DE LEON – Any doubt whether Tolar quarterback Corbin Wood could overcome a slightly separated left shoulder was obliterated Friday night as he threw for almost 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 30-7 win over De Leon at Bearcat Stadium.
The win lifted the Rattlers to 2-1 on the season heading into their off week. They begin District 6-2A Divisiion II play at Dallas Life Oak Cliff on Sept. 27.
The Rattlers played without standout running back Cory Solomon, who sat out with an ankle injury.
Tolar receivers Blake Watson, Dalton Shaw, Kaleb Gilliam and Garrett Winston shredded the De Leon defense while Wood completed 13 of 18 with no interceptions.
Blayne Denton, starting at tailback for Solomon, scored TDs on runs of 5 and 2 yards to give Tolar a 14-0 lead by the 5-minute mark in the second quarter.
The Bearcats (2-1) outgained Tolar on the ground, 154-95, but the Rattlers had to punt only once.
In addition to Wood’s touchdown passes of 27 yards to Watson and 63 yards to Gilliam, he also brutalized the Bearcats with several other big plays, including completions of 49, 23 and 51 yards.
The defense, meanwhile, turned away one scoring threat early in the second quarter when Winston made a leaping grab in the end zone for an interception and touchback, followed by three consecutive De Leon possessions that ended in punts on the way to a 21-0 halftime lead for the Rattlers.
Tolar dominated despite having a total of five players who didn’t suit up because of injuries.
“It was a good win. We moved the ball well,” Tolar coach Mike Franklin said. “I thought the offense did a great job. The kids stepped up.”
Unlike the previous game, a loss to Comanche, everything seemed to be clicking for Tolar’s air attack – even when the play didn’t go exactly as planned. That was evident early in the second quarter on third-and-5 when Wood eludued a sack with a wild scramble on the left side, then sprinted to the right side and uncorked a long pass that appeared to be intended for Watson.
But even though Watson couldn’t reach the ball as he dived at midfield, Shaw came back to the ball and hauled it in before running to the De Leon 26-yard-line for a 49-yard completion.
“He figures out a way to get himself free and make those throws,” Franklin said of Wood’s ability. He’s just uncanny.”
Wood played the entire game at quarterback, but was rested on defense. Reserve quarterback Dakota Endsley, who also plays defensive back, played the entire game on defense but didn’t take a snap.
Franklin said he told Wood if he “took a shot” on defense, he would pull him out of the game to protect the separated left shoulder.
“I thought he was very efficient,” Franklin said of Wood’s performance. “He was making good reads and throwing the ball on time. (De Leon) packed the box. They kept seven men in the box even when we had four wide receivers. They were saying ‘We’re not going to let you run.’ Some of those could very easily have been runs had they given us a different front.”
After the Bearcats scored their lone TD on a 3-yard run by Auston Sadberry with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter, they didn’t get inside Tolar’s 40-yard line the rest of the way.
“I was mainly proud of the heart the team showed,” said Hunter Ryan, a strong-side linebacker who recorded 1.5 sacks in the game. “We didn’t stop fighting. They drove on us two times, but we responded defensively. I’m really proud of our defense. Everyone stepped up.”
Franklin praised the defensive game plan put together by defensive coordinator Gregg Lee – as well as the way the plays executed on the field.
“We were trying to stop what they do best, which is run the ball,” Franklin said.
Because of the number of players of injured players, four sophomores were brought up to the varsity for the game – Marcus Garcia, Tyler Anderson, Jay Diehl and Derek Jacks. After suffering a cracked fibula, Jacks will be out for awhile.
Denton suffered a shoulder stinger in the game against De Leon and was planning to have an MRI done early this week, Franklin said.
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Rattlers 30, Bearcats 7
Tolar 7 14 6 3 – 30
De Leon 0 0 7 0 – 7
T – Blayne Denton 5 run (Garrett Winston kick)
T – Denton 2 run (Winston kick)
T – Blake Watson 27 pass from Corbin Wood (Winston kick)
DL – Auston Sadberry 3 run (Donny Cervantes kick)
T – Kaleb Gilliam 63 pass from Wood (kick failed)
T – Winston 22 field goal
Tolar De Leon
First downs 16 12
Rushes-yards 25-95 48-154
Passing yards 294 22
Passes 13-18 0 2-3-1
Punts-avg. 1-34 -35
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 8-52 2-10
Tolar – Blake Watson 4-50, Blayne Denton 12-24, Corbin Wood 4-14, Marcus Garcia 4-7, Garrett Winston 1-0.
De Leon – Auston Sadberry 11-66, Danny Cervantes 17-45, Josh Brownlee 18-41, William Garcia 2-5, Robin Palmer 5-(minus 3).
Tolar – Wood 13-18-0, 294 yards.
De Leon – Brownlee 2-3-1, 22 yards.
Tolar – Blake Watson 3-90, Dalton Shaw 3-85, Kaleb Gilliam 2-78, Winston 3-32, Hunter Ryan 1-6, Conner Robinson 1-2.
De Leon – Sadberry 1-23, Cass Griffin 1-(minus 1).