Titans clinch No. 1 in district

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Page leads overpowering victory

By Josh Cook

The Collins football team captured its second consecutive district title Friday night with a dominating performance.

The Titans racked up 448 yards of total offense while holding host Waggener to only 44 on their way to a 58-0, Class 4A, District 3-clinching victory over the Wildcats.

Collins can complete a second consecutive unbeaten regular season in the district with a victory at Atherton on Friday night.

No matter, Collins (6-2, 3-0) will be the district’s No. 1-seeded team when next month’s state playoffs begin because it holds hold the head-to-head tiebreakers against both North Oldham and Spencer County, who are currently the co-No. 2 teams in the district standings.

“I thought our kids had great intensity and played hard,” said Titans Coach Jerry Lucas, whose team was missing three defensive starters against the Wildcats because of injuries. “I thought we came out and did what we needed to do. We took care of business right off the bat.”

Collins scored on nine of its first 10 possessions – failing only when sophomore kicker Blanton Creque barely missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on their seventh series – and led 17-0 after the first quarter, 38-0 at halftime and 51-0 after three quarters on its way to a program-tying point total (the Titans also tallied 58 points in their victory over Waggener last season).

Junior quarterback Lawson Page completed 20 of 34 passes (he was the victim of several drops) for 213 yards and five touchdowns. Junior running back Dre Farris scored three touchdowns – one rushing and two receiving – as did junior wide receiver/safety Nathan Sames, who had two TD catches and one interception return for a touchdown.

Page passed to Sames for a 2-yard TD to end Collins’ first drive. On the first play of the Titans’ second possession Page threw a short pass to Farris, who did the rest, meeting one would-be-tackler head-on, then shaking off another before sprinting for a 45-yard score.

Creque capped Collins’ next drive with a 34-yard field goal, giving the Titans a 17-0 lead with 1:47 to play in the first quarter.

Farris’ 1-yard touchdown run increased Collins’ lead to 24-0 7:59 before halftime. Then 17 seconds later, after the Wildcats fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Page found Farris for a 15-yard TD pass. Page and Sames connected for a touchdown for the second time late in the second quarter to make it 38-0.

The Titans started the second-half scoring with a 12-play, 64-yard drive that Page capped with his final TD toss, this one a 3-yarder to Landon Forrest.

“He had an exceptional night,” Lucas said of Page.

Sames had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown on the Wildcats’ ensuing possession to make it 51-0 and start the non-stop clock. Collins’ younger players took over from there, with sophomore Antuan “Bushy” Wells scoring on a 19-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

Wells finished with a team-high 65 rushing yards, and Page added 54, Logan Bailey 37 and Farris and freshman Quintin Murphy tallied 35 apiece. The Titans finished with 235 rushing yards on 27 carries.

“I thought we executed well offensively,” said Lucas, whose team averaged 7.3 yards per play.

Waggener (1-7, 1-3), meanwhile, averaged 1.3 yards per play as it finished with 28 rushing yards (15 came on its first play of the game) and 16 passing against a defense that was without three usual starters.

Sitting out for the Titans were linemen Kris Jones (who is out 4-to-6 weeks with a fracture in his leg) and Mark Bradford (precautionary after a hard hit to the head against North Oldham) as well as linebacker Masai Whyte (ankle).

With those absences a pair of freshmen stepped in and stepped up on the offensive and defensive lines.

“I thought Trei Axline and Jacob Dale did a super job,” Lucas said.

The Titans will celebrate their "Senior Night" at 7:30 p.m. Friday when they host Atherton (1-7, 0-3), which has won three games over the past four season.