The Second Annual Dale Hansen Classic started just like last year’s version. With a Malakoff victory.
The Tigers got past a sluggish first few minutes to roll to a 67-15 on the strength of its pair of running backs that are from the same family.
DaMontes and Marcus Dowell each run for more than 120 yards and scored twice to propel Malakoff to the win.
“They are hard working kids and they have a lot of fight in them,” Malakoff head coach Jamie Driskell said. “They are kind of like a thunder and lightning for us. DeMontes is quick and can get up and down the field while Marcus is a powerful kid. They are fun to watch.”
The game started with Italy building a little momentum thanks to a botched play by Malakoff. In the shadow of their own end zone, the Tigers tried a shotgun snap, which sailed over the quarterback’s head. He was able to recover it in the end zone to save a safety.
From there on it was just about all Malakoff. DeMontes scored on a 54-yard run and Marcus scored on a 32-yard run to make it 12-2 after the first quarter.
Italy got back on the board thanks to an 18-yard pass from TaMarcus Sheppard to Ryan Connor early in the second quarter. If the Gladiators were going to have a chance in this game, this was when they needed to strike.
“We had our chances,” first year Italy coach Charles Tindol said. “But we couldn’t take advantage of them. Malakoff was just a better team than us, so don’t take anything away from them.”
The only thing that got in the way of Malakoff on Friday night was itself. Three fumbles in the first half gave Italy a shot to get back in it.
“We left some points on the field. No doubt about that,” Driskell said. “It’s weird because I tell them we’ve scored 120 points in our first two games, but I don’t think we’ve hit our potential yet. Tonight it didn’t end up mattering, but if we make mistakes like that again, it could cost us.”
Once the Tigers’ case of fumbilitis cleared up, they began racking up the points in the first half. The scored four straight touchdowns in the second quarter, none of which on drives that took more than five plays or 1:50 on the play clock. Malakoff actually trailed in time of possession by 13 minutes at halftime, but led 39-9. Malakoff quarterback Stephen Wolf completed a 57-yard pass to Garrisan McCallister to make it 18-9. DeMontes scored on an 11-yard run, Wolf scored on an eight-yard run and Wolf connected with Jared Givens on a 39-yard touchdown all in the final five minutes of the first half.
Coming into the season, Italy knew this game was going to be difficult, but Tindol knows even the loss will help his team.
“If you approach games like this the right way, you have a chance to get better. And I think we can do that,” Tindol said. “Our guys didn’t quit. They were fighting the whole way and really hung together.”
His players felt the same way about this contest.
“I knew this would be part of the gauntlet we would face,” Italy senior defensive tackle Zane Byers said. “But the only thing that matters is how good of an attitude we have about it. We know we are going to be better than this, it’s just about getting through this part of the schedule.”
Tindol is proud of his leaders, like Byers, for having that approach and not getting too beat down.
“He’s a great kid and that kind of attitude really comes from experience,” Tindol said. “He’s one of the guys the team really listens to and will be a big impact on us going forward if we can recover from this.”
Italy’s lone big play of the second half came on an interception return for a touchdown by Connor for 53 yards. But a long kick off return an two more scores in the fourth quarter led to the biggest margin of victory in Dale Hansen Classic history.
Palmer 21, Boyd 20 2OT
The Bulldogs got a huge special teams play to survive their first home game of the season.
Junior middle linebacker Brian Archibald blocked the extra point on Boyd’s touchdown in the second overtime on the final play of the game to get the victory.
Palmer had a 14-7 lead at halftime, but Boyd tied the score with 1:54 left in the game on a two-yard run.
Jason Burgett gave the Bulldogs the lead in the game’s second overtime on a 10-yard run.
Boyd scored on a 38-yard touchdown pass to set up the potential game-tying extra point.
The pair of regulation touchdowns for Palmer came on passes from Ty Mitchell to Jake Anglin. The first was for 20 yards and the second was for 15 yards.
Palmer (2-0) will host Fort Worth Southwest Christian (1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Ferris 56, Kemp 0
Ferris won the battle of the Yellowjackets as it ran all over Kemp.
Ferris had 474 total yards, 451 of them on the ground. Senior running back Jay Foster had 235 yards on 13 carries and four touchdowns.
Foster had lots of help as DeJuan Wilson added 139 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback JaVaughn Thurman added 77 yards on five carries an two scores
Foster had touchdown runs of 77, 66, 39 and eight yards. Wison's two touchdowns came on runs of 56 and three yards. Thurman's touchdowns were on two-yard and 66-yard runs.
The Ferris offensive lined opened holes big enough to drive buses through as they pushed the Kemp defensive line back for their running backs.
The Ferris defense was relentless and held Kemp to only 131 yards of total offense. Kemp's biggest play was a 31-yard pass on a fake punt.
The defense was in Kemp's backfield all night long. Ferris had seven tackles for loss of yards. Darius Rouwtt had an interception for the second week in a row. James Richards added another interception for the stingy defense. Johnny Rios recovered a fumble and the defense had a blocked punt.
Ferris head coach Aaron Emeyabbi has the Ferris engine running on all cylinders. He will take this momentum into preparation for next week's game at Wills Point at 7:30 p.m. Friday.