TEXARKANA, Texas — Texas High made some personnel changes early in the game, and it paid off big dividends on Homecoming.
Brayson McHenry took over at quarterback, and starting QB Rian Cellers ended up on the receiving end of five receptions and three touchdowns as the Tigers hammered Forney, 49-10, to celebrate homecoming Friday at Tiger Stadium in Grim Park.
The Tiger offense rolled up 580 yards of total offense — most coming before backups played the entire fourth quarter. THS' defense limited the Jackrabbits to 114 yards in the game.
"We played a really clean game, for the most part, outside of a couple of special teams snafus early," Texas High head coach Gerry Stanford said. "This was our most complete game, matching our offense with our defense, and we settled in early.
McHenry connected on 23-of-29 passes for 368 yards and five TDs — all five scores coming in the first half. Cellers had five grabs for 116 yards and three scoring grabs, Caden Miller had seven receptions for 69 yards, Blake Rogers added four for 59 and Zane Dodson had 3 for 47.
Tre Roberts and Clayton Smith had the other scoring receptions, and Braylon Stewart rushed for a pair of third-quarter touchdowns. Stewart finished with 18 rushes for 90 yards, scoring from the 7 and 3 to finish off the only drives of the third quarter for Texas High.
The Tigers scored on five straight possessions, after a missed field goal on their first drive, and Texas High scored 21 consecutive points to take a 35-10 lead into the locker rooms at intermission.
"Overall, as a team we made the biggest jump from Week 1 to Week 3, that we've had here," Stanford said. "We're in a good place heading into our open week."
McHenry and Cellers had three TD connections in the opening half. Up 7-3, Cellers outran his defender on a deep post for an easy 60-yard touchdown with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
Brayden Kirkland took the ensuing kickoff for Forney and returned it for a 94-yard score, cutting THS' lead to 14-10 with 4:42 left in first.
Cellers had a 19-yard catch on a slant pattern to cap the next Texas High drive with 54 seconds remaining in the first.
The Tiger defense forced a punt on the next Forney drive, and the punt was downed at the Texas High 1-yard line. Seven plays later, McHenry pump-faked and then hit Roberts down the sideline for a 46-yard TD with 5:51 left in the first half.
The Tigers forced a 3-and-out on the next Jackrabbit possession, and fighting the clock, Texas high marched 90 yards on 10 plays: Cellers out-jumping the Forney cornerback for a 22-yard score with 0.9 ticks left.
On the first offensive play of the game, Forney fumbled and Jackson Halter recovered for THS at the Jackrabbit 16. The short field resulted in a missed field goal.
On the ensuing Forney drive, Halter intercepted a pass across the middle to give Texas High the ball at the 19. Five plays later, Smith hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from McHenry — the first of five in the first half.
Prior to the game, Ashlyn Stiger was announced as Texas High's Homecoming Queen.