By Trent Friedel, exclusive to the Times
Saint Mary’s took to the road Friday for gridiron action against the North Caddo Rebels. The first road contest for first year head coach Aaron York had similar results as the last home game. The field was a near quagmire after a strong rain visited Vivian in the hours before kickoff and a drizzle frequently came down a majority of the game. Action started with Saint Mary’s receiving the opening kick and having a decent return. The offense is unable to progress and punts to the Rebels who have difficulty getting an offense going against a stiff Tiger defense.
North Caddo would punt to the Tigers giving them the ball at their own 41 yard line. Saint Mary’s is again unable to make progress. The first quarter ends with North Caddo driving on offense and culminates with the Rebels scoring early in the second quarter on a 2 yard run followed by a two point conversion. Rebels 8 Tigers 0. Saint Mary’s receives the kickoff after the score and get the good fortune of keeping a drive alive after the punt hits a Rebel and is recovered by the Tigers at the Rebel 33. The good fortune does not result in points; Saint Mary’s gets to the ten of the Rebels and cannot get the ball in the end zone. North Caddo goes on a methodical drive that begins with a 55 yard Rebel run to get deep into Tiger territory.
The drive finishes with a 12 yard pass from Copeland to Dixon. The two point conversion is good, score Rebels 16, Tigers 0. The tough thing for the Tigers is that they nearly had an interception on the play before. Saint Mary’s gets the kick and goes to work. Parker Bankston runs for 20 and gets several more yards tacked on with a late hit call. The next play has Bankston finding a receiver at the seven and the Tigers have first and goal to go. Parker runs in from the 1 two plays later as time expires in the first half.
The point after is unsuccessful and the score is North Caddo 16, Saint Mary’s 6.
Saint Mary’s kicks off to North Caddo to start the third quarter. The Rebels score just a couple of plays later after a pass and a 32 yard run by James Brown. The point after attempt is no good and the Rebels lead grows to 22 to 6. Saint Mary’s receives the ball with 9:42 on the clock and begin a sustained drive that is marred by holding penalties. The most notable one is on a run of about 25 yards that would have set the Tigers up at the 3 of the Rebels. The Tigers turn the ball over on downs and give North Caddo the ball at mid-field. Saint Mary’s defense comes up big and stops the Rebels to take the ball back. Saint Mary’s drives the following possession to as far as the 8 yard line of the Rebels before the penalty bug bites again. The Tigers turn the ball over on downs and the Rebels go 81 yards on the feet of James Brown on the very first play from scrimmage. The two point conversion attempt fails and the score stands at Rebels 28, Tigers 6 with :32 remaining in the third.
The fourth quarter starts with Saint Mary’s in possession of the ball and driving toward the end zone. The drive abruptly ends with the Tigers fumbling the ball on the Rebel 45. The Rebels return the favor and fumble back to Saint Mary’s two plays later. Penalties again thwart a drive and the Tigers punt to the Rebels. A 60 yard punt pins the Rebels inside five but lightening strikes again. Jaiden Carter goes 97 yards off the left side for a score. The follow on point after try is no good and the score is Rebels 34 and Tigers 6 with a little more than 5 minutes to play. The ensuing kick is fumbled by Saint Mary’s and the Rebels begin chewing up time and yardage.
Andrew Godfrey would play quarterback the last few minutes and get a 16 yard rushing touchdown as time expired in the game. Final score Rebels 34, Tigers 14 in a game where Saint Mary’s had opportunities that they could not capitalize upon. The Tigers return home Friday to play the Block Bears for homecoming. Tigers have a one and two record heading into that game.