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Solid defense shines in Bulldogs’ homecoming victory against Kountze

Marcus Hood (10) blocks for Malyk Johnson. Attempting to make the tackle for Kountze is Grayland Arnold (1). (Photo by Linda Jacobsz0Marcus Hood (10) blocks for Malyk Johnson. Attempting to make the tackle for Kountze is Grayland Arnold (1). (Photo by Linda Jacobsz0

By Linda Jacobs
Contributing Writer

CORRIGAN—The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs overcame adversity and a first half deficit to defeat the Kountze Lions Friday night, 28-20 at Bulldog Stadium.

The Lions outscored Corrigan in the first half after the home team failed to score inside the five yard line on the opening drive of the game. The Bulldogs would trail at the break, 13-6.

Both sides of the ball turned up the intensity level in the second half and outscored the visiting Lions 22-7. The 'Dogs played solid defense and stopped the Lions twice on fourth downs and intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter to halt potential scoring drives.

"We showed some heart tonight and that was good to see," commented Corrigan head coach Seven Armstrong, whose team improves to 3-1 for the season.

"We shut them out in the second half. We've come a long way defensively and we're playing pretty good defense now. We especially did in the second half tonight."

The Lions fared better in the first half by both means of transportation, accumulating 142 yards through the air and 80 yards on the ground. It was a different story in the second half as the Corrigan defense limited sophomore quarterback Dallion Edwards (15-of-31) to just 84 passing yards, while the ground game totaled just 26 yards.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times offensively," said Armstrong. "We're driving the ball in the first half and get down to, I think the four yard line, and get stuffed."

A fumble in the second half gave the Lions their only points in the final two frames. Grayland Arnold, who caught two scoring tosses from Edwards, stripped the ball from Bulldog quarterback LaKendrick Moore and returned it 77 yards for a Lion touchdown and a 20-12 advantage late in the third quarter.

"We're shoving it down their throat and he pulls it out of LaKendrick's hands, it was just a bad break," said Armstrong. "He was fighting for extra yards and just got stripped.

"He's a player," referring to Arnold.

"He's a great football player and he made a play on that one.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but overall, I'm very pleased with the heart our kids showed tonight."

The two teams mirrored one another for most of the first half. Both teams were stopped on fourth down plays inside each other's territory on opening drives. Kountze was halted at the Corrigan 37 and the Bulldogs failed to hit paydirt after having a first and goal at the Kountze seven-yard line.

The next two drives ended in punts for both teams.

After a scoreless first quarter, it was a big play by Edwards and Arnold that put the Lions on the scoreboard first. Edwards connected a 35-yard strike to Arnold who caught the pass running down the right sideline ahead of a Bulldog defender to go in untouched for six with 7:58 left in the second quarter. An attempted two-point conversion failed to leave the Lions with a 6-0 lead.

The Bulldogs answered on the next series to knot the score with 4:45 remaining in the half. The drive covered just 49 yards following a squib kick by the Lions.

Malyk Johnson had four carries on the drive, including the touchdown on a five yard tote. Johnson would finish with 183 yards on 23 carries to be the game's leading rusher.

The Lions started their next possession from their own 49-yard line with 4:34 on the clock.

QB Edwards completed four passes on the drive with two of the tosses going for 20 and 23 yards. His fourth pass came under intense pressure by the Bulldog defense, but he was able to find receiver Dylan Ainsworth open in the end zone with just 26 seconds left in the half. An extra point gave the Lions a 13-6 halftime lead.

Second half
Jaylon Williams returned the opening kick of the second half 63 yards to quickly set the Bulldogs up for the first of three touchdowns. Williams advanced the ball from his own 12 to the Kountze 25.

Malyk Johnson rambled for 13 yards on second down to take the ball to the eight-yard line. Two plays later, LaKendrick Moore scored on a five-yard keeper. Johnson was stopped on the two-point conversion to leave the 'Dogs trailing the Lions, 13-12 with 9:56 on the clock.

The Bulldog defense forced the Lions to punt on the next series of downs. Corrigan took over at their own 33 and picked up two first downs to move the ball to the Kountze 27. The sixth play of the drive is when Arnold stripped the ball and ran 77 yards in the opposite direction for a touchdown to extend the Lions lead to 20-12 with 2:56 remaining in the third.

The touchdown by Arnold would be the Lions last productive play of the game. The Bulldog defense stopped Kountze on fourth down at the Corrigan 37 and later at the Kountze 33. Both LaKendrick Moore and Jaylon Williams make key interceptions in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.

Following the Arnold fumble return, the Bulldogs marched 62 yards in seven plays and scored on a 29 yard run by Malyk Johnson to knot the score at 20-all with 11:36 left in the game.

Kountze advanced to the Corrigan 37 on the next series, but one short run by Edwards and three incomplete passes gave the ball back to the Bulldogs.

Corrigan was unable to move the ball and Kountze took over at their own 17 with 8:16 left in the game. On the third play of the drive LaKendrick Moore intercepted Edwards and returned the pick to the Kountze 41 yard line.

Malyk Johnson scored on the very first play from scrimmage, escaping down the left sideline for his third touchdown. He also scored the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 28-20 advantage.

The Lions came up short on their final two drives of the ball game. First, they failed on fourth down at their own 33 with just over six minutes left to play.

Their last possession went from their own 25 to the Bulldog 17 before Edwards was picked off by Jaylon Williams near the 10 yard line with 27 seconds left in the game.

QB Moore had to take just one snap from center Alex Vance for the clock to expire with a 28-20 Bulldog victory.

Scores of interest
Crockett 49, Madisonville 40
Henderson 32, Newton 8
Hemphill 44, Burkeville 8
Woodville 26, Deweyville 19
Garrison 51, New Diana 14

Texas Dixie League District 2C T-ball Championship.

2015 Tball Champs

Friday, June 19 possessed a cool evening on the tail end of spring. A break in the days of rain allowed the battle for the Texas Dixie League District 2C T-ball Championship. Our local chapter was chosen to host the event. The tournament had begun some weeks earlier with six entrants: Coldspring, Americans (Corrigan), Nationals (Corrigan), Onalaska, Trinity and Tri-cities. By the week prior to the championship, both Corrigan teams had be eliminated from the tourney. Nevertheless, local folks came to the fields to ensure the event went off easily as Trinity and Coldsprin munchkins tested their nerves against each other. In the end, Trinity took the victory with a final score of Trinity 30. Coldspring, 22. (Text by Joel R. Lambright, Jr.; Photo courtesy of Vanessa Tyler)

C-CISD Bulldogs lose shortened game to state-ranked Bulldogs of Central Heights

Hank Bostock attempts a pick off move to  first baseman LaDarius Hamilton in the fourth inning. (Staff photo by Brian Besch)Hank Bostock attempts a pick off move to first baseman LaDarius Hamilton in the fourth inning. (Staff photo by Brian Besch)

By Brian Besch
Contributing Staff Writer
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A rough evening against one of the state's better teams left Corrigan-Camden on the short side of a 14-1 loss to Central Heights Thursday on the Bulldog campus.

"We competed at the plate better than we have been lately," Bulldog Coach Kevin Purvis said. "We put a bunch of balls in play, but when you're playing the third ranked team in the state, they generally make most of the plays that are right at them. They did that tonight, so hats off to them."

Blue Devil Hudson Arrant tossed five innings of one-run ball, allowing two walks that hurt him in the fourth. He gave up just two hits, while striking out six.

"They're loaded and have seven or eight guys they can throw and keep the ball around the plate with pretty good pop on it," Purvis said. "They're tough."

With some sore arms in the rotation, Chris Cobb got the start on the mound. The young pitcher recorded two strikeouts in two-plus innings of work, but the Blue Devils tagged him for nine runs. Hank Bostock then took the mound from right field and gave the Bulldogs three innings.

"The first kid we put up there was a freshman and hasn't gotten much work. He's been sick, but I thought he came out and threw well. There were couple of balls that were hit hard, but I wanted to get him some work.
Hank came and threw strikes and shut them down for us."

Down 12-0 in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs were still giving full effort to mount an offensive attack. With two outs and no one on, Osiel Ramirez reached by a walk and Levi Hurley followed with an additional base on balls.
A passed ball allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. A bad pickoff move at second gave another base to both, scoring Ramirez.

"They battle and they're never going to quit around here. That's what's been bred into them in all of our athletics. They're never going to quit and that's a good thing."

A rough stretch of games has the Bulldogs on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

"They all ended up like the Woodville game (a 3-1 loss) with 4-1, 3-2 scores and us on the wrong end of it. One bounce or a hit, somebody makes a play or a hit with two outs and it would be different. Through this first round (of district play) we haven't gotten it, but I think will get it in the second round, hopefully. We're on life support right now for the playoffs, but we still get everybody again and we don't get those guys (Central Heights) again."
Corrigan will head to Garrison on Tuesday in a matchup of Bulldogs.

Nash delivers home run to seal dramatic win for Lady Dawgs

McKenzie Eaton takes a big swing against the Central Heights Lady Blue Devils in a District 22-3A softball action. ( Photo by Linda Jacobs )McKenzie Eaton takes a big swing against the Central Heights Lady Blue Devils in a District 22-3A softball action. ( Photo by Linda Jacobs )

By LINDA JACOBS
Contributing Writer

CORRIGAN—Hailey Nash smashed a game-winning two run homer over the centerfield fence in the ninth inning to power the Corrigan Lady Bulldogs to a 10-8 victory over Central Heights in District 22-3A softball action Thursday night in Corrigan.

Nash, a sophomore catcher for the Lady Dawgs, had already trotted around the bases with a solo homerun in the fourth inning to cushion an 8-5 lead for the home team.

Corrigan had jumped out early with four runs in the bottom of the first and would extend the margin to 7-1 before the Lady Blue Devils stormed back to knot the game eight all in the top of the fifth frame.

Nash was even in the count at 2-2 when she blasted the game-winning homer off Lady Blue Devil pitcher Tamara Crain, who tallied 14 strikeouts against the Lady Dawgs. "That second strike on her totally lit up Central Heights," commented Lady Bulldog coach Taryn Baker. "She turned and looked at me and I knew she was confident and had something up her sleeve. She did a great job." Nash would finish with a game-leading three RBIs.

Rachael Wright would connect two hits and McKenzie Eaton, Paige Hooks and Courtney Elliott each registered hits off Crain.

Pitching a gem of a game for Corrigan was freshman Makenna Hughes who worked out of several jams with a wily changeup that had the Blue Devils swinging at air a few times. Hughes finished with 10 strikeouts.

"I think her (changeup) stands out a little bit more than the other ones because it is so off speed, but she really does have a great screwball and a drop curve as well," said coach Baker.

Hughes gave up eight hits to the Blue Devils, including a pair of homeruns that helped to get Central Heights back in the ballgame.

"There were a couple of times she had the option of shutting down, but she didn't," said Baker. "It's so hard to have a couple of homeruns hit off you and still have the mentality to fight through it, and she did.

"This has been probably the most fight that I've seen in us all season," added Baker. "What a great time, because we're starting our second round of district and for them to start off the second round of district this way is really great. I mean they fought from the beginning to the very end. They wanted it so bad and I'm just so proud of them. They did such a great job."

The Lady Dawgs drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning. Blue Devil junior Rachel Williams started on the mound and was hobbled for four quick runs. Corrigan sent their entire lineup to the plate during the inning and registered RBI singles from Rachael Wright and Courtney Elliott.

The visitors got their first run of the game in the top of the second. Allyssa Mooney started the action by reaching on an error. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out and later scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 margin.

Corrigan started the second inning with the top of their lineup back at the plate. The first two batters, Keely Smith and McKenzie Eaton hit deep flies to right field and both were misplayed by the Blue Devil outfielder. Smith was able to round all the bases and Eaton landed at third. Eaton later scored on a passed ball for a 6-1 advantage.
Hailey Nash scored the Dawgs' final run of the inning. She was issued a walk and would later score on a passed ball to extend Corrigan's lead to 7-1.

Central Heights added a run in the top of the third off two walks and two errors for a 7-2 margin. The Lady Dawgs went quietly in the bottom half of the third, as Crain faced just four batters, fanning three out of the four.

The Blue Devils inched closer in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits. Kamryn Moore started the frame by belting a standup double to deep left field. Moore scored on a sacrifice fly to right field for a 7-3 score.

With two outs in the inning, cleanup batter Kennedy Powell unloaded a two run homer to centerfield to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Hughes handled the final out on a bouncer back to the mound.

Nash led off the bottom of the fourth and crushed the first pitch over right centerfield for a solo home run and an 8-5 lead for the Lady Dawgs.

Paige Hooks followed with a single to center and Eryka Price boarded on an infield error, but both were stranded as Crain struck out one, followed by two infield pop ups.

The game was tied in the top of the fifth when the Blue Devils plated three runs off two hits, one walk and one Corrigan error.

Riley Farrell reached on an error to lead off the inning and Allyssa Mooney followed with a homer over the left field fence to make it an 8-7 contest.

Hughes allowed a walk and a single with a strikeout in between to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Pinch runner Shelby Toner scored on a sacrifice grounder to knot the score at 8. The inning was halted on a pop fly to third baseman Keely Smith.

The two teams were scoreless over the next three innings. The Blue Devils would strand five and put runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings.

Central Heights' biggest threat came in the ninth when they loaded the bases. Hughes started the frame with a strikeout, but gave up a single to left field. Another Blue Devil reached on an error. Hughes fanned Ashley Lucas for the second out of the inning, then walked Carmen Acosta to load the bases.

Cleanup batter Kennedy Powell, who had homered in the fourth, came to the plate next. Hughes got ahead in the count 1-2 and caught Powell looking at a third strike to end the threat.

The game came to a conclusion in the bottom of the ninth when Nash came through in dramatic fashion for the Lady Dawgs.

Crain started the inning with a strikeout to leadoff batter Keely Smith. First baseman McKenzie Eaton got on board with a single down the leftfield line. She advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Nash put the 'W' in the book by lofting her second homerun of the game to plate both her and Eaton for the 10-8 victory.

Corrigan's next two games will be on the road at Garrison and Hemphill.

The Lady Dawgs return home April 14, hosting the Woodville Lady Eagles (Parent Night).

Regional runner inspires with devotion to sport

BY CHRIS EDWARDS

For many folks around Groveton, Dave Dial is a familiar sight. He can, no doubt, be described by many as "that guy who runs."

Dial, who recently logged mile number 170,000 in Groveton last November, is a man on the move. Tall and whippet-thin, the soft-spoken, well-read and traveled Dial is a man of many talents and interests who has parlayed his passion for fitness and the lifetime commitment to his chosen sport into a mirror for his life's trajectory--one marked by a positive mindset and a lust for life that is sure to inspire anyone who comes into contact with him.

For the well-traveled running man, Groveton is a natural place to hang up his running shoes when he's not participating in prestigious marathons, like those which take place in cities like Boston, New York and Houston. "I've had relatives in this area...Dials in my lineage have always been in these parts," he said. "My great-great-great grandfather Hirambric Dial was the first [to settle in the area] in 1836."

Dial, who was born in Trinity County in 1960, moved with his family nine years later when his father got a job with Gulf Oil. It was during his childhood years that he can recall his want to run, in Groveton nonetheless ("I wanted to get out of the car as a six-year-old and run home"). Although he said he always loved to run as a child, it was the summer he turned 15 that he began seriously running and logging his mileage.

Dial can recall such points in his youth, but he cannot pinpoint any one catalyst that got him started as a runner. "I guess it's just in my DNA," he said. "What keeps me going is the satisfaction I feel when I'm out there on the roads."

In the years since then, Dial has captured accolades such as the Texas Junior Record for his participation in the 1980 Boston Marathon at age 19 (with a time of 2:24:18). He has trained with some of the world's most elite runners, such as four-time Boston and New York City Marathon winner Bill Rodgers, a man whom Dial is proud to call a longtime friend. Dial has also instilled his passion for running and physical fitness to young people as a track and cross-country coach in public schools and also as a coach and mentor to other marathon hopefuls. He has also helped spread his love of running through his work as a pitchman for longtime sponsors like Injinji toesocks and Skechers shoes, for whom he has tested products over the years.

If all that wasn't enough, Dial has also managed to use his running as a vehicle to raise funds for educational and Native American causes. It's the act of helping others that Dial counts among his highlights during his running career. He said he gets a huge level of satisfaction from raising funds through running and the coaching and mentoring of other runners.

All of Dial's dedication has come at a price on his body. He recounted a few surgeries and having to endure post-surgical rehab, but despite the grind, any physical issues he has endured have all been worth it. "For my two cents, nothing can replace the way I feel when I'm out on the roads, so I'm not going to let anything take that away from me," he said. Dial mentioned that he never takes a day off from running unless he too sick or injured to train, and that has not happened since October of 2007.

The "roads" that Dial frequently refers to have captured his mental and physical focus for 40 of his years, thus far. He said he recently cut back his daily run to 12 miles, which is his lifetime daily average. "I'm keeping up the status quo while letting some old wounds heal."

Some of the advice Dial gives to those who want to pursue running or jogging is to start slowly. He said that many people second-guess their fitness goals after bad experiences brought on by trying to do too much too soon. "If one can practice a little patience, remember, Rome wasn't build in a day...and begin building a routine, you get your feet under you, thereafter, consistency is the key to being a runner long-term," he said. "Just keep in mind it's not going to happen overnight."

When he isn't training, Dial tends to his father's cattle and land and keeps busy with a variety of other endeavors, which include camping and running mountain trails and keeping up with his favorite NFL teams. He has also worked as a freelance journalist, for which he has won awards and had his work as a songwriter and poet published. The gusto that he has pursued his sport through the years extends to his other passions. For instance, Dial is highly knowledgeable about nearly any genre and artist of music one can imagine and he is a huge football fan.

The word "dedication" could be made into the alliteratively named Dial's middle name and it would suit him to a finely crossed "T". Despite all of his achievements, he isn't one to rest on any laurels, for every new day is another period of time to train, to hit those roads which he is so fond of. In the meantime, Dial said he's looking to do "something really big," which might be to run across the United States.

If anyone could accomplish such a feat, Dave Dial can.

Keegan Mitchell signs with Lamar University

Mitchell signs with Lamar University

SIGNING – Keegan Mitchell is shown signing his commitment to Lamar University on a football scholarship as Corrigan-Camden Athletic Director Seven Armstrong looks on. (Photo by Kim Popham)