After starting the year with back-to-back road games, Victoria East wanted to come out strong in Thursday’s home and District 15-5A, District I opener against Corpus Christi Carroll.
The Titans (2-1) accomplished that goal, dominating the Tigers to a 60-21 victory at Memorial Stadium.
It was East’s third straight game scoring over 30 points and the most points scored in a game since its 72-35 win over Corpus Christi Miller on Sept. 14, 2018.
“Not many people get the opportunity that we have today,” said quarterback Jadon Williams. “Regardless of what the score is (Carroll) plays their heart out and I’m just very blessed we came out with a ‘W’ and our first district win.”
Motivated to perform in front of the hometown crowd, Williams threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing for 135 yards and a 48-yard score.
Williams completed touchdown passes to Terrence Terrell, Caden Mozisek, Logan Garis and two to TJ Vargas as East improved to 4-0 all-time against Carroll (0-3, 0-1).
“I don’t want to take anything away from another team, but I believe we should be 3-0 right now,” Williams said. “But we can’t look back, we’ve got to look forward. A lot of teams lost their first game and went deep in the playoffs. So we just have to take that in mind and just keep moving forward.”
Williams’ 32-yard touchdown pass to Terrell came on the game’s opening drive, but Carroll hung around in the first half.
The Tigers scored on their opening drive and near the end of the half to make it a 29-14 game at halftime.
“We just kind of felt like our timing was off just a little bit and we talked about focus (at halftime),” said East head coach Roland Gonzalez. “Execution and not getting caught up in the big picture of the game and the kids did a great job coming out and executing in the second half.”
East made adjustments and outscored Carroll 31-7 in the second half.
Ja Carrien Giles added to the offensive output with 131 rushing yards on nine carries, but East’s defense helped drive the success on offense.
The Titans’ defense finished with four interceptions, three in the second half.
Safety Matthew Jackson had two, while linebacker Trent Zappe and safety Nijahrell Prater had one each. Prater returned his interception 54-yards for a touchdown in the first half.
“Just reading our keys really and everybody working as a team together,” Jackson said. “Also, if somebody accidentally makes a mistake, another person has their back and that’s what helped us with a lot of the picks tonight.”
Jackson’s second interception came off a tipped pass in the final minute and capped the win.
“At halftime we knew we could do better,” Jackson said. “We were not lining up as good as we should have, running the ball as good as we should have and came out the second half and we fixed what needed to be fixed.”
The Titans got off to a successful start in district, but realize they have work to do before Thursday’s game at Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial.