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Tigers shut out Stingarees, 31-0

by Josh Richert | November 19, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
Texas High Tiger T.J. Gray (1) rushes for the end zone as a Tiger teammate blocks a Texas City defender during a Class 5A, District II area playoff game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton)

LUFKIN, Texas -- Texas High is moving on after shutting out Texas City.

The 6th-ranked Tigers piled up 391 yards on offense -- 268 through the air -- and limited the Stingarees to 229 yards as THS blanked Texas City, 31-0, Friday in a Class 5A, Division II area game at Abe Martin Stadium.

Texas High (11-0) advances to next week's Region III-5A, Division II semifinal round against Port Neches-Groves, which survived Montgomery, 49-42. The Stingarees' season ended at 10-2.

Brayson McHenry ran for 44 yards and completed 17-of-29 passes for 268 yards, no interceptions and three touchdowns -- two landing in the hands of Blake Rogers. Rogers had six grabs for 126 yards, and Braylon Stewart had 20 rushes for 80 yards and a TD.

T.J. Gray finished with three catches for 58 yards and a score, and Brandon Hall had four grabs for 37 yards as six different receivers caught passes from McHenry.

"Tonight was probably our best team performance, as a whole," Tigers head coach Gerry Stanford said. "We had the one turnover, which was really the only blemish.

"I thought our kids came in focused and ready to play football."

On the Tigers' third drive of the third quarter, Texas High drove 75 yards on seven plays with Stewart, who was the focus of the Texas City defense, racing 45 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown at 1:59.

The teams exchanged fumbles in the fourth quarter -- Evan Tullos recovering at the THS 16, and Michael Thomas jumping on the loose ball to get Texas High possession at its own 27.

Two plays later, Rogers hauled in a bomb from McHenry and Making the cornerback miss en route to a 79-yard score with 8:02 left in the game.

Austin Miller booted a 37-yard field goal with 1:11 remaining after the Tiger defense stopped TC at its own 33.

After the Tigers pinned Texas City at its own 5 on its initial possession, the Stingaree punt was downed at the THS 1.

Texas High marched 99 yards on 11 plays, with McHenry racing for a 32-yard quarterback draw before he threw a 30-yard touchdown to Gray on a tunnel screen, propelled by blocks from Hall and Jaden Kelly. The score came with 1:39 left in the first.

"The starting point was the 99-yard drive to get the first touchdown," Stanford said. "That drive sent the message for the rest of the night: that we're here to play.

"Defensively and offensively, our kids did a great job all night."

The ensuing drives for each team ended with turnover-on-downs, the Stingarees stopping at the Tigers 21, and Texas High advancing to the TC 31.

Two plays into Texas City's next possession, Thomas intercepted a deep ball at midfield. Following the turnover, it took eight plays for Texas High to get back in the end zone, with Rogers snagging a 5-yard TD from McHenry with just 30 ticks left until halftime.

The Tigers had 15 first downs before intermission and had 37 snaps for 206 yards of total offense. The Stingarees had four first downs, 21 plays and 116 yards.

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