By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
MALAKOFF — The Malakoff Tigers dominated Mexia on both lines of scrimmage and cruised to a 48-10 win at home Friday night.
Mexia was never in the game except for a 2:40 span of the second quarter when the Blackcats scored their points off special team miscues.
Malakoff improves to 2-0 and Mexia falls to 1-2 on the year.
Here are my game balls, notes and shaky stats from the muggy, drizzly sideline.
— TREACHEROUS TRENCHES: The first game ball goes to Malakoff’s offensive and defensive lines. The football cliche “you win in the trenches” is a cliche for a reason, and the reason is it’s true. I’m not sure what the Blackcat’s strategy was coming into the game, but whatever it was went out the window in the face of Malakoff’s dominance at the line of scrimmage. So let’s call out the big guys who don’t always get noticed.
Offensive line: Kyler Dalrymple, Eric Littleton, Erik Waldo, Lincoln Rogers, Brendon McClintock. I’m also going to add the tight ends to this list because they are such a big part of that blocking scheme, and they include Parker Busch, Nathan Jones, and Brandon Nations. I was so impressed by this bunch that I got caught watching them a few times and may have fumbled some of my stats. Hat tip to OL Coach Scott Lane. Watch in the video below of how the Mexia defenders dive at the feet of the linemen trying to clog things up on the goal line, but the Tigers are still able to get to the Blackcat linebackers giving R.J. Carr the room to score.
Defensive line: Brandon Nations, Caleb Adams, Cole Gaddis, Zamir Ruiz, Parker Busch. Yes, you see a few of the same names on both lines, which is to be expected in Class 3A. What’s not expected is to be as dominate as this D-line was Friday night. Mexia never had a chance to get its passing game on track because of constant pressure on the quarterback and the Blackcat runners had to start avoiding tackles in their own backfield. A truly impressive performance.
— NICE HANDS: Speaking of Parker Busch, the senior gets a game ball for three catches including a 41-yard touchdown and a very nice catch for a 2-point conversion.
— TRIGER MAN: And who was on the other end of the passes to Parker Busch? Sophomore quarterback Darion Peace, who gets a game ball for being smart and consistent with the football. He completed 10 passes to five different receivers (hat tip to junior Andreas Garrett, who had four catches for 66 yards). Peace took what the Blackcats gave him and didn’t force the ball into bad situations, which is pretty amazing for someone starting just his second varsity game.
— ONE CUT AND GONE: A game ball goes Keevie Rose who led the Tigers on the ground with 163 yards rushing and three TDs, according to my unofficial stats (Video below). The junior running back did a beautiful job of hitting the hole and even though he is listed at just 165 pounds, he showed a lot of power at the point of contact. … Oh, and Rose is the player who drew a flag when he continued blocking on a punt return after losing his helmet. That is a penalty to enhance player safety and if it happens again, I’m sure Rose will get down. But I know I wasn’t the only one cheering the young man for his heart and fearlessness.
— LONG LEG: My oh my, kicker Hector Romero has a leg. He hit two field goals, including one from 42 yards and just missed one short from 44 yards. He is a very real weapon for the Tigers.
— MY BALL: Nice job by Everardo Garcia recovering a Mexia fumble in the second half.
— NOT SO SPECIAL TEAMS: No team is perfect and the Tigers struggled on special teams Friday night. Both Mexia scores came because of miscues in the kicking game. First, Malakoff gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown. Less than two minutes later, the Tigers fumbled away an attempted punt setting up the Blackcats for a field goal as time expired in the first half. No doubt, Coach Jamie Driskell will have something to say about special teams in practice this week.
— NO SOAP: Stadium announcer and Malakoff Tigers football historian Benny Rogers dropped his signature “no soap” call at least twice Friday night. The first time I noticed it was on the first play of the second quarter when the Blackcat quarterback was dropped for a 4-yard loss. The second time came on the second play of the third quarter. “No soap, no soap on the play at all!” I love that call.
— SINGING CHEERLEADERS: Thank you to the Malakoff cheerleaders, who joined me for a short verse of the Jackson Five’s classic “ABC” to start the game. You know it is going to be a good night when you can get Michael into the mix.
— FOR THE RECORD: Here’s the scoring summary.
- MAL – 9:45 1Q – R.J. Carr 2 yard run. Kick no good. – 6-0
- MAL – 1:39 1Q – Keevie Rose 7 yard run. Darion Peace complete to Parker Busch for 2 pt conversion. – 14-0
- MAL – 5:42 2Q – Hector Romero 30 yard field goal. – 17-0
- MAL – 2:55 2Q – Keevie Rose 10 run. Romero kick. – 24-0
- MEX – 2:40 2Q – Joshua Beachum 97 kickoff return. Lalo Ortiz kick. – 24-7
- MEX – 0:00 2Q – Lalo Ortiz 37 yard field goal. – 24-10
- MAL – 8:47 3Q – Keevie Rose 15 run. Romero kick. – 31-10
- MAL – 6:18 3Q – Darion Peace 6 yard run. Romero kick. – 38-10
- MAL – 2:21 3Q – Darion Peace 41 yard pass to Parker Busch. Romero kick. – 45-10
- MAL – 11:37 4Q – Hector Romero 42 yard field goal. – 48-10
Malakoff will be travel to Grandview next week to take on the Zebras. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.