By: Daniel Simmons
Photos Courtesy Tiger Snaps Photography
Coming off of a 49-0 blowout loss in Many, the Winnfield Tigers headed to Coushatta to try to bounce back in a contest against the Red River Bulldogs. The score was closer, but the result was the same, as the Tigers lost to the Bulldogs 26-6.
The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff and drove down for a touchdown to start the game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the first quarter. The Tigers punted on their first offensive possession.
Red River took over, and they had a chance to convert a third down with a passing play, but the receiver dropped the ball despite being wide open. The Bulldogs had to punt, and the snap on the punt sailed over the punter’s head and got behind him. The punter picked up the ball inside his own 5 and instead of salvaging the play by punting the ball, he tried to run for the first down. He was quickly stopped by the Tigers, giving them a first down and goal. A couple of plays later, Jeremy Mamon took the handoff from quarterback Damascus Lewis and powered into the end zone from two yards out to tie the score at 6-6.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the rest of the game was very similar to the Many game the week before. Fumbles were again a major theme, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the opportunities that the Tigers gave them. The Tigers had a chance to tie or take the lead in the third quarter, trailing 12-6. Facing a 4th and 4 on the 6 yard line, Lewis handed it off to linebacker/tight end Jake Jones, who was lined up in the backfield at fullback. Jones made a big conversion for the Tigers, running straight up the middle for a first down, coming down just short of the end zone. On the following first down play, the Tigers made perhaps their most crushing mistake of the game. They tried the same play that they converted the fourth down with, but the exchange between quarterback and running back was botched, and the Bulldogs recovered the loose ball at their own 1. Red River immediately drove 99 yards for a touchdown to take a commanding two-possession lead that they would not relinquish.
The loss drops the Tigers to 2-6 on the season and 1-2 in district play. This Friday night, they will go back on the road one more time to take on the Mansfield Wolverines, then return home the following week for a Senior Night battle against old rival Jonesboro-Hodge.