SPORTS HEADLINES

Hawley routs Chico in bi-district

By Reece Waddell | Published Thursday, November 15, 2018.
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Colton Marshall wasted no time leaving his mark on the 2A Division I Region I bi-district playoff game Thursday night.

The Hawley junior intercepted a pass and scored four first-half touchdowns, leading the Bearcats to a 69-15 rout of the Chico Dragons at Jacksboro ISD Stadium.

“We played a team tonight that’s a championship program,” said Chico coach Clay Sanders. “They’ve been doing it for a while and we kind of saw where our measuring stick is. It was a good game for us. We have a lot of work to do.”

Chico turned the ball over three times in the first half. Logan Ellis was picked off twice and the Dragons also fumbled the snap on a punt attempt.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Hawley turned those three miscues into 21 points  as the Bearcat offense racked up 313 yards of offense in the first half. Frazier ended the game 8-for-10, throwing for 80 yards and a touchdown. He also added a score on the ground.

The Dragons committed six turnovers — five interceptions and one fumble — with Hawley capitalizing on each. Ellis was under constant duress most of the game.

“It was just a product of penetration,” Sanders said. “They are huge and very big. I was very impressed with their line and not just the size of it, but how quick they are and how they never got fatigued. That’s a good football team.”

The Dragons’ offense was in the red for the first quarter-and-a-half, moving backwards until Ellis connected with Starnes on a screen for 15 yards. Chico drove into Hawley territory and kept the drive alive with a fake field goal.

On the next play, Starnes found the end zone from nine yards out. The senior added a 72-yard kickoff return for Chico’s other score.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Outside of Starnes, Hawley bottled up the Dragons’ offense. Chico was held to just 128 yards.

Sanders said the offensive struggles boiled down to physicality.

“Playoff football in Texas isn’t just gravy. You have to be a good football team in all facets,” Sanders said. “We’re not where we need to be and they understand it, but Chico gave everything we had tonight. I wish I could have the seniors for another year.”

Sanders ends his first season at the helm with a 5-6 record. Chico extended its postseason appearance streak to three years, but the Dragons have yet to win a playoff game.

In the coming years, Sanders said he plans to change that. He thanked his seniors for their dedication, adding that the team took a major step forward this year because of them.

“We’re going to be a championship program, there’s no doubt in my mind. But we have to work hard,” Sanders said. “[The seniors] laid an important foundation. I’m so proud they bought in. We’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we could be if they didn’t.”

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