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Tom Bean stays in chase; Tioga eliminated

By Rob Jordan
For the Herald Democrat
Tioga's Carlos Vega (13) and Cody Dutton chase Tom Bean's Bryce Clark during District 5-2A (I) action at Tom Bean.

TOM BEAN — The Tomcats scored 27 points in the first quarter and raced out to a big lead on the way to a 46-8 victory over the Tioga Bulldogs in District 5-2A (I) action.

Tom Bean (2-5, 1-3) kept its playoff hopes alive with the win while eliminating Tioga (1-7, 0-4), which has lost five straight.

The Tomcats head into the season finale needing to win at Collinsville to have a chance at the playoffs on a tie-breaker; if Tom Bean loses it will be eliminated and Collinsville will clinch a spot. Tioga closes out its season by hosting second-place Alvord.

Quarterback Bryce Clark led the way for the Tomcats with five carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for 127 yards and a touchdown on just six completions as as Tom Bean finished with 472 yards.

Caleb Higgs added six carries for 84 yards and a TD and also caught three passes for 77 yards and a score while Patrick Fitzgerald finished with 99 yards on seven carries.

Rylan Newman led Tioga with 17 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown while Chase Evans chipped in 13 carries for 37 yards and Logan Westbrook caught two passes for 40 yards.

Both teams were coming off shutout losses and the Tomcats wasted no time in getting out in front. Tioga received the opening kickoff, but suffered three penalties and was forced to punt, setting the tone for the night.

Clark put the Tomcats on the scoreboard on their first drive with a 17-yard scamper to the end zone then repeated with a two-yard touchdown run on their second possession and Tom Bean had a 14-0 lead with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.

A three-and-out by the Tomcat defense forced Tioga to punt and the Tomcats used excellent field position to put together another scoring drive. This time Clark hit Chase Parsons in the end zone with a three-yard pass with 2:30 remaining in the quarter. The Tomcats pounced on the ensuing kickoff on the Tioga 36-yard line and two plays after the onside recovery Lance Pauler rushed for an 11-yard TD for a 27-0 advantage.

In the second quarter Tom Bean added another touchdown when Higgs caught a 12-yard pass from Clark and the Tomcats went into half-time with a 34-0 lead.

Higgs scored again on Tom Bean’s first possession of the second half, this time with a 24-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs blocked the extra point and the Tomcat lead climbed to 40-0. On the next possession, Tioga drove inside the Tom Bean 10-yard line but couldn’t capitalize on the scoring opportunity and turned the ball over on downs.

Tom Bean added another rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Corbin Ramey did the honors before Tioga got on the board with their lone touchdown of the game, a 27-yard run by Newman. Newman also converted on the two-point attempt to close out the scoring with 7:51 remaining.

District 5-2A (I)

Tom Bean   46

Tioga          8