Prep Football: Texas High electrifying in 62-14 win over Benton

Texas High's Tradarian Ball returns a punt for a touchdown against Benton (Louisiana) on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton/

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Lighting delayed the first and third quarters of the Texas High matchup with the Tigers of Benton, Louisiana, on Friday night at Tiger Stadium at Grim Park. Texas High managed to catch the lighting in a bottle and unleash it on the visitors in a 62-14 win for the home team.

After an illegal substitution penalty kept their opening drive alive on fourth down, Benton's Jeffery King hit Cody Wilhite on a 24-yard touchdown pass. It gave Benton their only lead of the night, 7-0, after Will Petro's extra point.

It only took one play and seven seconds for Texas High to tie it up as David J. Potter hit T. J. Gray on a 73-yard touchdown bomb down the middle of the field. Francisco Perez booted through the point after to tie the score a 7-7 with 10:56 left in the first period.

Tradarian Ball put the Tigers out front for good with 8:38 left in the first on a 69-yard punt return for six points. Perez put the point after through the uprights to make it 14-7 in favor of the hometown Tigers.

Following a 13-yard punt, Texas High only had to go 23 yards for their third score. A Joe Miller 8-yard reception and an 8-yard Potter bootleg set up another score. Kameron Wrightner took a direct snap in from the 2-yard line. Perez's extra point gave the Texas High Tigers a 21-7 lead.

After a 49-yard screen pass touchdown to Tradarian Ball was negated by a penalty, the Tigers rode Javari Johnson into the endzone for their fourth touchdown of the first quarter. Johnson ran the ball five times for 54 yards after the penalty. He finished it off on a 4-yard carry. Perez's point after was off the mark and the first quarter ended with Texas High leading, 27-7.

Potter connected with Brandon Hall for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 9:32 left in the half. Perez's point after was true and Texas High went up 34-7 on the visiting Tigers.

A 24-yard Ball punt return and a 28-yard Gray reception from Potter set up the Tigers' next touchdown. Ball plunged in from 2 yards out. Perez nailed the extra point and Texas High took a 41-7 lead with 3:42 left before intermission.

Texas High was not done. Brandon Hall set up the final score in the half with a 56-yard reception from Potter. He then caught a 2-yard pass for the touchdown. Franklin Delk added the extra point to make it 48-7 at the half.

On the first drive of the second half, Texas High put together another drive for six points. A 22-yard pass to Shavante Montgomery put the locals past midfield. Then Potter connected on another 22-yard pass to Brandon Hall for the score. Delk again added the point for a 55-7 lead.

Benton answered with a 43 yard touchdown completion from King to Wade Chandler. Petro's PAT closed the gap to 55-14 with 6:36 left in the third.

Wrightner took over at quarterback and led THS on another scoring drive. Most of the yards came on carries by junior running back Keylan Nash. Nash capped it off with a 2 yard TD. Kevin Leyva became the third Texas High kicker of the night to kick an extra point making it 62-14 at the end of the third.

Both coaches agreed to a running clock for the remainder of the game. Neither team managed to score in the final period. Benton drops to 1-1 on the season. Texas High goes to 3-0 as they head to Tyler next week to take on Tyler Legacy.

  photo  Texas High's Javari Johnson makes a fingertip catch against Benton (Louisiana) on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton/
  photo  Texas High's defense swallows up a Benton running back Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton/
  photo  Texas High's Javari Johnson takes a handoff from David J. Potter on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton/