Friday night’s match-up between the Thrall Tigers and Holland Hornets was a battle to determine playoff seedings. Thrall jumped to an early lead, but in the end Holland’s defense was able to dominate and hand the Tigers a 23-7 set-back.
After a defensive stop forced a Holland punt, the Tigers set up at their own 21. On third and seven Tyreke Irvin swept around the left end and tight-walked down the sideline for a 51-yard gain to the Holland 24. On second and nine Irvin went around the right end for a 14-yard score and Hill’s point after gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 2:51 to play in the opening period.
Despite the quick start, the Tigers wouldn’t find the endzone again even though they pushed the ball inside the Holland 40 three more times in the opening half.
Starting at midfield, the Hornets used a bevy of running backs to grind against the Thrall defense. With 46 seconds remaining in the first Holland’s Ethan Mann took a handoff, broke through the right side of the line, and raced into the endzone from 36 yards out.
Starting at their own 16 the Hornets managed just four yards on their first two plays, but on third down J.C. Chaney went off right tackle and broke loose for what seemed to be a sure touchdown, but Thrall’s Mikey Rodriguez dragged Chaney down at the 30. Rodriguez was flagged for a horse-collar tackle adding 15 yards to Chaney’s 49-yard run and three plays later Karsen Gomez broke off left tackle for an 8-yard scoring run. Arzola’s point after gave the Hornets a 14-7 lead with 9:01 to play in the first half.
After Thrall’s defense held on a fourth down and four at their 21 it appeared Thrall had dodged a bullet. But, on third and 12 Thrall’s Dallas Meiske rolled out to pass and Holland’s Josh Whisenhunt stepped in front of the throw, giving the Hornets the ball at the Thrall 16. It took the Hornets just three plays to get into the endzone. This time Tomasek got the call, sweeping around the left end for the 8-yard score. The kick failed leaving the score 20-7 at the half.
The only scoring in the second half came late in the game when Arzola kicked a 28-yard field goal with 3:57 to play in the game.
The Tigers will now face Normangee in the Bi-District Round. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday night at College Station High School.