Sunday, November 11, 2007
For those who do not know. I graduated from Denison Sr. High back in 1984. Our school and our main rival, The Sherman BearCats, have the longest Texas football rivalry in the state of Texas. TOo be honest I still can not stand even watching any of their schools even win a game. Now for the next few years, this could get interesting. I will have a nephew who might be playing on the Cats football team (oh Fracking Joy) So your cheer for family, even when he is playing for the one High School Football team that i really hate.
Denison wins Ax, 44-43
Denison wins Ax, 44-43
By Tyler Clifton
No lead is safe, especially in a rivalry game, and Sherman found out the hard way Friday night.
Denison’s Jordan Taylor showed everyone at Bearcat Stadium he was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. The sophomore had four touchdowns and accounted for 270 yards of total offense, including three scoring runs in the fourth quarter for 20 unanswered points to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 44-43 come-from-behind win.
Denison (4-6, 3-3 District 5-4A) has won four of the last five Battle of the Ax games, and this was the closest Yellow Jacket victory since its 23-21 win two years ago. The last time Denison won this game by a point was in 1936, and the numbers couldn’t get much closer with the Bearcats’ 442 yards of offense to Denison’s 440.
“There was enough time left,” Denison head coach Cody White said. “The kids believed, and we finished it out.”
Sherman (4-6, 2-4) took a 12-point lead in the third quarter on Ahmed Abo-Mahmood’s 27-yard field goal after Patrick Henderson recovered an unintentional onside kick after Denison’s return man let the ball bounce in front of him.
D.J. Jones (23 carries, 142 yards) scored his second touchdown of the game just 1:15 later to keep the Yellow Jackets in the game.
“I thought we played pitiful the first three series (of the second half),” White said. “We get the kickoff and watch it bounce. Holding them to three points was huge.”
Matt Rome, who finished his Bearcat career with arguably his top offensive performance, found Henderson for a 21-yard touchdown pass. Waymon James, who ran 16 times for 182 yards, continued to flaunt his stuff with a 44-yard scoring run for a 43-24 advantage.
“This is the worst feeling after giving it all we had in the biggest game of the year,” Rome said. “We will have some great memories and knew we had to leave it all on the field.”
Taylor, who completed 15 of 22 passes for 204 yards and an interception, was a one-man wrecking crew on the ground and through the air in the fourth quarter.
It all began with his 6-yard scoring run, but it took a key fourth-down stop of Rome by Denison’s defense and a fortunate bounce on a fumble to keep the Yellow Jackets alive. The Bearcats shot themselves in the foot, as Millerick’s kickoff return deep into Denison territory was negated by a block in the back.
Taylor also completed a key third-down pass to Cody Reeves, but the biggest play of the game came later in the drive. Taylor threw an 11-yard pass to Matt Logsdon in tight coverage and scored from five yards out two plays later.
Denison now trailed by only six points but wasn’t completely out of the woods until recovering an onside kick. Taylor scored his fourth and final touchdown from eight yards out, and Chase Kaufman made what would be the deciding extra point.
Sherman head coach Drew Young pointed to several factors leading to the loss, including Denison’s fourth-down conversion, the miss on their own fourth-down play and the missed onside kick recovery.
He also pointed to the blocked field goal along with the missed two-point conversion and extra point and the crucial penalty on the kickoff return.
“If we had just one of those plays go our way, it’s a different story,” Young said. “It was a great game, and it was ironic that Denison scored 44 last year and lost and scored 44 again this time and won.”
The Bearcats still had 2:08 to win the game, and Rome did his best to lead the team to victory one final time with passes of 12, 11 and 16 yards to Greg Millerick, Jacob Hagan and Henderson.
A critical false start penalty put Sherman in a long-yardage situation, and the Bearcats were forced to settle for a 40-yard Abo-Mahmood field goal attempt.
The Yellow Jackets called their final two timeouts, and Reeves did the rest by blocking Abo-Mahmood’s kick and bringing the Ax back north for another year.
“I thought I had a shot, because I blocked one on the extra point,” Reeves said. “The coaches were saying now or never.”
Sherman can look back on many plays and wonder what might have been, including a lengthy pass from Rome to Millerick on the opening drive of the game that was called back because of holding. ????? ????? intercepted Rome on the next play.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t waste time taking advantage of the opportunity, as Jones scored on a 5-yard run. Henderson appeared to have recovered a fumble one play earlier, but the play was ruled down.
“I thought it was a fumble, but I think the guy was too deep in the pile for the official to see the ball pop out,” said Henderson, who was all over the field. “We’re all disappointed, because we played our hearts out but didn’t execute the last couple of series.”
Rome, who had his best night on the ground by far with 86 yards on 21 carries, scored on a 6-yard run to tie the game 7-7 after the first 12 minutes. Kristian Merrell set up the drive with his interception of Chavez.
Taylor took over behind center and began making a serious impact in the second quarter after his 14-yard touchdown run, when James answered from 13 yards out.
Henderson intercepted Taylor and set up a 10-play scoring drive that ended with Rome’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Sommers. Sherman’s two-point pass failed on a trick play.
Denison pulled within two on Kaufman’s 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds left. It gave James just enough time to race from Denison’s sideline across field for a 66-yard touchdown.
“It’s one of the best runs I’ve ever seen, and I told Waymon that after the game,” Young said. “We made some great individual plays but not enough of them to win the game.”