux scored first on a 44-yard run, bursting up the middle and outrunning Jacksonville defenders for a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers missed the two-point run, but got those points back when Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown picked up a bad snap at his own 1-yard line and threw the ball away. His pass didn’t make it past the line of scrimmage and the play was ruled a safety even though McCown didn’t throw the ball from the end zone.
Corsicana took a 15-0 lead on a 17-yard run by Devearux. He hit the hole at the 15 behind blocks from tight ends Tiano McDonald and Jordan Lewis and dashed into the end zone for a 15-0 lead with 2:43 left in the first quarter.
Jacksonville answered with 17 unanswered points, feeding off a defense that stopped the Tigers on three successive drives. McCown, playing for the first time since the John Tyler game, completed a 34-yard pass to receiver DD Franklin and two passes to tight end Cory Holman to set up a first-and-goal at the Corsicana 6. Session scored on the next play to cut the Tigers lead to 15-7.
The Indians quickly answered again after a short punt by the Tigers. Corsicana had two consecutive sacks by Jarrett Hall, but on third-and-goal at the 16, McCown found Session over the middle in the end zone and he was able to pull the ball away from Tigers linebacker Breyon Hill to cut Corsicana’s lead to 15-14.
Jacksonville took the lead on its next possession on a 22-yard field goal by Ryan Travis to give the Indians a 17-15 lead with 2:04 left before halftime.
Corsicana 35, Jacksonville 25
Jacksonville 7 10 8 0 -- 25
Corsicana 15 3 7 10 – 35
C – Ronnie Devearux 44 run (run failed), 8:34
C – Safety, Carter McCown illegal forward pass in the end zone, 7:31
C – Devearux 17 run (Ryan Condley kick), 2:43
J – Ladarius Session 6 run (Ryan Travis kick), :42
J – Session 16 pass from Carter McCown (Travis kick), 9:26
J – Travis 22 FG, 2:14
C – Condley 36 FG, :01
C – Ashton Newsome 20 pass from Zach Rash (Condley kick), 7:18
J – Darrell Minifee 26 pass from McCown (Cory Holman pass from McCown), 5:20
C – Condley 22 FG, 9:33
C – Bobby Wallace 4 run (Condley kick), 2:22
First downs 23 30
Rush-yards 22-47 55-266
Passing yards 207 138
C-A-I 16-27-1 11-19-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-avg. 2-30 4-29
Penalties-yards 6-45 10-67
Rushing – J: Ladarius Session 9-47, Stacy Cummings 4-18, Jesse Mendoza 2-5, Tony Lane 1-(-6), Carter McCown 6-(-17). C: Ronnie Devearux 30-194, Bobby Wallace 13-53, Zach Rash 4-9, Hunter Easley 1-4, Earnest Lewis 4-3, Tygarius Sheffield 3-3.
Passing – J: McCown 16-27-1-207. C: Rash 11-19-0-138.
Receiving — J: Darrell Minifee 7-94, DD Franklin 3-65, Cory Holman 2-24, Session 1-16, Cummings 1-4. C: Bobby Wallace 5-46, Hunter Easley 3-45, Ashton Newsome 1-20, Tiano McDonald 1-8.