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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas High running back Torie Blair (3) sidesteps Texas High defenders on a kickoff return after the Tigers scored during early play Friday at Razorback Stadium. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Ark. — It was Texas High that "ran" hog-wild.

The Tigers rushed 58 times for 339 yards — led by Tracy Cooper's 220-yard night — to win the annual Battle of the Axe over Arkansas High, 28-7, Friday at Razorback Stadium.

Cooper rushed for three touchdowns in the game and had 32 carries to pile up his 220 yards. The Tigers (1-1) finished with 398 yards of total offense.

Tyrell Miller added 15 carries for 67 yards, and Vontrey Anderson had four totes for 47 yards. Quarterback Rian Cellars was 6 of 12 for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Texas High wide receiver Kobe Webster (13) keeps a tight grip on the ball as he tries to break the tackle of an Arkansas High defender Friday during the 104th Battle of the Axe at Razorback Stadium. Razorbacks' Naijah Taylor (5) moves in on the left. (Photo by Kevin Sutton)

"We preached all week long to win the game in the trenches," Tigers head coach Gerry Stanford said. "As long as we won the battle up front, on both sides of the ball, we felt like we had a shot to win, and tonight that proved to be true. Our kids did a really good job up front, all three of our running backs ran their tails off, and our defense didn't give them much room to breath.

"They had the one drive, but other than that we felt really good about our performance."

Texas High's Clayton Smith brings in an 8-yard pass from quarterback Rian Cellars for the Tigers' second score of the first quarter Friday at Razorback Stadium. Arkansas High's Jamarious Johnson is seen at left. (Photo by Kevin Sutton)

Texas High's defense was just as effective as its offense, limiting the Razorbacks to under 100 yards of total offense.

Torie Blair finished with 19 carries for 57 yards and a score for the Hogs (1-1). AHS had 98 yards for the game.

The Tigers scored on two of their first three possessions to take a 14-0 lead, and after the Razorbacks got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter to cut their deficit to one score, THS got back in the end zone in two plays.

"We need to play perfect to have a chance to win," Arkansas High head coach Barry Norton said. "And we needed to play from even or ahead. When we're within one score, we were OK, but when it was two scores, they controlled the tempo of the ballgame. We couldn't ever get it in our favor. We're not mature enough as a football team or as an offense to play catch up."

Texas High had 213 yards of total offense before intermission, when it led 21-7. Cooper accounted for much of first-half yardage total with 133 yards on 17 rushes, scoring twice.

He capped the initial Tiger campaign with a 2-yard plunge with 9:20 left in the first quarter. He had 33 and 14 yard rushes on the drive.

Texarkana, Texas, High School students cheer from the student section for the Tigers playing against the Razorbacks on Friday at Razorback Stadium in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Photo by Hunt Mercier/Texarkana Gazette.

"Tracy did a great job; he protected the ball and protected our offense," Stanford said. "He gave us a chance to win. Rian can do so much with his feet, and that's something we can begin to utilize more and more. Tyrell is probably the fastest kid we have on the team and he can really expand plays. The more we can involve those guys in the backfield, the more it gives us a chance every game."

The Razorbacks' first drive was cut short when the ball was fumbled on the second play, and Texas High linebacker Javarous Tyson recovered the loose ball.

Arkansas High held on fourth down to get the ball back near midfield, but the Tigers got the ball right back after a short punt.

It took 10 plays for Texas High to drive 55 yards, Clayton Smith grabbing an 8-yard pass from Cellars for the score with 1:25 left in the first.

The Razorbacks responded with a 9-play, 68-yard drive. Blair covered 8 yards for the score with 10:34 left in the second.

On the ensuing Tiger possession, Cellars connected with Kobe Webster for a 19-yard gain to midfield on the first snap, and Cooper broke free for a 50-yard jaunt to paydirt on the second play.

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