BOYD — Soggy footballs, swarming Yellow Jackets and a bruised lower leg couldn’t stop Sanger’s Tre’von Jackson.
After taking a helmet to the shin early in the game Friday, the junior running back rumbled for 181 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-35 romp on Boyd’s homecoming night to notch a second consecutive win.
“I knew I had to do whatever I needed to do to help my team,” Jackson said of returning after the hit. “I knew they needed me, and I just stepped up.”
Sanger (2-2) ended a 14-game losing streak last week with a 50-17 home win against Pilot Point, and thumped Boyd (0-3) with 514 total offensive yards. Indians head coach Chuck Galbreath said his players earned the back-to-back wins with their determination during the offseason.
“These kids have worked very hard to get to this point and thankfully they’re getting their reward for putting that work in,” Galbreath said. “We’ve grown up, stayed away from injury and this is a much better football team in every aspect of the game [compared to last year]. And it’s starting to show.”
Despite an early interception by junior linebacker Wilding Smith, things started off shaky for Sanger.
Boyd got on the board first when running back Qualyn Wells busted loose for a 28-yard scoring run and a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Following the kickoff, Sanger put together a 10-play, 59-yard drive capped by a physical 8-yard touchdown run from Jackson to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett faked a handoff to running back Fino Cardona before throwing back across the field to him for a 24-yard score and a 14-7 lead. Barnett finished 9-of-14 passing for 157 yards and three scores.
Sanger answered right back as Jackson broke three tackles and bounced it outside for an electrifying 53-yard score to tie the game again, 14-14.
After forcing a Boyd punt, the Indians marched down the field before quarterback Brandon Mann broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown dash that gave Sanger its first lead at 21-14 with 4:17 left in the half.
Mann dissected the Boyd defense in the first half to keep Sanger in the game early with 208 total yards and three scores. After the junior finished 13-of-17 passing for 178 yards and one score, to go along with 17 carries for 128 yards and three more touchdowns, Galbreath said a hot start by Mann will usually translate to team success.
“Brandon’s having a great year, and he’s grown so much since last year,” Galbreath said. “He’s more confident, and he’s a better athlete. He’s starting to take control of the huddle, and that’s great for our football team.”
Sanger kicker Dakota Branch lofted the ensuing kickoff and the Indians recovered it just 26 yards out.
Mann highlighted a short scoring drive by throwing a dart in the back right corner of the end zone to wideout Wyatt Braxton for a 9-yard that extended the lead to 28-14 with 2:42 until the break.
Boyd’s Fino Cardona, who rushed 18 times for 126 yards, scored just four plays later on a 40-yard cutback run, but Sanger answered just before the half when Mann tucked the ball from 14 yards out to extend the lead 35-21 heading into halftime.
Jackson punched in a 6-yard run in the opening minutes of the third quarter, followed by an 18-yard touchdown toss from Boyd’s Barnett to wideout Joseph Tate five minutes later. Mann scored from 7 yards out on a quarterback keeper to give Sanger a comfortable 48-28 heading into the final quarter.
After another lengthy Sanger drive, Jackson carried two Yellow Jackets across the goal line for a 21-yard score midway through the fourth, and Boyd’s Barnett flicked an 18-yard pass to wideout Xavier Kyle for the final score of the game.
Sanger will try to make it three wins in a row at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Aubrey.
Sanger 55, Boyd 35
BY — Qualyn Wells 28 run (Nathan Thomas kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 8 run (Dakota Branch kick)
BY — Fino Cardona 24 pass from Clay Barnett (Nathan Thomas kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 53 run (Dakota Branch kick)
SN — Brandon Mann 45 run (Dakota Branch kick)
SN — Wyatt Broxson 9 pass from Brandon Mann (Dakota Branch kick)
BY — Fino Cardona 40 run (Nathan Thomas kick)
SN — Brandon Mann 14 run (Dakota Branch kick)
BY — Joseph Tate 18 pass from Clay Barnett (Nathan Thomas kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 6 run (Dakota Branch kick failed)
SN — Brandon Mann 7 run (Dakota Branch kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 21 run (Dakota Branch kick)
BY — Xavier Kyle 8 pass from Clay Barnett (Nathan Thomas kick)
Rushing — BY: Fino Cardona 18-126, Qualyn Wells 6-70, Clay Barnett 9-38, SN: Tre’von Jackson 25-181, Brandon Mann 17-128, Derek Shelby 7-29, Turner Barnes 1--2.
Passing — BY: Clay Barnett 9-14-1-157, SN: Brandon Mann 13-17-0-178.
Receiving — BY: Joseph Tate 3-81, Dalton Stidham 2-35, Fino Cardona 3-33, Xavier Kyle 1-8, SN: Wyatt Broxson 4-54, Tre’von Jackson 5-47, Josh Secrest 2-37, Baley Garza 1-25, Kyle Link 1-15.