Big fourth quarter lifts Hallettsville over Edna
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HALLETTSVILLE - If this was the last game Hallettsville plays at Brahma Memorial Stadium this season, the home team certainly went out in style.
A fourth-quarter flurry propelled the Brahmas to a 41-21 victory over Edna. Friday's win meant the Brahmas (9-0, 4-0) clinched a share of the District 14-2A, Division I title.
Hallettsville's Teidrick Smith ran for two of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Kaden Hardt's 58-yard run with 7:18 remaining was sandwiched between Smith's 16th and 17th touchdowns of the season.
"It's awesome. I love it. I couldn't ask for anything more than this," said Smith, a senior who ran for 118 yards on the evening. "I wish I was younger."
For three quarters the teams traded field position and touchdown drives.
Edna opened the second half with a 15-play, 75-yard drive to take a 21-14 lead. Dominique Gosson plowed in from a yard away with 6:00 remaining in the third to give the Cowboys (6-3, 3-1) their second lead of the night.
However, the Cowboys couldn't corral anymore points. Edna's final five drives ended with two punts, two interceptions and a turnover on downs at the Hallettsville 5 with less than two minutes remaining.
Gosson finished with 95 yards on 16 carries. His teammate Londray Brown caught six balls for 110 yards. But that was not enough in a contest between the district's top two offenses. Hallettsville gained 413 yards, while the Cowboys mustered 260 yards.
Edna coach Mike Pierce said mental mistakes hurt his team, especially late in the second half. However, he praised Hallettsville head coach Tommy Psencik and his staff for making defensive adjustments in the second half.
"It was a good game," Pierce said. "In big games like this, we made more mistakes than they did with the turnovers and some penalties. We just made more mistakes and they are a good football team. You can't make mistakes in big football games. That's what we did."
Pierce said his team will have to correct those as it heads into a critical contest with Rice Consolidated (4-5, 2-2) next week. The winner of that Nov. 9 contest in Edna is assured a playoff spot.
DeQuan Cantu had 139 total yards - 129 passing, 10 rushing - and two touchdowns for Edna. His 14-yard run three minutes into the game opened the scoring. However, the senior also threw three interceptions.
Trenton McGee pilfered two of Cantu's passes, both of which were on highly athletic plays.
With 10 minutes remaining, and seconds after not recovering a fumble, McGee jumped high in the air to intercept the football at its highest point. Two possessions later, the sophomore slipped while in coverage, but was still able to make the interception on his knees at the Edna 30-yard line.
Hallettsville converted both McGee interceptions into touchdowns.
"Practice, we practice every day and go hard," said Hallettsville's Jimario Grounds, who had the Brahmas other interception in the first quarter. "We don't let up in the fourth quarter. We just give it our all."
Grounds also caught a 63-yard TD pass with 31 seconds left in the first quarter to give Hallettsville its first lead.
On that touchdown, Grounds caught a slant from Carson Schindler. However, Edna's David John Kallus hit him immediately and the ball popped in the air. Grounds caught the popup and ran another 50 yards for the score to give the Brahmas a 14-7 lead.
Afterward, a beaming Psencik said it took a complete team effort to beat a good Edna team. He admitted there were times throughout thee game where either team could have won.
Though the Brahmas travel to Hempstead (7-2, 3-1) next week with a chance to win the district crown outright, their head coach was all smiles Friday.
"Basically, you could tell that they wanted it," Psencik said. "The man upstairs has blessed us all along. The kids, he's put something in their heart that's special. They have worked hard - a lot of them since they were sophomores and freshmen. .Everything came together for us tonight."