For the second week in a row, the Tolar football team faced a challenge early, but broke loose for an easy District 6-2A Division II triumph – this time behind a stellar rushing performance from running back Cory Solomon.
Solomon scored four touchdowns and gained 262 yards on 28 carries as the Rattlers (4-1, 2-0 in district) rolled to a 48-7 victory over Millsap (2-2, 1-1), ending the Bulldogs’ two-game winning streak.
The win leaves Tolar tied with Scurry-Rosser and Mildred – the Rattlers’ next two opponents – at the top of the district standings.
“It puts us right where we want to be. Our district championship is the next two weeks, for us,” Tolar head coach Mike Franklin said. “It’s going to be one of us three (to win the district title). I’d be shocked if it wasn’t.”
The Bulldogs led until the Rattlers’ second TD at the 1:05 mark in the opening quarter, when Solomon galloped 68 yards to cap a 76-yard, eight-play drive. With both of Tolar’s place-kickers (Garrett Winston and Dalton Shaw) sidelined with injuries, Wood passed to Dakota Endsley for a 2-point conversion to give Tolar a 14-7 edge.
Franklin once again emphasized the fact that his offensive line stays fresh, not having to play much on defense. He also praised good blocking by fullbacks T.J. Foster and Langston.
But Franklin said he told his players that it will be essential to step up their level of play as they go into the next two games – at home against Scurry-Rosser and at Mildred, the 2012 state runner-up.
“If we don’t play better football in the first half, it will hurt us,” Franklin said of the Rattlers’ recent slow starts. “We made very little adjustments, but we came out and played so much better in the second half. We had kids step up and make plays.”
Solomon – never a talkative type, even after an oustanding performance – said he believed his total was a few yards more than his previous career best.
He gave credit to the offensive line as well as quarterback Corbin Wood, who added another dimension to the offense with 105 yards rushing and one TD.
“The blocking was great,” Solomon said. “It’s good to have Corbin – somebody else that can run the ball, too.”
Concerning the team’s momentum, with three consecutive wins, Solomon said, “Scurry’s going to be hard next week. We’ve gotta keep that going.”
Andrew Tyson’s 70-yard TD run gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter.
Tolar pulled within 7-6 with 5:34 remaining in the quarter on a 7-yard scoring run by Nathan Langston.
After Tolar gained the lead, Millsap drove to the Tolar 8-yard line before the Rattlers stopped the nine-play drive on fourth-and-4.
Tolar led 22-7 at halftime after Solomon’s 1-yard TD run with 1:15 to go in the second quarter. That was set up by a 28-yard completion to Kaleb Gilliam thrown by Blake Watson.
Solomon’s TD runs of 1 and 4 yards in the third quarter pushed Tolar’s lead to 34-7 midway through the period.
The Rattler defense made another stand, stopping the Bulldogs at Tolar’s 15-yard line at the 1:18 mark in the third quarter.
Marcus Garcia’s 7-yard TD run just four seconds into the fourth quarter extended Tolar’s lead to 40-7. That drive was set up by a 57-yard run by Solomon.
On Tolar’s final possession, Wood started to handed off to Langston, but surprised everyone – especially the Millsap defense – by pulling the ball back when he saw a defender about to make the tackle. Wood then scampered 29 yards around right end to record the final TD.
Franklin noted that the receiving corps was outstanding, despite missing Garrett Winston and Dalton Shaw – two other players who missed the game with injuries.
“All of the receivers stepped up and played hard the whole game,” Franklin said.
SCURRY-ROSSER COMing TO TOWN
Franklin said Scurry-Rosser’s offense is a lot like the Rattlers in its ability to spread out defenses, and has a standout running back this season who moved in from Irving. The Wildcats are 5-0 overall. Their 63-7 win over Dallas Life Oak Cliff gave them 116 points so far in two district outings.
“They line up in the shotgun and spread you out,” Franklin said. “They’re a quality football team. It’s going to be a big game. They’re scoring a lot of points on people.”
Franklin said he thinks most, if not all, of his injured players should be ready to return to action Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rattler Stadium.
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Rattlers 48, Bulldogs 7
Millsap 7 0 0 0 – 7
Tolar 14 8 12 14 – 48
M – Andrew Tyson 70 run (Mitchell Coker kick)
T – Nathan Langston 7 run (kick failed)
T – Cory Solomon 68 run (kick failed)
T – Solomon 1 run (Dakota Endsley pass from Corbin Wood)
T – Solomon 1 run (run failed)
T – Solomon 4 run (run failed)
T – Marcus Garcia 7 run (run failed)
T – Corbin Wood 29 run (Solomon run)
First downs 7 30
Rushes-yards 46-169 44-395
Passing yards 63 115
Passes 2-9-1 9-29-0
Punts-avg. 3-26 4-41
Fumbles-lost 7-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 9-100 7-45
Millsap – Dylan Burton 18-83, Andrew Tyson 2-66, Morgan DePriest 8-30, Nick Lucia 7-22, Coleman Hutchison 5-10, Aaron Peninger 1-12, Kaden King 1-(minus 1), Jordan Richardson 1-(minus 9).
Tolar – Cory Solomon 28-262, Corbin Wood 11-105, Marcus Garcia 2-11, Nathan Livingston 1-7, Blake Watson 1-6, Kaleb Gilliam 1-4.
Millsap – Lucia 2-9-1, 63 yards.
Tolar – Wood 7-26-0, 68 yards; Watson 1-1-0, 28 yards; Dakota Endsley 2-19.
Millsap – Jaxon Martin 1-37, King 1-26.
Tolar – Gilliam 2-33, Conner Robinson 2-32, Endsley 2-21, Watson 2-17, Rodie Brister 1-12.