Tigers fall after rally comes up short

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HUGHES SPRINGS – The Daingerfield Tigers opened their 2017 football campaign with a Thursday night tilt with the Hughes Springs Mustangs. The Tigers fell on an emotional evening, 30-24.

The KYKX Big Game of the Week began with Daingerfield’s Reggie Jeter and Hughes Springs’ Zach Pilgrim each accepting a $1,005 scholarship from KYKX’s Harlan the Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob.

After Daingerfield won the toss and elected to defer to the second half, the teams came together to allow Justin Myrick to to have the opportunity to score a touchdown for the Mustangs. After the chivalry of the play was over, it was down to business in the Battle of Highway 11.

Daingerfield was burned on a 51-yard touchdown run by Ja’Kobie Craver, and after the Mustangs connected on the two-point conversion, the Tigers found themselves down, 8-0. After a four and out series for the Tigers, the Mustangs again lit the scoreboard, scoring their second touchdown in less than six minutes to go up 16-0.

In the second quarter, Daingerfield’s defense was able to stop Hughes Springs by recovering a fumble on the Mustang 14 yard line. Hughes Springs dug in, however, and kept the Tigers out of the end zone. With neither team able to muster any more offense, the Tigers entered the locker room at halftime down by 16.

Following the second half kickoff by Hughes Springs, Daingerfield marched towards the end zone before quarterback Reggie Jeter scatted into the end zone for the Tigers’ first score of the game. After the extra point by Jose Bello, the Tigers had pulled within 9.

After beginning to show some life at the end of the first half, the Tigers defense stopped the Mustangs on four plays in their opening drive of the half. This gave the offense the ball on the Tiger 40 yard line. Jeter finished that drive with another 10 yard touchdown run, and suddenly the Tigers had closed to within one point of the Mustangs.

Hughes Springs opened the fourth quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run by Bryce Johnston. The two-point conversion opened up another eight point lead for the Mustangs. Jeter answered with a 14-yard touchdown run with 2:40 left on the game clock. The Tigers own two-point conversion was good, bringing the score to 24-23 in favor of the Mustangs. Hughes Springs rounded out the scoring with a 54-yard touchdown run with around two minutes left on the clock.

“What a difference a year makes,” said Tigers head coach Mike Waldie, referring to last year’s 24-0 loss to Hughes Springs. “We learned from a bad first half. We were up 23-8 on them in the second half until that breakdown; we had two people lined up on one side of the field, and they ran to the other side. That’s a good football team, a well coached football team. They deserved this win.”

Waldie and his coaching staff now prepare the Tigers for the Atlanta Rabbits to come to Mickey Mayne Tiger Stadium on Sept.

8. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The following week, Daingerfield will celebrate homecoming festivities against the New Boston Lions.

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