By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
The Malakoff Tigers stayed perfect by beating the West Trojans (6-2) Friday night, 40-27.
The win improves Malakoff’s record to 8-0 overall, 6-0 in District 9-3A and sets up a huge game next Friday for the Tigers, who are on the road at Teague (6-2, 5-1).
But before we move on to Teague, let’s pass out awards from this week’s win over West.
HAT TRICK AWARD – Judd Miller
Malakoff’s quarterback Judd Miller was a touchdown machine when the Tigers got close to the end zone, scoring on runs of 11, 12 and 6 yards. He scored the last three touchdowns for Malakoff.
I’M OPEN AWARD – Jake Lee
The Tigers opened up the scoring on their first possession when Jake Lee beat one-on-one coverage and threw up his hand to let Miller know he was open. Lee made a nice catch and did a great job keeping his feet in bounds at the back of the end zone.
BEAST MODE AWARD — Zee Bailey
Zee Bailey wins this award so often I may have to come up with an oak leaf cluster system for him. Friday night, he provided a toughness edge as evidenced by one run where he disappeared under a pile of defenders at the 19 yard line, but the pile kept moving. With some help from his friends Bailey wound up at the 8, gaining 11 yards after being swarmed by defenders. He also scored on a 46-yard run.
DEEP IN THE PLAYBOOK AWARD — Coach Jamie Driskell
Coach Driskell has turned the point after attempt this season into a strategic moment, often going for 2. On one memorable conversion Friday, Miller handed off to Bailey, who took a step to his left then ran right before pitching the ball back to Miller in what turned into an option play. Driskell not only scores more points, he makes sure the opposing coaches have one more thing to defend.
BIG LEG AWARD — Everardo Garcia
Punter Everardo Garcia proved himself a valuable weapon for Malakoff in the second half. On his first punt, he drew a roughing penalty after fielding a high snap. After that he had kicks to the West 1 yard line, 9 yard line, and 24 yard line with no return on any of them. The field position Garcia provided was a big part of the win.
WE WANT TO BE HEARD AWARD — The referees
Whether you thought a particular call was correct or not, there is no debating that the referees were a big part of the game. Both teams had touchdowns called back and were hit with penalties at key moments.
TOUGH ENOUGH AWARD — Malakoff Flag Corps and Dance Team
It was cold Friday night … 40-degree cold. But when the band hit the field at halftime, the Malakoff Flag Corps and Dance Team were there to perform like always in their very pretty, but very thin, costumes. If you don’t think that’s a display of toughness, you weren’t on the sidelines last night trying to stay warm.
DO IT ALL AWARD — Adonia Dixon-Thomas and all the others
Through more than 20 years of covering football in Texas, one of my favorite sights is seeing a student in a different uniform in the band at halftime. In Malakoff, WR Adonia Dixon-Thomas took off his pads after the first half to perform his duties as drum major and lead the Pride of Malakoff Band. There were also cheerleaders marching in the band. Kudos to all of you. … We love football, but many of students involved in making Friday night special never play the game. Thank you to them, as well.