Sports and Outdoors


Chapel Hill ends Panther playoffs
Bulldogs dominate second half in 30-14 bidistrict victory

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Chapel Hill quarterback Chris Mass fires downfield as Mabank’s Joey Mendez (on ground) makes the tackle. Mass eluded the Panther rush long enough to complete the pass, which stunned Mabank defenders late in the first half and enabled Chapel Hill to kick a last-second field goal. Also shown is Matt Skinner (17).

By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MESQUITE–Chapel Hill’s Bulldogs dominated the second half Friday to knock the Mabank Panthers out of the playoffs.
Now 6-5, the Bulldogs will face the 8-3 Liberty-Eylau Leopards in the area round of the Division I playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at Bobcat Stadium in Hallsville. Liberty-Eylau upset unbeaten and top-ranked Gilmer 39-36 Friday.
Mabank finishes its season at 6-5, with a District 13-3A tri-championship.
Building on a couple of big plays late in the first half – including a 42-yard field goal on the final play – the Bulldogs never let the Panthers generate any kind of offensive momentum in the second half.
This was how the second half went for the Panthers:
• three plays and punt,
• three plays and punt,
• one play and interception,
• four plays and punt,
• six plays and interception, and
• three plays and interception.
Total – 20 offensive plays, 45 total yards, two turnovers.
In the meantime, the Bulldogs scored on three of their seven second-half possessions – they went three-and-out to open the half and their final possession was a kneel-down to run out the final 15 seconds.
Early on, it looked like the Panthers were going to be able to move the ball effectively on the E.H. Hanby Stadium turf against the Bulldog defense.
After an exchange of punts to open the game, the Panthers generated a drive on their second possession.
Given decent field position at their 44, the Panthers marched 66 yards in eight plays.
The key play was a third-down 33-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Kolton Browning to Zach Costlow, which put the Panthers in scoring position at the Bulldog 23.
Two runs by Chris Recio (14 carries, 36 yards) notched a first down at the Bulldog 11, and on third-and-10, Browning found Matt Skinner for the touchdown, with six minutes even left in the first quarter.
Montana Morse’s PAT kick made it a 7-0 Mabank lead.
Chapel Hill pulled off its first big play on the ensuing possession.
Facing fourth-and-two at the Chapel Hill 49, the Bulldogs lined up in punt formation.
The snap went to blocking back Joseph Antley, and he found 6-5 quarterback Chris Mass (who had lined up as the left-side end) downfield. Mass turned the 10-yard pass into a 51-yard scoring play, breaking a tackle and motoring up the Chapel Hill sideline.
Landon Rodgers’ kick tied the score at 7-all with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
A strong return by Davis Kiker to the Mabank 44 gave the Panthers another good start, and the Panthers moved 66 yards in just four plays.
Recio (who had only two carries for negative three yards in the second half) got the march going with a 15-yard scamper.
On third-and-eight at the Bulldog 39, Browning found Hayden Blair open on the Chapel Hill sideline, and Blair converted for a touchdown.
Morse’s second kick gave the Panthers a 14-7 lead with 2:36 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs fumbled twice on their next possession, once on the kickoff when Wesley Patton attempted an ill-advised lateral, and on first down, when Mass tried a pitchout and ended up falling on the ball for a loss of eight.
Forced to punt, the Bulldogs gave the Panthers pretty decent field position with a 20-yard kick to the Mabank 33.
Mabank put together one first down on a seven-yard pass to Costlow (three catches, 43 yards), but stalled when a mishandled shotgun snap had to be chased down by Browning for an 18-yard loss, all the way back to the Panther 30, forcing a punt.
The Bulldogs punted right back when they went nowhere and a third-down pass fell incomplete.
Mabank got a gift first down on their next possession when the Bulldogs were offsides, negating a busted third-down play, and on the very next snap, Browning found Norman Brady on the Chapel Hill sideline for a 23-yard gain to the Bulldog 45.
The drive stalled when Bulldog fullback/linebacker Fred Suell sacked Browning (the first of four sacks) for a loss of eight, forcing a punt.
With time running out, the Bulldogs began an improbable march, helped along by a couple of almost unbelievable plays.
A reverse by Marquis Warren went up the Chapel Hill sideline for 36 yards before Brady could shove him out of bounds, setting the Bulldogs up at the Mabank 41.
A holding penalty backed up the Bulldogs, but on third-and-long, Mass scrambled away long enough to find DeKerrian Cooper over the middle for a nine-yard gain.
The outstanding play by Mass – who was actually in the grasp of Panther defensive lineman Joey Mendez and falling as he threw – stunned the Panthers.
In contrast, Mass’ fourth-down conversion pass to Warren for 13 yards was a routine effort.
With two seconds left in the half, Rodgers nailed a 42-yard field goal effort to close the halftime margin to three points, 14-10.
The second half opened just like the first half, with an exchange of punts.
Mabank got the worst of the exchange, as a Chapel Hill bounce made Brady’s kick a 17-yard effort, and gave the Bulldogs very good field position at the Panther 47.
Chapel Hill took nine plays – seven runs and two pass attempts – to move in for the go-ahead touchdown.
Runs by tailback Matthew Tucker (19 carries, 86 yards and two touchdowns in the second half) and Suell (eight carries, 30 yards, one touchdown in the second half) keyed the march.
Tucker punched in from two yards out to cap the drive, and Rodgers’ kick gave the Bulldogs a 17-14 lead with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
A second straight three-and-out by the Panther offense gave the Bulldog offense the opportunity to put a second straight scoring march together.
This time, the Bulldogs moved 58 yards in nine plays, all on the ground.
Key plays in the march included a 12-yard run by Tucker on the first play, a six-yard third-down run by Suell (dragging three defenders on the way), a 12-yard reverse by Warren, and an 11-yard run by Tucker to set up a first-and-goal at the Panther 8.
Tucker got the touchdown from three yards out, and Rodgers’ PAT kick gave the Bulldogs a two-possession lead, 24-14.
Mabank’s offense, which hadn’t looked so good in the second half, went absolutely nowhere on their third possession.
On first down, Browning was sacked and fumbled, but Panther Alan Ott recovered for a loss of five, and on second down, Mass picked off Browning’s pass at the 35 and returned the theft to the Panther 22.
Mabank’s defense stiffened, however, and a fourth-and-three plunge by Tucker came up a yard short at Panther 13.
Browning got the Panthers out of the hole with a 10-yard pass to Skinner, but his next three passes were all incomplete, forcing a punt.
Given very good field position at midfield, the Bulldogs took eight running plays to move 50 yards for the score.
The key play in the march was another reverse, this time with Cooper carrying the ball, as Brady again saved a touchdown with a tackle at the Panther 3.
Suell punched in from a yard out for the score. Rodgers’ PAT kick was wide left, but the Bulldogs were up 30-14 with just 2:46 left to play.
With the Bulldogs playing deep on defense, the Panthers put together a couple of first downs on short throws underneath, coupled with a seven-yard pass-interference penalty against Chapel Hill.
On first-and-10 at the Mabank 48, Browning was picked off again, this time by Tony Riley, and the Panthers got a 15-yard late-hit penalty tacked on.
Not that it mattered. All the Bulldogs wanted to do was run some clock, and they did that.
Even though Samuel Spencer nailed Warren for a loss of eight on fourth down, the Panthers were down to just 41 seconds of playing time.
A holding penalty against the Bulldogs gave the Panthers a new set of downs, and Browning found Justin Fontenot along the Chapel Hill sideline for a gain of 25, down to the Bulldog 16.
However, when Browning tried the same play to Fontenot again, Chapel Hill’s Skylar Jackson intercepted in the end zone to end Mabank’s last possession and their season.

Kemp girls take third at Cayuga
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–The Kemp Lady Yellowjackets captured third place in the Cayuga Invitational tournament Saturday.
Now 4-2 on the season, the Lady ’Jackets were scheduled to travel to Scurry-Rosser Tuesday, and are scheduled to host Edgewood Friday, Nov. 24, with a 10 a.m. freshman contest opening a three-game slate.
Next Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Lady ’Jackets will host Mineola, with a 5 p.m. freshman contest kicking off a three-game slate.
At Cayuga Saturday, the Kemp girls defeated Canton junior varsity 56-46 for the third place trophy, taking the lead for good in the second half, when they outscored the Lady Eagle JV 31-19.
Sarah Smith was named to the All-Tournament team.
Alex Valentine led the Lady ’Jackets with 13 points, while Ashley Zellmer and Ashley Darby each scored 10 points, and both Smith and Kate Donovan scored eight points each.
Meagan Lacy scored five points and Brittany Simmons chipped in two points.
Kemp opened the tournament with a 53-48 win over the hosting Cayuga Lady Wildcats, led by Smith with 16 points.
Also, Simmons had 10 points, Zellmer scored eight points, Lacy had seven, Valentine had five, Darby four and Donovan three.
In the second round, the Lady ’Jackets fell behind Normangee Lady Panthers early, 22-5, and were never able to make up the deficit.
Normangee, out of District 25-1A, went on to a 55-38 win, sealing the victory by hitting nine free throws in the final quarter.
Valentine led the Lady ’Jackets with 10 points, Zellmer and Darby both had eight points each, Smith had four points, and Donovan, Brittany Simmons, Brandy Simmons and Lacy all scored two points each.

LSHSRA event held in Mabank
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The Lone Star High School Rodeo Association hosted its Nov. 11 rodeo at Andrew Gibbs Rodeo Arena in Mabank. Area high school students competed in rodeo events.
In bulls, Booter Haas of Eustace High School placed fifth.
Brandon Grissom of Kemp High School placed second in chute dogging.
In poles, Kelsey Busby of Mabank High School placed sixth. Cassie Sparkman and Bethany Norman, also of Mabank High School, along with Nicole Harrison of Kemp High School, also competed in poles.
Bobby Montgomery of Malakoff High School placed second in boys ribbon roping, and Kody Durham also of Malakoff High School placed sixth.
Sparkman won the barrels competition, while Harrison placed 10th.
Montgomery and Durham competed in team roping.

Upcoming Games

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