By Jack Walker
Van Alstyne Leader
HOWE — The Cardinals utilized a pair of young quarterbacks and a strong defensive effort to come away with a 28-0 victory against Howe in the District 6-2A (I) opener on Friday night.
Pottsboro (4-1, 1-0) got big passing nights from Zane Pritchett and Hunter Mullenix in the middle two quarters while the Cardinals held Howe (2-3, 0-1) to 171 yards.
A pair of long third-quarter touchdown catches by Kory Waller sealed the win for Pottsboro.
Mullenix found Waller with just over three minutes left in the quarter for a 50-yard touchdown and with just seconds left in the third, Pritchett connected with Waller on the same play, this from 85 yards out, for the final score.
“We just can’t settle on which one to play, they both have the same strengths and they’re both doing a good job.” Pottsboro coach Matt Poe said.
Pritchett finished with 159 yards passing and Mullenix added 75 yards on just four completions.
The Bulldogs could not capitalize on an early break, recovering a fumble at the Pottsboro 36-yard line on the opening possession.
Anthony Hawthorne carried on five consecutive plays and a Joaquin Lopez run picked up 12 but the Cardinal defense stopped the drive at the 10-yard line when a fourth down pass sailed high on the Bulldogs’ best scoring chance of the night.
The Cardinals put together a 15-play, 90-yard drive, getting their first score of the night on a 28-yard pass from Pritchett to Zach Lovelady.
After a three-and-out by the Cardinal defense, Pottsboro put together a 73-yard drive, engineered by Mullenix, and his one-yard dive into the end zone made it a 14-0 game at the half.
Howe had its first drive of the second half stopped by a fumble on a third-and-one, losing 13 yards on a high snap, forcing a punt.
The Bulldogs had a drive working midway through the third period, getting a pair of first downs on runs by Hawthorne, but a holding penalty stopped the march at midfield.
Pottsboro took over at the 50-yard line and on first down, Waller got a good block after a catch on the sideline to spring him for the touchdown.
His 85-yard catch came on Pottsboro’s next possession to close out the scoring.
“When you miss a tackle in space, bad things happen, and we did twice.” Howe coach Zack Hudson said. “We stopped ourselves too many times.”
The Bulldogs have the bye this week while Pottsboro will host Farmersville.