The Tigers ran into a hot and confident Whitehouse team Friday night, and for all of that, they were a play away from putting a scare into the undefeated Wildcats.
Trailing 26-6 to start the second half, the Tigers recovered an onside kick, scored on the next play on a 46-yard run by Ronnie Devearux, scored on a 2-point conversion to make it 26-14 and got an interception by safety Tenery Walker.
Corsicana is in a ball game, right?
Wrong. The Tigers couldn’t get points inside the Whitehouse 20 and the Wildcats answered with three touchdowns in six minutes and never looked back on the way to a 54-28 victory on Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Corsicana (3-6, 2-2) still is in the playoffs and it looks as if the Tigers will play Red Oak in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers will play Jacksonville, 27-23 winners over Lindale, for third place next Friday in the regular season finale at Tiger Stadium. Whitehouse (9-0, 4-0) will face No. 2 Tyler John Tyler (8-1, 4-0) for the 16-4A title on the same night at Tyler Rose Stadium.
The Tigers didn’t come close on the scoreboard in either game against the district co-leaders — they lost to Tyler 63-14 — but Corsicana had a much better chance to be in the game in the fourth quarter against Whitehouse.
The Tigers had all of the momentum in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The onside kick and Devearux’s touchdown had Whitehouse on its heels. After Walker’s interception, Devearux ran for 11 yards and the Tigers had it first-and-10 at the Whitehouse 17. The Tigers lost three yards on three plays and decided to try a 37-yard field goal. A bad snap and bad kick killed the momentum for the Tigers.
Whitehouse quickly answered a minute later as Wildcats quarterback Pat Mahomes threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Cheatham for a 33-14 lead with 9:04 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers went three-and-out on their next drive and Whitehouse took advantage as Mahomes drove them 74 yards, completing the drive with a 18-yard touchdown pass on a perfect pass into the corner of the end zone to Jaylon Dews for a 40-14 lead with 6:09 left in the third quarter.
Tigers quarterback Zach Rash then threw one of his three interceptions on the next drive, and Whitehouse scored again on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Coleman Patterson for a 47-14 lead with 5:19 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers couldn’t recover from the onslaught.
Their red zone problems started in the first half. The Tigers had two trips inside the 20 in the second quarter without getting points. The second time the Tigers stalled at the Whitehouse 8 as on fourth-and-goal Rash threw an interception in the end zone trying to hit Ashton Newsome on a fade route.
Whitehouse took advantage of a Tiger turnover on their first possession as Bobby Wallace bobbled a snap in the Wildcat formation and the ball squirted away from him as he tried to recover it at the Corsicana 32.
The Wildcats quickly capitalized, even though the Tigers appeared to get their own turnover. Alonzo Gipson outfought Whitehouse receiver Dylan Cantrell for the ball, but as he came down to the ground the Wildcats receiver pulled the ball away for a catch at the Tiger 1. Mahomes threw a quick strike for a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jake Parker for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers came back, converting a key fourth-down conversion on a 28-yard pass to fullback Hunter Easley at the Whitehouse 6. Rash came right back and hit Newsome on a fade route to cut the lead to 7-6. A bad snap on the extra point left the Tigers trailing by a point.
Whitehouse scored quickly on its next two possessions and took a 26-6 halftime lead as the Tigers’ red zone woes haunted them.
It would happen again in third quarter with momentum on Corsicana’s side, and this time the Tigers never recovered.
Whitehouse 54, Corsicana 28
Corsicana 6 0 8 14 — 28
Whitehouse 23 21 7 — 54
W — Jake Parker 1 pass from Pat Mahomes (Destin Wilkins kick), 10:44
C — Ashton Newsome 5 pass from Zach Rash (kick failed), 5:30
W — Parker 47 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick), 4:37
W — Safety, snap out of the end zone on punt, 3:38
W — Dylan Cantrell 28 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick), 2:51
W — Wilkins 23 FG, :15
C — Ronnie Devearux 46 run (Bobby Wallace run), 11:49
W — Ryan Cheatham 21 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick), 9:04
W — Jaylon Dews 18 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick), 6:09
W — Coleman Patterson 21 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick), 5:19
C — Earnest Lewis 2 run (Ryan Condley kick), 10:32
W — Colton Lampin 13 pass from Cheatham (Wilkins kick), 7:08
C — Devearux 5 run (Condley kick), 5:01
First downs 38 27
Rush-yards 67-335 12-49
Passing yards 61 383
C-A-I 5-12-3 24-38-1
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Punts-avg. 1-19 1-37
Penalties-yards 8-71 6-65
Rushing – C: Ronnie Devearux 32-178, Tygarius Sheffield 12-74, Earnest Lewis 13-49, Tenery Walker 2-46, Bobby Wallace 6-23, Tray Owens 1-5, Zach Rash 2-4. W: Roy Lee White 8-32, Pat Mahomes 2-10, Zen’Derrion Hawkins 2-7.
Passing – C: Rash 5-11-3-61, Wallace 0-1-0-0. W: Mahomes 22-33-1-352. Ryan Cheatham 3-5-0-29.
Receiving C: Hunter Easley 1-28, Ashton Newsome 3-23, Bobby Wallace 1-10. W: Dylan Cantrell 6-140, Jake Parker 7-87, Ryan Cheatham 5-59, Jaylon Dews 2-51, Colton Lampin 2-30, Coleman Patterson 2-14.