By BRAD KEITH
COLLEGE STATION (June 29, 2017) — Tyshon Hopkins scored two touchdowns – including the game winner – and intercepted a pass to lead Dublin to a thrilling 20-19 win over Liberty to begin Pool F competition at the Texas 7-on-7 Championships presented by Adidas at Veterans Park & Sports Complex Thursday.
Stephenville wasn’t as fortunate, as Navasota scored the final 19 points in a 50-36 win over the Yellow Jackets, who were on top 36-31 early in the second half.
Dublin’s other touchdown was scored Keith Wright, with all three scoring passes coming from Josh Hanes. The Lions trailed 7-0 after tossing an interception on the second play and seeing Liberty quickly turn the takeaway into a touchdown. Each defense then made stops before the Hanes got hot with TD strikes to Wright then Hopkins. Liberty edged closer but couldn’t convert an extra-point conversion, leaving the Lions ahead 14-13 at intermission.
The Lions moved ahead 20-13 on the TD by Hopkins only to see Liberty go over the top to a talented receiver to cut it to 20-19. The ensuing extra point pass was overthrown, and Hanes completed one pass before spiking the ball and allowing time to expire. While trailing 14-13, Liberty had a touchdown negated for the quarterback holding the ball longer than four seconds. Liberty also had an illegal formation on a third and long that resulted in an automatic turnover on downs.
Dublin didnt need any more favors, as Tim Teten picked off a Liberty pass, then gave the Lions their initial first down of the second half with a reception on a Hanes deep ball. Dublin needed just one more first down – the TD to Hopkins in the left flat – to hold on. The Lions are currently battling Rockale and concludes Pool F action with a 5 p.m. game against San Augustine.
The first 34 minutes were as back and forth as it gets between Stephenville and Navosata. Stephenville used an interception return for a TD by Cody Storrs and a interception return for two points on a Navasota conversion try to keep it close at halfitmek, when Navasota led 25-22.
Navasota had a hard time locating Stephenville running back Krece Nowak throughout the game, and the junior-to-be was left all alone as Schouten hit him for a 29-25 lead. It appeared the defense would back it up with a takeaway, but officials ruled incomplete pass on a ball even the intended receiver thought was picked off by Pettit. It would have been the senior cornerback’s third interception of the game.
The Rattlers took advantage, scoring for a 31-29 edge, only to see Clay Krause score for the second time on a pass from Schouten. Krause caught the conversion pass, too, and Stephenville led 37-36.
The Jackets wouldn’t score again, finishing with an interception and two turnovers on downs. Navasota led 37-36 after a score, then turned the interception into points for a 44-36 lead. The Rattlers put it away with a three-and-out and drive to the end zone, opening up a 14-point lead. One final stop by its defense had the Rattlers celebrating as if they had just won the whole tournament. Stephenville faces Melissa at 4 p.m. and Falls City at 6 p.m. in its other Poll P match-ups.
Photo gallery coming after completion of Thursday pool games.