SANGER — Both teams knew they were playoff-bound no matter what happened Friday night in Sanger, but that did not stop them from putting on a high-octane offensive show in Sanger.
With just seeding on the line, the Decatur Eagles defeated the Sanger Indians 65-21 to secure third place in Distrcit 4-4A. The Indians (4-6) found it difficult to overcome Eagles' (6-4) quarterback Wilson Hicks' six first-half touchdowns with four coming through the air and two on the ground.
Sanger will face Stephenville in the first round of the playoffs while Decatur will get Abilene-Wylie.
"They came out with an intensity that we obviously did not respond well to," Sanger head coach Cole Ford said. "We get to play next week. So we'll try to figure some things out and put our best foot forward in the playoffs."
The Eagles amassed 582 yards of total offense, but Ford will steer his players into the playoffs.
"There's something like 500 teams in the state of Texas who don't get to play next week," Ford said. "They're glad this is not their final performance. We get a chance to put a better product out there."
The scoring got started quickly. Hicks lobbed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Beau Bedford to make it 7-0 before connecting with Mario Reyes down the right sideline for a 57-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 in the first quarter.
Reyes would go yet again down the right sideline with 0:54 to play to put 21 on the board for Decatur and to cancel out a Sanger touchdown by way of Dameon Moser just a few minutes before. Reyes' second touchdown of the first quarter from Hicks put the Eagles up 21-7.
But Sanger would have an answer on the next play when quarterback CJ Jackson turned on the jets and burned up 71-yards with ease to make it 21-14 with seconds to play in Quarter 1.
The scoring pace continued into the second quarter as Hicks tumbled into the end zone from a yard out to put Decatur up 28-14 with 11:04 to play in the half. He would cross the plane with his legs yet again with 6:02 to play in the half, this time from 15 yards to put Decatur up 35-14.
Jackson did the same with 2:00 left to make the score 35-21. But the momentum did not last long as just two plays later A.J. Martinez took a Hicks shovel pass out of the backfield and 62 yards to the end zone to put the Eagles up 42-21. The Eagles added one more before halftime.
Bedford caught an 11-yard touchdown pass as the half wound out to make it 49-21 headed to the break. The Eagles had 441 yards of total offense in the first 24 minutes.
The second half was much tamer on the scoring side of things. Just 16 points were scored in the second half, but all were for Decatur. Martinez carried one in from 45-yards out before catching a 3-yard touchdown pass. Sanger snapped a punt out of the back of their own end zone to add a safety to the tally and give Decatur a 65-21 win.
Sanger back-up QB Logan Walker got in for the majority of the second half after a 7-for-15 night passing for Jackson.
"We have to fight," Walker said. "We can't just fold over. That's the only way. We got to ramp it up and I expect fully that we will."
Sanger could be without running back Gavin Brown for the first round of the playoffs against Stephenville.
Decatur 65, Sanger 21
DU -- Beau Bedford 10 pass from Wilson Hicks (Armando Benitez kick)
DU -- Mario Reyes 57 pass from Wilson Hicks (Armando Benitez kick)
SN -- Dameon Moser 3 run (Juan Martinez kick)
DU -- Mario Reyes 45 pass from Wilson Hicks (Armando Benitez kick)
SN -- CJ Jackson 71 run (Juan Martinez kick)
DU -- Wilson Hicks 1 run (Armando Benitez kick)
DU -- Wilson Hicks 15 run (Armando Benitez kick)
SN -- CJ Jackson 7 run (Juan Martinez kick)
DU -- A.J. Martinez 62 pass from Wilson Hicks (Armando Benitez kick)
DU -- Beau Bedford 11 pass from Wilson Hicks (Armando Benitez kick)
DU -- A.J. Martinez 45 run (Armando Benitez kick)
DU -- -12 safety, ball snapped out of end zone
DU -- A.J. Martinez 3 pass from Roman Fuller (Armando Benitez kick)
Rushing -- DU: A.J. Martinez 10-98, Wilson Hicks 7-37, Beau Bedford 2-25, Dayne Chapman 2-14, Michael Williams 1--1, Cody Baker 1--4, Alec Uselton 1--6, Roman Fuller 2--13, SN: CJ Jackson 18-64, Dameon Moser 11-37, Gavin Brown 4-36, Cole Mathes 8-10, Logan Walker 1--14.
Passing -- DU: Wilson Hicks 20-29-1-342, Roman Fuller 8-9-1-57, Dayne Chapman 1-1-0-33, SN: CJ Jackson 7-15-0-95, Logan Walker 1-1-0-13.
Receiving -- DU: Mario Reyes 5-124, A.J. Martinez 6-111, Alec Uselton 9-85, Beau Bedford 5-74, Dayne Chapman 3-33, Jaime Richardson 1-5, SN: Hank Lemons 2-58, Dillon Wilkerson 2-46, Dameon Moser 3-9, Gavin Brown 1--5.