CATLIN – A game of contrasting football styles was played Friday, Sept. 21, when the Tri-County Titans and the Salt Fork storm met at Catlin.
Tri-County brought the ground-and-pound wishbone offense against the more spread out passing attack of the Storm.
Salt Fork broke out more than the pass with huge running game getting started early for the eventual 42-13 win.
First possession went to the Storm and using the passing attack Salt Fork scored at the 8:34 mark when Gage Romakc found Caine Wilson for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Dawson Rodgers added the extra point to give Salt Fork a 7-0 lead.
The Titans’ running game later in the quarter moved the ball to the 26-yard line inside Storm territory, but the drive stalled and the ball turned over on downs.
Having possession again, the Storm quickly found pay dirt again early in the second quarter. Max Branigin scampered in from 11 yards out with 11:09 to go, and Rodgers added the extra point to give Salt Fork a 13-0 lead.
A late quarter drive by the Storm put the team deep into Titan territory for what appeared another potential TD. The Tri-County defense held fast and stopped the Storm at the one-yard line to get the ball back.
Tri-County appeared to show some confidence at halftime, but Salt Fork got the momentum back with 10:39 left in the third quarter as Romack found Matthew Wrzosek for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Rodgers added the extra point, and the Storm wentup 21-0.
Salt Fork capitalized again with 8:00 left as Branigin went in from 11 yards, and Rodgers added the point for a commanding 28-0 lead.
The TCT offense jump-started on the ensuing kickoff for a 75-yard drive that was capped off by a 20-yard touchdown run by Blake Lee with 6:25 left. Lee added the extra point to finally put the Titans on the board making the score 28-7.
Lee electrified the Titan crowd again on the final play of the quarter finding a seam and running 57-yards for another touchdown. An unsportmanlike conduct penalty of 15 yards on the Titans made the extra point attempt more difficult. Failure to score the extra point kept the score at 28-13 heading into the final 12 minutes.
TCT tried a bouncing squid kick to get the ball back on the kickoff, but Salt Fork recovered at their own 48-yard line. Two plays later, the Storm scored again as Branigin went up the left side for 47 yards and his third touchdown at the 11:39 mark. The extra point from Rodgers put the Salt Fork lead at 35-13.
The Storm’s final score came at the 8:00 mark as Tate Johnson punched the ball in from four yards and Rodgers added the extra point to make the ending score 42-13.
The Titans are now (3-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference. The next game is Friday, Sept. 28, at Oblong against the Oblong/Hutsonville-Palestine Panthers. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Oblong High School.