By Nolan Alexander
The Slaton Tigers made a final playoff push in a must win game versus the Lamesa Tors at Tornado Stadium on Friday (Oct. 29).
The Tigers won the game 42-41 setting them fourth in the District.
The first half of the game kicked off with a Lamesa rushing touchdown from 15-yards out, followed by a missed extra point. The Tigers were able to respond with a touchdown of their own. This was a 41-yard touchdown from running back Tomas Geronimo.
The Tigers decided to go for a two-point conversion with an Eli Perez run that was successful. Shortly after the Tiger touchdown, the Tors were able to respond with a 75-yard touchdown run followed by an unsuccessful two-point attempt.
The Tigers came back with a 63-yard rushing touchdown by running back C.J. Anzley. Again the Tigers went for a two-point conversion but the pass was unsuccessful. The Tigers also capitalized with their next drive with 53-yard passing touchdown to Andre Trotty from Ramirez. The Tigers were able to complete the two-point conversion with a successful run by Anzley. Slaton lead at halftime 22-12.
The second half kicked off with an early touchdown by the Tors. This one came from a 69-yard rushing touchdown, followed by a successful kick from their kicker. Slaton was not able to respond until about the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Lamesa was able to score first though from a 34-yard rushing touchdown and yet another successful kick from their kicker. The Tigers were finally able to respond to the two touchdowns with a 15-yard passing touchdown to Trotty. The two-point attempt was no good.
The Tors were able to come back and drive down half the field and end it with a 53-yard rushing touchdown. Lamesa finally was able to complete their first two-point attempt of the night by running it in.
It was the Tigers turn with the ball, and this time it was their turn to make a long drive. This drive ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown from Geronimo and for the third time for the Tigers, another unsuccessful two-point attempt.
Lamesa’s final points of the night came from 45-yard rushing touchdown. Not wanting to risk another two-point attempt, they went for the extra point. The Tigers now have the last drive with a little over a minute left in the game. The Tors kick it off to Trotty and he returns it to the house for 87 yards.
The Tigers, seeing victory in sight, were able to tag on two more points from Perez’s run for the two-point conversion.
The final score was the Tigers on top 42-41.
Head Coach of the Tigers Lawrence Johnson said the key factor for us getting the victory had to happen on all three phases of the game.
“Our offense scored points when our defense was struggling to make tackles and get off the field,” he said. “Special teams was another contributing factor with some big returns.”
Leading rushers for the Tigers were Geronimo with 20 carries for 168 yards, Anzley with nine carries for 35 yards, Xzavion Whaley with two carries for 16 yards, Ayden Ramirez with five carries for 11 yards and Nate Perez with three carries for 19 yards.
Quarterbacks Eli Perez and Ayden Ramirez combined for a total of 145 yards and three passing touchdowns. They also threw a combined 50 percent and threw one interception.
Leading receivers for the Tigers were Trotty with three catches for 77 yards and Ramirez with two catches for 68 yards.
Slaton takes on Shallowater in their last game of regular season. This will be a home game for the Tigers on Friday (Nov. 5) and Coach Johnson could not be more excited for the game.
“Winning is the ultimate motivating factor for sustaining confidence,” he said. “There has to be an increased level of focus in practice this week and also an increase in being physical.”
In other games in the area, Southland lost to the Motley County Matadors 64-0 in their last game of the season.
The Eagles finished 2-9 on the season and went 0-4 in District. The team did however complete its season, after having to forfeit most of last year’s due to not enough players.
Wilson forfeited their game against Klondike. The Mustangs are scheduled to play Loop Friday at 7:30 p.m. to finish their season. The team is 1-8 overall and 0-2 in District.