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Tigers top Bulldogs for Area title

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Malakoff defeats Jefferson, faces Pottsboro in Regional semis


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GLADEWATER–The Malakoff Tigers topped the Jefferson Bulldogs in the Area round of the playoffs Nov. 21 at Jack V. Murphy Bear Stadium in Gladewater.
The Tigers topped the Bulldogs 31-21 in the Regional semifinals in 2018 on their way to a State championship appearance. Malakoff hoped that Jefferson was just another step on their way to a State title run Thursday night.
The Bulldogs wouldn’t go quietly as they opened with a 62-yard touchdown pass in the first minute of the game to take an early 7-0 lead over the Tigers.
The Tigers went to work on their first drive of the game as they marched their way down to the Jefferson 27-yard line. Darion Peace then connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andreas Garrett to tie the game 7-7 halfway through the first quarter.
The Bulldogs scored almost immediately as they took the kickoff from their own 34-yard line. Jefferson’s Kylan Thomas then took the ball 66 yards for the touchdown as the Bulldogs regained a 14-7 lead.
Multiple runs from Peace, Garrett and Keevie Rose set the Tigers up inside the Jefferson 20-yard line.
Dedric Davis broke through the Jefferson defense as he picked up a 15-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game 14-14 in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the second quarter as Dee Black took the ball in from the one-yard line to put Jefferson back in front 21-14.
Malakoff put their running game to use against the Jefferson defense as they marched their way back into Bulldogs’ territory. Dedric Davis capped off a 75-yard drive with an 18-yard rushing touchdown to knot the score, 21-21.
With around a minute to go in the first half, the Malakoff defense came up with a big stop on their own 36-yard line as Jefferson turned the ball over on downs.
After consecutive throws to Davis, Nathan Jones and Riggin Smith, the Tigers were set up on the Jefferson five-yard line in the final minute of the second quarter.
Peace converted on a five-yard run to put Malakoff in front for the first time, 27-21 after a failed two-point conversion as the Tigers took their first lead into halftime.
With Malakoff receiving the kickoff for the second half, the Tigers’ offense went to work. Their drive ended with a long 41-yard touchdown pass to Smith to increase Malakoff’s lead to 33-21 after another failed two-point conversion.
After Malakoff made a tackle for a loss, Jefferson completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 33-27 after a missed point after attempt.
Malakoff recovered as they completed a 79-yard drive with a six-yard rushing touchdown courtesy of Cabien Trimble to make it 41-27 in favor of the Tigers after Peace made a successful pass to Davis on the two-point conversion.
Jefferson scored on a two-yard rushing touchdown in the first minute of the fourth quarter to trim the Malakoff lead to 41-34.
After a Jefferson stop on third down, the Tigers attempted a field goal from the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line but were unsuccessful as they turned the ball over on downs.
Jefferson took advantage as they scored on a 51-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game 41-41 with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation.
After a run from Peace set the Tigers up on the 46-yard line, Davis broke through for a 40-yard gain to put Malakoff on Jefferson’s six-yard line.
Davis ended the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown to put Malakoff back in front 47-41.
A pass interference penalty against Malakoff put Jefferson in Tigers’ territory.
Needing a big stop late, the Tigers forced a turnover on downs at their own 40-yard line.
Rose put the game away with a 60-yard rushing touchdown with two minutes remaining in the game as the Tigers clinched the Area title with a 53-41 victory over the Bulldogs.
The win clinches the second straight Area championship for Malakoff, putting them at 11-1 overall in 2019.
Malakoff will have their toughest test yet as they take on the Pottsboro Cardinals (12-0) as they look to hand them their first loss of the season in the Regional semifinals. The Tigers will take on the Cardinals Friday, Nov. 29 with kickoff set for 2 p.m. at Wylie Pirate Stadium.