Daingerfield wins second straight title

Posted By Coleman Swierc

WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS (Longview News Journal) — If the 2009 Daingerfield Tigers had not already carved their own niche in this East Texas town's storied football history, they did so with an exclamation point on Saturday.

Quarterback Tyler Boyd threw for five touchdowns and 175 yards and ran for another score, leading the Tigers to a 62-14 win over Bushland in the Class 2A Division II championship game at Memorial Stadium.

For coach Barry Bowman's Tigers it marks back-to-back championships, as Daingerfield secured its fifth crown. The Tigers also won it all in 1968, 1983, 1985 and 2008.

Bowman said it's unfair to compare teams.

''This is a special group. We've really had two amazing years,'' Bowman said. ''Our offense has capitalized on take-aways all season, and we did it again tonight. I thought our defense also really played well."

Boyd, only a junior, gave credit to the guys up front.

"This was a night to remember. It's an honor for me and this football team," Boyd said. "I'm proud of my teammates. My offensive line did a tremendous job. Coming into the game we wanted to run the football. I never thought about having a passing performance like this."

His scoring strikes covered 22 and 39 yards to Chris Jones, 18 and 17 yards to Keyarris Garrett, and 26 yards to Jerriod Whetstone.

Boyd, who had 117 yards rushing, also scored on a 14-yard run midway through the third quarter.

"He's a leader and he's winner and he's going to find a way to beat you. Tonight he did it running and throwing the football," Bowman said of Boyd, who has directed the Tigers to 30 wins and two state championships.

KoKo Smith anchored a 454-yard rushing performance with a career-performance, rushing for 293 yards which included scoring runs of eight and one yard in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers rolled up 629 yards of total offense on their way to their 15th victory of the season (15-1). Bushland completed the season with a 15-1 record.

Daingerfield's defense limited Bushland's high-powered offense to 320 yards of total offense. The Falcons finished with 178 yards rushing and 142 passing yards. Bushland quarterback Brett Wilheim was 15 of 26 with an 11-yard scoring pass to Michael Matthews. Wilheim also threw an interception, picked off by junior linebacker Steve Edmond.

The Falcons only other touchdown came on a Rawley Gomez scoring strike of 11 yards to Matthews. It came with 3:35 left in the third quarter and snapped a run of 41 unanswered points to open the game by the Tigers.

Shayvion Hatten recovered a fumble in the end zone for the other Tigers touchdown.

The Tigers got on the scoreboard shortly after a Josh Evans fumble recovery at the Daingerfield 47 with 11:52 remaining in the opening period. It took the Tigers just six plays to go 53 yards with Boyd hooking up with Jones for his first of five passing touchdowns in the contest, with 8:36 left in the first quarter. B.J. Johnson added the extra point and the Tigers were on their way.

The Tigers extended their lead to 13-0 with an 18-yard Boyd completion to Garrett to cap a three-play, 78-yard march with 2:28 remaining in the first period.

Bushland's second fumble of the contest was recovered by Scott Irvin and led to Boyd's second scoring toss to Garrett — a 17-yard strike, on the quarterback's fourth completion of the contest. It was the first of three second-quarter scores for the Tigers, extending their lead to 21-0 after Boyd's two-point completion on the extra point to Edmond.

Boyd's scoring toss to Whetstone capped a 58-yard march with 6:32 remaining in the second quarter. The Tiger defense held and Boyd and Jones then hooked up for their second scoring play of the game — a 39-yard pass-and- run, extending the Tigers lead to 34-0 right before the end of the first half.

Boyd's only scoring run of the game completed a three-play, 71-yard march with 5:28 left in the third quarter.

The Falcons then got on the board with a little bit of trickery as Gomez took a lateral from Wilheim and found Matthews for 11 yards and a touchdown to pull Bushland back to within 34, 41-7.

Smith's touchdown runs capped drives of 97 yards and 67 yards, and followed Hatten's fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown with 11:33 left in the fourth quarter.

Jones led the Tiger receiving corps with five catches for 67 yards. Gomez and Travis Latham each had four receptions for the Falcons.