A Thanksgiving Holiday playoff game had the Waskom Wildcats visiting the Hearne Eagles at Forney State Bank Stadium in Forney for Class 3A, Division 2, Region 3 Football Playoffs.
The game was on from the start as an “E Ticket” event, when the Wildcats offense paved the way for the opening kickoff from the Eagles, for a 70 yard run down the field, as the Wildcats reached the goalposts with the first 6 points by TK Hamilton. Hugo Tapia for the Wildcats tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0 for the Wildcat Nation.
That opening kick-off, with a savvy offense by Quarterback Ty Carter, has become a familiar signature for the Wildcats and fans. The Wildcats controlled the ball and scored. Not to be outdone, the Eagles did not waste any time in returning the ball for an Eagle score.
The Wildcats kicked off and the Eagles’ Javareyon Bailey received the kickoff and galloped 60 yards to the Waskom goal line for a tit-for-tat TD, no less than eight seconds. Hearne’s Eagle Josiah Green’s point after kick through the uprights tied the game up 7-7, in the opening minutes of the playoff face-off.
The Wildcat defense were getting their game on, when the Eagles added another three points with a field goal – giving the Eagles a brief and their only lead of the night, making it 10-7 Eagles, right before the end of the first quarter, with 27 seconds left on the clock.
It was defense for the Wildcats and offense for Quarterback Ty Carter, who threw 2-for-5 with 42 yards rushing, with one touchdown to his credit, working Coach Keeling’s magic on the plays. Running back Jay “Rumbling” Reeves broke free, up the middle for one touchdown and ran up 35 yards in total. Wildcat Bryan Holland ran up a handsome 108 yards rushing, with two touchdowns leading the charge to grind and ground the Eagles offense to just 10 points by halftime.
At halftime, the two teams left the playing field with Waskom leading the Eagles 28-10. Starting the third quarter of play-action, it was well played, hard fought football in offense, defense and points, as both sides in rushing and touchdowns reflect.
The Eagles Quarterback Micah Smith went 8-of-19 for 83 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, keeping it tight and tense throughout. Eagle Cedrion Golden bolted for 69 yards and one touchdown. Javon Jefferson for the Eagles led their running game with 10 carries, for a hard-earned 48 yards total to his numbers.
The fourth quarter began with another Wildcats touchdown by TK “Touchdown” Hamilton, who marked the Eagles with 3 TD’s for the night, racking up a whopping 219 yards in rushing. Eagle Cedrion Golden made good on a 47-yard touchdown burst and Gerald Ross went for the two-point conversion to balance the score with Waskom 35, Eagles 18, in the third quarter.
Time and the season ran out for the Eagles in State Bank Stadium, who played a tough game and have a brilliant, hard fought season to their credit. Coach Keeling commented, “What a really good defensive performance against a really good offense.”
The Waskom Wildcats are the only team left in the playoffs from Harrison County. The Wildcats certainly have a grand Thanksgiving week to celebrate.
The Wildcats are now 8-4 for the district play as co-district champions and the Hearne Eagles nest on an overall record of 9-3 and 6-1 in district play now. Waskom will lineup against Garrison or Clinton in the next week to come for the regional quarterfinals playoffs.