Vandals outlast Tigers to gain state playoff berth, 49-14

Van Zandt County bragging rights and a trip to the upcoming Class 4A state playoffs were on the line Thursday night when the Van Vandals took on the Wills Point Tigers at Van’s Memorial Stadium.
When the dust settled, the Vandals punched their ticket for post-season play as they cruised past Wills Point, 49-14, as the Tigers were mathematically eliminated from any chance at qualifying for the state playoffs in 2015.
Before entering post-season competition, the Vandals, 6-3 overall and 2-2 in District 8-4A, Division I, will conclude their regular season schedule as they will travel to Kaufman to take on the district champion Kaufman Lions in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday, November 6.
The Vandals will enter Kaufman knowing that they will be the fourth place team in the district going into the state playoffs regardless of the outcome against the Lions.

Pirates double up Tigers on rainy night, 28-14

Friday night’s stormy weather and the Crandall defense combined to ground the Wills Point passing game on Friday night, helping contribute to the Tigers 28-14 loss to the Pirates.

Neither team could get much going offensively, as Wills Point finished with 239 total yards of offense and Crandall finished with a nearly identical 244 yards of offense in a showdown of teams entering the game with 1-1 records in District 8-4A play.

Marques Crouch finished as Wills Point’s top ball carrier on the night, logging 36 attempts for 147 yards in the loss. Caden Bennett and Logan Morris each had touchdowns on the ground for Wills Point.

The Tigers, now 1-2 in district play, face a tall order over the season’s final two contests. Wills Point will travel to Van to take on the 1-2 Vandals Oct. 30, and then return home for a contest against the Athens Hornets the following week for Senior Night. 


Tigers lose heartbreaker to Lions, 35-28

The Wills Point Tigers and Kaufman Lions turned back the clock on Friday night, engaging in an old school battle at Ken Autry Davis Field. For the second time at home this season (a 28-27 win by the Canton Eagles being the other), Wills Point just couldn’t get over the hump late in a 35-28 loss.
The Tigers, playing catchup most of the night, knotted the score at 28-28 with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Caden Bennett to Brandon Smith with less than a minute to play. Kaufman answered right back, with senior running back Dru Prox scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 51-yard touchdown with 25 second to play to move the Lions to 2-0 in District 8-4A play, and to knock Wills Point to 1-1 with back-to-back road dates at Crandall and Van in the coming weeks.
Both teams leaned heavily on their rushing attacks in the contest, combining for nearly 600 yards (598) on the ground. 

Defense, rushing attack carry Tigers to 17-7 win

After more than a week of thinking what might have been following their heartbreaking 28-27 non-district finale loss to Canton, the Wills Point Tigers turned the page with their District 8-4A opener against the Mabank Panthers Oct. 9.
The Wills Point Tiger rushing attack and defense each played a starring role in the contest, helping guide the team to a 17-7 road win.
Marques Crouch, who entered the contest with 925 rushing yards and 8 TDs, officially eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark on the season with a 25 carry, 146 yard effort against the Panthers (including a touchdown). Fellow running back Chuck Smith also had a solid effort in the win, logging six carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. 
The Tiger defense, which has improved steadily over the past year and a half under the guidance of head coach Greg Cranfill and defensive coordinator Larry Moorehead, allowed just 119 total yards to the Panthers.

Canton rally stuns Tigers on homecoming night, 28-27

Kendall Brown was crowned 2015 Wills Point High School Homecoming Queen at halftime of Friday night's game between the Tigers and visiting Canton Eagles.

Wills Point and Canton engaged in one of the strangest and most exciting games of the 2015 season on Sept. 25. The Tigers were dominant early against the Eagles, seizing early control by taking a 19-0 lead into the half. The second half looked to be more of the same, but a series of big plays by the Eagles turned the tide quickly, resulting in a 28-27 Canton win.

Special teams were a huge factor in the contest, with Canton blocking an extra point, snuffing out a two-point conversion attempt, blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown and returning a kick for a touchdown.

Tiger quarterback/defensive back Caden Bennett played well on both sides of the ball. The junior scored twice in the ground game, and intercepted two Canton passes.

The Eagles got a strong performance from Brazos Hesskew, who stepped into the quarterback position in the first half and led the Canton comeback.


Costly mistakes hurt Tigers in loss to Yellowjackets

The Wills Point Tigers faced a tall task on Friday night, traveling to Mineola to take on the number one ranked 3A team in the state. Tiger miscues and breakdowns would go a long way to help determine the outcome, with three interceptions and a backbreaking kickoff return for a touchdown leading Mineola to a 35-17 win.

Senior running back Marques Crouch delivered another 100+ yard rushing effort, carrying 30 times for 138. Quarterback Caden Bennett contributed 56 yards and two scores on 10 carries for the Tigers.

Wills Point, now 2-2 on the season, will look to get back on track this week when they host the rival Canton Eagles on homecoming night. The Eagles enter the game with a 1-3 record overall after posting a 35-13 win against Spring Hill.


Tigers grind down Eagles in 37-13 win

The Wills Point Tigers picked up their second consecutive win of the season on Sept. 11 against Wilmer-Hutchins, grinding down the Eagles with a heavy dose of the running game to run away with a 37-13 win.

Although dominant on the stat sheet, Wills Point held just a 15-13 lead after three quarters of play. Powered by a strong ground game and hard hitting defense, the Tigers scored 22 unanswered down the stretch to pull away with the 37-13 win.

Marques Crouch once again shouldered a heavy workload for the Tigers, carrying the ball 38 times for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Chuck Smith finished with a 100 yard day and two touchdowns on just four carries for the 2-1 Tigers.

Defensively, the Wills Point defense held Wilmer-Hutchins to just 187 total yards while forcing four turnovers.

Wills Point will be on the road again on Sept. 18, traveling to take on Mineola. The Tigers will play host to Canton on Sept. 25 for homecoming. 


Cross country team begins season

The WPCC team competed in their first meet of the year on September 5 in Ferris. The varsity girls team placed 4th overall and was led by junior Gaby Gonzalez with a 9th place finish.

Following Gaby was Brisa Carrillo 20th, Abbie Phillips 23rd, Natalee Darst 33rd, and Elizabeth Cockerham 34th.

The varsity boys placed 5th and was led by senior Carlos Hernandez with a 4th place finish. He was closely followed by David Umana in 9th, Aiden Phillips 27th, Jackson Ramsey 33rd, Edwin Figuoria 34th, and Matt Mayfield 36th.

The JV girls team placed 3rd overall, led by Victorya Ortega. Following Ortega was Angeles Ponce, Jazlynne Hernandez, Kimberlie Lumsden, Summerlyn Clark, Sabrina Reyes, Elaine Jeffrey, Christina Aubert, and Jasmin Hererra.

The JV boys finished 12th, led by Trevor Harrell, Adam Shorter, Chase Phillips, Daniel Amaro, and Richardo Gomez.

Placing 2nd overall in the junior high boys division was Cole Williams with a time of 12:51.


Tigers even record with win out Yellowjackets, 33-30

Photo by Seleste Buentello

Linebackers Chuck Smith (22) and Kelvin Love (11) corral Ferris wide receiver Deuntrae Booker.

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Wills Point Tigers accomplished their ultimate goal on Friday night with a 33-30 home win over the Ferris Yellowjackets to improve to 1-1 on the season.

Offensively, the story for the Tigers was running back Marques Crouch. The senior followed up a season opening three touchdown performance in a loss to Forney with an even better one against the Yellowjackets. All told, Crouch logged 39 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and added three catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the receiving game.

Play between the two teams opened with the Yellowjackets on offense. Ferrris picked up a first down before Wills Point caused and recovered a fumble by freshman quarterback Dylan Wright.


Tigers fall to 5A Jackrabbits in opener

Marques Crouch breaks free of the Forney defense for one of his three touchdowns during Friday night's opener against the Jackrabbits.

For the second consecutive season, the Wills Point Tigers faced a tough test in their opener with a contest against the 5A Forney Jackrabbits. Powered by quarterback Luke Skipper’s sensational day, Forney put together an explosive offensive display to hand the Tigers a 56-21 loss.
Skipper, who totaled nearly nearly 200 yards (50 passing, 140 rushing) and two touchdowns in last year's contest, misfired on just two of his 17 pass attempts while totaling over 300 yards passing and six total touchdowns. 
Wills Point running back Marques Crouch bruised his way to 268 yards and three touchdowns on a game-high 36 carries.
Wills Point will look to even their season record when they host Ferris at Ken Autry Davis Field.


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