SANGER — Kion Evans and the Sanger Indians wanted to hush the critics.
And they did, winning their fourth straight game.
After returning an interception for a touchdown Friday night, Evans sparked Sanger’s defense to hold the high-powered Frisco Lone Star offense enough for a 42-35 homecoming victory at Indians Stadium.
Evans later suffered a bruised shoulder but continued to play because he said he wanted to help the defense slow the Rangers’ offense that entered the game scoring 45 points per outing.
“All week they’ve been talking about how Frisco’s going to blow us out and I just wanted to show my team we could do it,” Evans said. “I have faith in us. They have faith in me, and we got it done.”
Evans’ 34-yard interception return gave Sanger (4-2) an early touchdown lead, but offensive fireworks kept the fans on their feet for the rest of the first half. Both teams combined for 649 total yards and were separated by just one point with Lone Star (5-1) trailing 28-27 at halftime.
Defense took the front seat after the break as both teams kept to the ground to run the clock and try to set up for the final score.
Sanger held Lone Star to just 125 offensive yards in the second half, including two quarterback sacks by Dalton Hassell and Jarrod Huther to force a turnover on downs on the final drive that sealed the victory.
“We felt like we were going to have to score a lot, but I’m proud of our defense,” Sanger coach Chuck Galbreath said. “They made plays that they had to and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”
With several young players on the defensive side of the ball, Galbreath said the future is bright as the Indians head into District 9-3A play at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Gainesville (5-0).
“We’re young on defense and they’re energetic, and we’re seeing them grow up, and they’ll just continue to get better,” Galbreath said. “This one is huge, but we have to get ready to get into district against Gainesville.”
Another Indian that came through when it mattered most was running back Tre’von Jackson. Sanger’s junior juked defenders out of their socks all night, namely on a designed run over the right tackle that he cut back outside the left tackle for a 2-yard score in the third quarter.
Jackson kept juking and powering through defenders before he put the final points on the board when he bounced outside for a 38-yard score for a 42-35 lead with 1:48 remaining.
“They kept putting guys on the outside, so I knew I just had to cut it back,” said Jackson, who had 32 carries for 267 yards and four touchdowns in the game.
Sanger quarterback Brandon Mann finished 11-of-13 passing for 176 yards, while wideout Wyatt Broxson had three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Ramon Harris had 22 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns for Lone Star, and wideout Jordan Jones finished five catches for 104 yards and two scores.
When asked how the Indians can continue their streak against one of the top projected teams in District 9-3A after a bye week, Jackson said they will keep it simple.
“Just stay focused,” Jackson said. “Don’t worry about what anybody says about us because we know how hard we practice. We just got to do what we do.”
Sanger 42, Frisco Lone Star 35
Frisco Lone Star
SN — Kion Evans 34 interception return (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Jordan Jones 41 pass from Chase Moake (Cameron Scott kick)
LS — Ramon Harris 3 run (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 1 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Michel Bordes 52 pass from Jason Shelley (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Wyatt Broxson 58 pass from Brandon Mann (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Jordan Jones 9 pass from Jason Shelley (Austin De Leon pass failed)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 48 run (Dakota Branch kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 2 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Ramon Harris 1 run (Jason Shelley run)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 37 run (Dakota Branch kick)
Rushing — LS: Ramon Harris 22-194, Chase Moake 3-35, Austin De Leon 2-13, Jordan Jones 4-8, Jason Shelley 5--2, SN: Tre’von Jackson 32-267, Derek Shelby 9-46, Brandon Mann 19-22, Baley Garza 1-10.
Passing — LS: Jason Shelley 5-9-0-113, Chase Moake 4-6-1-95, SN: Brandon Mann 11-13-0-176.
Receiving — LS: Jordan Jones 5-104, Michel Bordes 2-58, Austin De Leon 1-33, Ramon Harris 1-13, SN: Wyatt Broxson 3-82, Tre’von Jackson 2-39, Kyle Link 2-29, Baley Garza 3-20, Josh Secrest 1-6.