JACKSONVILLE, Texas — Texas High continues to improve as it gets a step closer to a district title and the postseason.
The Tigers rolled up 475 yards of total offense, gaining 22 first downs, and rolled up Jacksonville, 52-23, Friday at the Tomato Bowl.
Texas High (8-0, 4-0) plays at Nacogdoches next Friday with a 5 p.m. kickoff before returning home Dec. 4 against Whitehouse.
"We knew Jacksonville had the ability to put up points and cause problems defensively," Texas High coach Gerry Stanford said. "What they did on offense, they've done to everybody. We had to be ready to play. Our kids stepped up to the challenge."
The Tigers held a 42-13 lead at halftime, and Rian Cellers scored his second touchdown of the game to finish off the first drive of the second half for THS. Cellers hauled in a 22-yard TD from Brayson McHenry to make it 49-13 with 8:38 left in the third quarter.
Cellers finished with six catches for 162 yards and two TDs, and McHenry connected on 15-of-21 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns. With leading rusher Braylon Stewart sidelined, three different running backs scored a rushing TD.
Dequerrion Witcher and Donnie Grissom led the ground attack with 83 yards and 80 yards, respectively, and each scored a TD.
The Tigers scored on 6 of 7 possessions in the first half, piling up 333 yards of total offense before intermission, when Texas High held a 42-13 lead.
The Indians took the opening kickoff and marched 69 yards in nine plays, snapping the Tigers' streak of no points allowed at 10 quarters. Kasey Canady caught the 6-yard score from Patrick Clater after the ball was tipped by another Jacksonville receiver in the end zone.
The PAT was blocked, and Texas High needed six plays to cover 70 yards to tie the game on Blake Rogers' 24-yard pass from McHenry. Oscar Hernandez's PAT kick gave the Tigers the lead with 7:33 left in the first quarter.
Hernandez kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and also made all seven PATs.
After a Jacksonville punt, Texas High needed just four plays to get back in the end zone, this time Witcher covering 13 yards on his fourth carry of the game to cap the 71-yard drive.
Guy Johnson broke free for a 14-yard scamper to finish off the next Tiger possession, which started at the THS 42-yard line after Jalen Jones forced an Indian fumble, which Jackson Halter recovered.
Jacksonville went 3-and-out on its ensuing drive, and Caleb Arnold's 20-yard punt return set up Texas High at the Indian 49. Nate Mennie caught a 16-yard pass, and Caden Miller caught a 33-yard score to give the Tigers a 28-6 lead with 10:34 left in the first half.
The Indians scored on Devin McCuin's 58-yard TD reception, and Grissom finished off an 8-play, 55-yard campaign with his 2-yard run for Texas High. Cellers had a 28-yard strike from McHenry with 48 seconds left before intermission after Jacksonville failed on a 4th-down play at the Indian 44.
McCuin had an 8-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter, and Jose Solano booted a 32-yard field goal for the Indians in the third quarter.