Braeden West led a trio of 100-yard rushers as the Thrall Tigers (5-3; 2-2 District 13-2A) all but clinched a playoff spot Friday night with a 44-33 win over the Marlin Bulldogs. Thrall finished the night with 435 yards on the ground with West, Colter Hill, and Tyreke Irvin all surpassing the century-mark in the win.
Thrall got on the board first on their first possession when Irvin went off right tackle from four yards, putting the Tigers up 6-0 with 9:37 to play in the first.
The Tigers then caught the Bulldogs napping with an onside kick. Cayden Watson jumped on the ball at the Marlin 49 and the Tigers were in business again. Four plays later Hill and West changed rolls and West found Hill in the back of the endzone for a 13-yard score. Thrall then led 13-0 with 7:41 remaining in the first.
Thrall appeared to be heading for another score when Marlin’s Tydae Mayes jumped on a Tiger fumble at the Bulldog 44. Marlin took a handoff on the next play, broke through the line and raced to the endzone for the Bulldogs’ first score.
The Tigers found the endzone once more before the end of the quarter when Isaac Martinez finished off the 7-play, 67-yard drive with a 2-yard run over left tackle.
It took the Bulldogs just one play to cut into the lead again. On a reverse play the Bulldogs went untouched for a 62-yard score. The good PAT cut the lead to 19-14
On Thralls next possession Hill picked up the final five yards scoring on a sneak from the one. Thrall’s was pushed to 25-14 with 9:51 remaining in the half.
Caden Leschber blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt that gave the Tigers the ball on their 30. Irvin muscled a 20-yard gain before finishing off the drive with a 5-yard run and Thrall now led 31-14 with 7:39 remaining.
The Bulldogs weren’t ready to concede just yet. Fisher connected on a pair of passes and Lee drove in an11-yard run for the score. At halftime the score stood 31-21.
A turnover set up the Bulldogs’ next score when Fisher picked up a loose ball and raced 81 yards for the score. Thrall’s lead was down to 31-27 with 9:24 remaining in the third.
Neither team managed to score until late in the fourth quarter. Thrall capped a 70-yard drive with a West 14-yard sweep. Byrd’s kick put the Tigers up 38-27 with 4:47 remaining.
Marlin again answered Thrall. On second down Marlin’s QB hit a receiver for an 81-yard score. The Bulldogs had closed the gap to 38-33 with 3:55 remaining.
Thrall used a single play to put the game away. Hill called his own number on a sweep and raced 63 yards to pay dirt. The Tigers were then able to run out the clock and preserve the win.
Thrall plays at Rosebud-Lott this week.