CORSICANA — By the time the final buzzer sounded, it felt like the only thing to go against the Corsicana Tigers on Friday at Tiger Stadium was the opening coin toss.
On a night where the Red Oak defense twice forced a turnover on downs deep in Tiger territory, returned a punt across midfield and intercepted a Blake Hoffman pass in its red zone, the Hawk offense was a nonfactor. Corsicana thumped visiting Red Oak 41-0.
The Tigers scored three touchdowns in each half on their way to a 1-0 start in week zero of the 2017 Texas high school football season. For (0-1) Red Oak, the shutout was the first for head coach Brian Brown and company since a 48-0 defeat against Waxahachie on Oct. 30, 2015, a year when the Hawks finished the season 0-10.
"We just did not play good. I don't know any other way to put it. We had some chances, and our defense gave us some chances early, but we just didn't take advantage of them," Brown said. "We had some success running the ball, but we could not get first downs.”
The Red Oak offense failed to establish any momentum while alternating between senior quarterbacks Carson Forbes (2-8, 11 yards, INT) and Josiah Porter (5-11, 46 yards, INT).
“The big thing we stressed all week to our quarterbacks is that they are not Cam Newton. We just needed to move the ball and move the chains, but we just didn't. We have to get better at that,” Brown said. “We have to understand that sometimes we are trying to get five yards with a quick out and not always having to throw the deep ball. We have to be better aware of the chains.”
Corsicana outpaced Red Oak 433 yards to 154 on offense, despite running just 10 more plays. The Tiger ground game, led by Derrion Nathan (139 yards, TD) and Z’Antyler Foster-Hooks (93 yards, 2 TD), gashed the Hawk defense for 342 yards on 44 carries (7.77 yards-per-carry). Corsicana averaged 7.6 yards per play to the 3.35 of the Hawks.
Jacob Proche stood out at times on both sides of the ball, once hauling in a third-down pass from Porter for a 7-yard gain and first down. He then turned into a centerfielder on defense to intercept a Hoffman pass at the Red Oak 6-yard line and had a handful of kick returns for positive yards.
“We have 11 new guys playing on offense, and (Proche) is one of them, but he is also one of those guys who has done it and one of those guys who has played at this level. He is one of those guys who knows what he's doing,” Brown said. “A lot of what we saw tonight was guys who haven't played and look like they haven't played at this level. Of course, [Corsicana] had some guys on their side who looked like they hadn't played much either. They played better than us and that is just the bottom line."
Among the other highlights for the Hawks was CJ Johnson. The junior defensive back had a big tackle at the line of scrimmage on the third play of the second quarter to stop Nathan on fourth-and-1 and put the ball back in Red Oak possession.
But any notion of a Red Oak comeback was thwarted shortly after the second half kickoff when Foster-Hooks capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive that ate just four-minutes-and-change off of the clock with an 8-yard touchdown run. His second rushing score of the evening followed by the extra point kick put the Tigers ahead 28-0 with well over seven minutes to play in the third quarter.
“We did have some bright spots, and I thought some of our kids played hard, but when you are playing hard and you are tired, or you are playing hard and not doing what you were supposed to, it doesn't really matter, “ Brown added.
Red Oak returns home to host Arlington Heights on Friday, Sept. 8. Kickoff from Billy Goodloe Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.