Tigers Edge Rams in Thriller, 23-22
It was only fitting that the first game played at the newly named Raymond Jackson Stadium would come down to the last play as the Tenaha Tigers slipped by the Joaquin Rams 23-22 on a miracle kickoff return by the Tigers with no time left on the clock. The Rams would take a 22-16 lead on a hail Mary pass from Tray Wilkerson to Connor Bragg with only 7 seconds left in the game. The Rams kickoff and it was pick up by Kesiah Giles who pitched it back to Cody Foshee who in turn pitched it back to Trai Gardner who went running toward the Ram sideline, just before Gardner was brought down he pitched it back to Jay Lloyd who then reversed his field and followed a host of Tigers into the endzone to tie the score at 22-22. Christian Castillo who had already kicked 3 field goals on the night came in and nailed the PAT for a 23-22 Tiger win.
When the Tigers and Rams meet you can except a full house to be on hand to watch the game and Friday night was no exception as it was standing room at Raymond Jackson Stadium. The Rams won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Tigers started on their on 28 yard line and after 3 running plays by Onterio Thompson the Tigers had to punt on 4th and 1. The Rams took over on their 31 yard line and on the first play Wilkerson went 11 yard for a Ram first down. The Rams would get to the Tiger 39 before turning the ball over on downs.
The Tigers took over on the 39 yard line and it would only take them 4 plays to score as Lloyd went in from the 9 yard line, Castillo kicked the PAT and the Tigers led 7-0 with 4:58 left in the 1st quarter. The Rams fumbled the kickoff and the Tigers took over on the 34 yard line. The Tigers would get to the 7 yard line before having to settle for a 25 yard field goal by Castillo and up their led to 10-0 with 11:28 left in the second quarter.
After a short kickoff by the Tigers the Rams took over on their on 41 yard line and then went 59 yards on 6 plays as Hunter Gates went in from the 11 yard line to bring the score to 10-7. After a interception by the Rams they took over on the 26 yard line and 4 plays later they scored on a 6 yard run by Kase Yates to take a 14-10 led. The Tigers then got the ball back with 6:13left in the second quarter and would go on a 11 play drive that was capped off by a 26 yard field goal by Castillo to bring the score at halftime to 14-13.
After a defensive battle for the 3rd quarter the Rams still had a 14-13 lead. After a 4th down stop by the Tigers with 7:36 left in the game the Tigers took over on the Rams 33 yard line. The Tigers would get down to the 2 yard line before Castillo made his 3rd field goal of the night and the Tigers led 16-14 with 2:18 left in the game. The Rams would get the ball on the 35 yard line after the kickoff and after 2 running plays and a incomplete pass the Tigers where called for pass interference and that gave the Rams a first down on the 45 yard line. After a 4 yard run by Wilkerson to bring the ball into Tiger territory to the 49 yard line, Wilkerson went back to pass and was flushed out to the Tiger sideline and then throw up a hail mary pass that was caught by Connor Bragg for the go ahead touchdown , the Rams went for the 2 point conversion and led 22-16 with 7 second left in the game. But it isn't over till the clock strikes 0:00 and that is when the Tigers scored the miracle touchdown on the kickoff return.
Thompson led the Tigers with 54 yards on 11 carries, while CJ Horn was 10-13-1 for 115 yards. Gardner caught 6 passes for 43 yards. Yates had 79 yards for the Rams on 15 carries and Bragg caught 2 passes for the Rams for 91 yards.
The Tigers will be on the road next week as they travel to Kerens and the Rams will be at home to take on Maud.
Carries- Yards Rushing-Avg 33-129-3.91