MESQUITE — Van Alstyne put together a gritty comeback attempt on Nov. 22, putting a scare into Malakoff. It wasn’t enough, however, as the Tigers ended Van Alstyne’s season, 38-25, in their Class 2A Division I Area playoff game.
Standing on the cold, wet surface at Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium last Friday night, one of the things Van Alstyne Head Coach Mikeal Miller wanted to say was how proud he was of his team.
Proud, not just of how they fought back in the fourth quarter when they trailed 32-6, but how proud he was of their effort all season.
How proud he was of the eight senior players on this team who led the way back from a disappointing 2012 season to an Area round berth.
“They never gave up on each other,” Miller said. “They worked hard to get here.”
In the Panther’s loss to Malakoff, two defensive plays stand out. The fumble returns for touchdowns by Will Jones and Bryce Himmelreich were, obviously, highlight reel moments for these guys.
Perhaps unseen was the season-long work of Jones and Himmelreich and Tyler Clinton, Will Jones, Matt Burge, Adam White, Riley Sprowl, Triston Pryor, Ryan Folk, Joseph Chisenall and Jake Haker, all who deserved more recognition than they received.
Seniors Lane Morgan, Ryan Robbins, Aaron Russell, Jeff Dietz , Joseph Demond Connor Mayes and Matt Perez, wrapped up their high school careers in this game.
Guys such as Bryce Moody, Kyler Jay, Seth Caraway, Ryan Folk, Will Brogdon, Zach Madison and Collin Fagan also never got the ‘pub” that they deserved.
And to the players who stood out every week, players such as Alex Phillips, Kearon Redmon, Shawn Wheeler, Dont’e Kehler, Trent Alexander, Trey Burden, Terry Lawrence, and Mayes, the ending came too suddenly.
To those guys, the coaches and support personnel, the success of the 2013 Panther football team was made possible by the work they put in from the heat of Aug. 5 to that cold, wet night of Nov. 22.
Van Alstyne 6 0 0 19 — 25
Malakoff 7 19 6 6 — 38
M:Marcus Dowell 3 run (Omar Gonzalez kick) 8:37
VA: Will Jones 10 fumble return (kick failed) 5:30
M: Damontes Dowell 1 run (kick failed)11:16
M: Damontes Dowell 30 run (Gonzalez kick)7:45
M: Damontes Dowell 79 run (kick failed) 5:17
M: Zack Jarrett 14 pass from Deric Greenhaw (run failed) 1:30
VA: Bryce Himmelreich 47 fumble return (run failed) 11:23
M: Marcus Dowell 22 run (kick failed) 8:27
VA: Shawn Wheeler 16 pass from Alex Phillips(kick failed) 6:12
VA: Phillips 1 run (Matt Perez kick) 1:44
Van Alstyne Malakoff
First downs 7 16
Rushes-yards 28-130 44-304
Passing yards 80 92
C-A-I 4-12-1 5-7-0
Punts-average 4-32 0
Penalties-yards 5-25 7-60
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-2
Rushing—Van Alstyne:Dont’e Kehler 6-70,Alex Phillips 14-36,Kearon Redmon 2-14, Terry Lawrence 6-10.
Malakoff:Damontes Dowell 21-194, Marcus Dowell 17-108,Dariuhn Jackson 1-6, Deric Greenhaw 5-(-4).
Passing—Van Alstyne: Alex Phillips 4-12-1 80. Malakoff 5-7-0 92.
Receiving—Van Alstyne:Grayson Leinart 2-52, Shawn Wheeler 1-16, Trey Burden 1-12. Malakoff:Terrance Scott 2-52,Marcus Dowell 1-23, Zack Jarrett 1-14, Jared Givens 1-3.