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Navasota clips Smithville to open up district play

Robbie Brown
American-Statesman Correspondent
Smithville head coach Cyril Adkins and the Tigers lost to Navasota 23-20 Friday.

SMITHVILLE— With 2:12 remaining in the game and Smithville preparing for a possible game winning drive, two consecutive bad snaps doomed the last minute heroics and Navasota held on to defeat the host Tigers 23-20 in each team's opener in District 13-4A Division II action.

Neither team found much success throughout the first half as the defenses ruled the action. Navasota (3-2, 1-0) got on the board first when Miguel Alvarado hit a 37-yard field goal on the Rattlers' opening drive. The two defenses would dominate the first half of action as the two teams would combine for only 174 yards of total offense in the half.

Smithville (2-4, 0-1) made the adjustment to a power run game to start the second half and it proved successful as the Tigers drove 66 yards on eight plays, all on the ground, culminating with a Chris Sanders 15-yard touchdown run. The conversion was missed, however and Smithville's lead remained 6-3 early in the third quarter.

Navasota would respond on their next drive as Alvarado would tie the game up at 6 after an impressive 47-yard field goal with 4:50 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

The game came close to getting out of hand on the Tigers' next possession when a bad snap on a punt attempt went throught the back of the end zone for a safety. That was followed by a quick score by Navasota when Darius Randle scored on a 26-yard touchdown. To top off the Smithville nightmare, the Tigers blocked the PAT but while trying to advance the block, the ball rolled into the end zone where it was recovered by the Rattlers for a two-point conversion. In a blink of an eye, the Navasota lead blossomed to 16-6 with 2:02 left in the third.

The Tigers would go back to power run game that gave them a spark to start the second half and find more success, driving 62 yards on seven plays. Ian Flowers would punch it in from 8 yards out and the Tigers would pull within 16-12 early in the fourth quarter.

Navasota was up to the task, however, with a statement drive of their own, 72 yards on 10 plays, taking 5:25 off the clock and pushing their lead back to 23-12 after Ja'Mar Jessie found paydirt from 11 yards out.

The Tigers would not go away as Blake Segel would march Smithville, once again, to the Navasota 9-yard line where Armante Chase would escape for a touchdown. Chase led the Tigers with 70 yards rushing on only five carries.

Things looked to get interesting after Smithville held Navasota to a 3-and-out but the snap miscues would be too much to overcome.

Navasota was led by Randle's 148 yards rushing on 19 carries.