After being beaten by Pittsburgh for AFC championships in two consecutive years, the late Texas football coaching legend, O.A.”Bum” Phillips was quoted as saying “We got to the front door, now we need to learn to break it down.”
For the Howe Bulldogs playing against Caddo Mills back on Oct. 18, they got to the front door. Playing Commerce last Friday night on the road they broke it down.
For the Bulldogs, the 26-6 win over the Tigers was their first district win since November 4, 2011, when they defeated Callisburg, 28-19. Ten consecutive league losses followed that win at the end of the 2011 season.
Okay, maybe winning a Class 2A high school football game doesn’t compare with winning a professional title, but just try to tell that to those Bulldog players who followed their impressive effort against Caddo Mills with a breakthrough performance in Commerce.
Howe quarterback Joaquin Lopez threw touchdown passes to Tyler Gresham and Michael Kehrer and ran in a third touchdown just before the half to lead the Bulldog offensive attack. Lopez finished with 14 carries for 54 yards, including a 19-yard scoring jaunt. He completed 4-of-6 pass attempts for 100 yards.
Anthony Hawthorne carried the ball 18 times, picking up 118 yards, with a touchdown and a two-point conversion run. His longest carry covered 51yards.
Gresham had two catches for 58 yards, his longest for 42, while Kehrer caught a 25-yard scoring pass.
Bryce Mosier and Tanner Ford each had interceptions to key a Howe defense that gave up just 171 yards in the contest. The Tigers completed just 1-of-6 pass attempts for seven yards.
Commerce running back Darien Redd had a 58-yard scoring run for the Tigers’ only points and the bulk of their offense for the night.
The win puts Howe at 1-3 in the District 6-2A (I) standings and leaves it in a spoiler role as far as playoff hopes are concerned for 2013.
The Bulldogs will celebrate senior night Friday as they host Van Alstyne.