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Cardinals start district with a shutout

Bryce Brakebill,
The Herald Democrat
Pottsboro's Titus Lyons catches a pass in front of Howe's Jordan Jones during the District 5-3A (I) opener.

POTTSBORO — The Cardinals kicked off District 5-3A (I) play with decisive efforts on both sides of the ball with a 52-0 victory over the Howe Bulldogs.

Pottsboro (3-1, 1-0) had to wait and extra week to return to action following its first loss of the season and the Cardinals took that frustration out on Howe (0-4, 0-1).

Braden Plyler completed 10-of-15 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for two scores, Jake Kubik had two catches for 87 yards and a pair of TDs, Jude Bentley and Titus Lyons each added touchdown catches and Halen Flanagan ran for 108 yards and a score on 10 carries for Pottsboro, which led 45 at half-time.

Howe finished with a yardage total of negative-13 and only three first downs. Austin Haley completed five-of-12 passes for four yards and the Bulldogs ran 20 times for minus-17 yards.

The Cardinals kicked off the scoring six minutes into the first quarter with a one-yard quarterback sneak by Plyler giving. Pottsboro quickly added to its lead when Plyler zipped a beautiful 41-yard pass to Kubik for a touchdown with just under four minutes remaining in the frame.

Pottsboro found the end zone once more in the first quarter on another keeper by Plyler, this time to the tune of three yards and another seven points for the Cardinals pushed Pottsboro's lead out to 21-0.

Keeping the momentum going in the second, the Cardinals wasted no time putting up another seven points with another deep-ball connection between Kubik and Plyler, this time for a 46-yard touchdown. A fumbled kickoff return by the Bulldogs proved costly and the Cardinals took advantage of the good field position.

Plyler found Lyons for a 33-yard touchdown catch and the Cards had their second TD in a seven-second span.

Plyler picked up his fourth and final touchdown pass with a perfect 39-yard throw to Bentley in the middle of the second quarter for a 42-0 advantage. The Cardinals put up a final three points in the dominant first half with a 32-yard field goal by senior kicker Jacob McDonald with a couple of minutes to go until the break.

There was no scoring in the third quarter and Pottsboro was able to finish off its first shutout of the season. The Cardinals found the end zone in the fourth on a 17- yard run by Flanagan with 9:09 remaining.

“We came out and did what we were supposed to do,” Cardinals head coach Matt Poe said. “We played at a high level and I'm proud of the team.”

District 5-3A (I)