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Pottsboro picks up bi-district win over White Oak

By Jerry Powers
For the Herald Democrat
Pottsboro's Titus Lyons catches a touchdown pass over  White Oak's Jackson frazier in a 3A Division I Region II bi-district game at Paris.

PARIS — The combination of Titus Lyons and Braden Plyler were too much for White Oak to handle as the Pottsboro Cardinals began their trek back to the title game with a 35-21 victory against White Oak in a Class 3A Division I Region II bi-district match-up at Paris.

Last year's state runner-up pulled away from a tie game in the middle of the first quarter and led by at least two touchdowns the rest of the night on the way to advancing. Pottsboro (9-2) will face Malakoff in the area round at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Texas A&M-Commerce. It is a rematch from last year's region semifinals when the Cardinals won 38-31 with a touchdown in the final minute.

Lyons had his second 200-yard receiving game in three weeks, finishing with eight receptions for 243 yards and two touchdowns while Plyler completed 16-of-21 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and ran 29 times for 98 yards and a score. Jake Kubik added 31 yards and a TD on three catches and Grayson Watson added a TD catch for the Cardinals.

Gavin Bzdil led White Oak (5-3) with 14 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown while Jackson Frazier added 37 yards and a TD on 17 carries and Cayson Stiegley threw for 178 yards and ran for a score. Sam Dusek led the Roughnecks with four catches for 39 yards.

Pottsboro had the first possession and wasted no time as the Cardinals drove to the two and Plyler carried it in for the score.

White Oak answered with a drive to the one and Frazier finished off that series with a TD run to tie it up it at seven with 7:03 left in the first quarter.

The Roughnecks were going to have a chance to take the lead but White Oak muffed the punt and Colton Creswell recovered at the 29-yard line and it didn't take Pottsboro to capitalize on the great field position and score. Kubik hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Plyler and the Cardinals were up 14-7 after a quarter.

Pottsboro widened its lead early in the second quarter. After taking over at its 39-yard line, Plyler connected with Watson from the five for a 21-7 advantage less than two minutes into the frame.

Two completions to Lyons, the last for a 33-yard touchdown, allowed the Cardinals to build a 28-7 margin by the 5:50 mark of the second quarter.

With 2:43 left in the half, White Oak scored on a four-yard carry by Bzdil to get within two touchdowns heading into half-time.

The Roughnecks made a stop on the ensuing Pottsboro possession and had a chance to trim the lead even further but the Cardinals held them as the half ended.

White Oak then started the second half with a kickoff return out to midfield and eventually advanced to the Pottsboro 19-yard line but the Cardinals defense came through again to maintain the two-TD lead.

Late in the third quarter, Plyler found Titus for a 67-yard touchdown pass and a 35-14 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.

Stiegley scored on a nine-yard run with five minutes remaining and White Oak gave itself a chance by recovering the onside kick. A penalty on the play put them at the Pottsboro 34 and the Roughnecks advanced all the way to the seven-yard line but the Cardinals made one final defensive stand, forcing a turnover on downs to finish off the victory.

Bi-district

Class 3A Division I Region II

Pottsboro                 35

White Oak                21