Ty Legon, 78, heads upfield from his center position to lead the way for Sedrick Spearman as he breaks into a long run. -Photo by Danny Reneau
On Friday, the Silsbee Tigers traveled to Hamshire-Fannett and defeated the Longhorns 55-21 in a game that did not appear to be as close as the score indicated.
After studying the films, Silsbe Coach Bobby McGallion stated “It was a situation where I thought we played well. We did what we were supposed to do and played hard on both sides of the ball.”
McGallion has the Tigers playing well. There offensive line, which came into the season as a question mark, has improved to the point where it is a strong point. And, their defensive secondary, which also was a question mark early, is showing rapid improvement.
One of the really good things about this team is that they have only two players, Zayon Jackson and Chris Elam, who are pulling double duty by playing on both sides of the ball.
McGallion says the offensive line coaches stress the importance of good downfield blocking and this was never more evident than it was during the Tigers’ game against the Longhorns on Friday.
The Tigers forced a fumble on the third play of the game and Sidney Holmes recovered at the Longhorn 38. After a holding penalty, three incomplete passes and a nice 15-yard run, Silsbee turned the ball back to Hamshire at a point near where they had started.
This was the one time Hamshire was going to stop the Tigers in the first quarter.
Sedrick Spearman needed just one play to score on the next Tiger possession. He zigged, zagged, and then reversed field until he found a seam and raced down the Silsbee sidelines 75 yards for a score.
Hamshire then bobbled the kick off and Silsbee quickly got down field and covered the loose ball at the 25-yard line. Patrick Reed picked up eight yards on first down and then tossed a passed to Zayon Jackson, who turned on the burners and ran 17 yards for a score.
After the Tiger defense stopped Hamshire on three plays, the Longhorns punted into Tiger territory and Chris Elam took the punt and returned it all the way to the Hamshire 39-yard line.
Reed ran to the 14 on the next play and then carried the ball to the five. Spearman got the call and raced up the middle five yards for his second TD of the game. With 2:45 left in the first quarter Silsbee led 21-0.
The score jumped to 27-0 at the 7:20 mark of the second period. The Tigers converted their fourth touchdown of the game when Reed scored on a 12-yard run. The score capped a 3-play, 50-yard drive. Spearman had two carries for 38 yards.
He finished the game with eight carries for 175 yards and four touchdowns. This time the PAT kick was no good.
A little less than three minutes later, Spearman scored his third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run. The Tigers then had a 34-0 lead with four and a half minutes left in the half.
After the intermission, Silsbee got the kick and returned it to their own 40. Two plays later Reed hooked up with Jackson on a 30-yard pass.
By this point in the game, Reed had located all of the ranges. He hit Elam with a pass for a score. Reed completed nine of 14 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He did not suffer an interception in the game.
Spearman scored his fourth TD of the game on a 15-yard run. The scored capped a five play 80-yard drive.
The Longhorns got on the scoreboard with 2:39 left in the third quarter. They cut the Tigers lead to 48-7.
Silsbee then returned the kick 84 yards for a touchdown. Chris Elam scored the TD with 2:20 left in the quarter.
Hamshire scored the final two touchdowns of the game to cut the Tigers lead to 55-21.
At this point in the season, the Tigers have built up a strong corpse of running backs. Spearman has 458 yards rushing on 43 attempts. He has basically played in just four games at running back. Floyd Spearman, who moved from running back to full time linebacker, is available to give him relief. In addition, C. J. Green, sr, is an outstanding back. He gained 26 yards on three attempts during the Hamshire game.
The Tiger fans also witnessed the return of Trevaris Brooks during the game against Hamshire. He broke his arm during the pre season and this is the first action he has seen. He carried the ball four times for 45 yards and is one of the fastest of the Tiger backs.
The leading rusher on the Tiger team is quarterback Reed who has carried the ball 87 times for 883 yards in seven games this season. Friday he had nine carries for 101 yards and one touchdown.
During Fridays game the defensive leader for Silsbee was Floyd Spearman who had seven unassisted and five assisted tackles. He had one sack. His mate at linebacker Colby LeBlanc was in on five unassisted and four assisted tackles. Noseguard Seth Adams had five unassisted and three assisted tackles. Ryan Kirkendall had five unassisted and two assisted tackles.
Jack Gore was in on seven tackles and had a quarterback pressure.
Jordan Gore led the secondary with four unassisted and one assisted tackle.
Silsbee finished this game with 343 yards rushing and 180 yards passing. Their defense limited the Longhorns to 187 yards rushing and 116 yards passing. Hamshire had three fumbles and lost two. Silsbee had one fumble, which they recovered themselves.
Jackson was the leading receiver for Silsbee with five catches for 95 yards. Chris Elam had two for 38, Kris Elers one for 34 and Brooks one for 13.
This week the Tigers will play Hardin-Jefferson. This will be the final home game of the year for the Tigers. McGallion says that HJ is an improved football team. They beat Bridge City Friday by a 54-27 score and now have a record of 5-3 this year and they are 2-2 in district play.
Silsbee has earned a spot in the playoffs and Hardin Jefferson could guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs if they can upset the Tigers. Even if they don’t win they still have a final opportunity to get in the playoffs if they defeat Hamshire-Fannett in the final game of the year.