Titans heading back to Western

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Farris leads way to another regional final

By Josh Cook

Offensive execution, and its overall resolution, carried the Collins football team Friday night.


The Titans rolled up 387 yards of offense – 226 by junior running back Dre Farris – and outscored visiting Doss 21-6 in the second half for a 49-30 victory in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

“I thought the boys fought through a lot of adversity,” said Collins Coach Jerry Lucas, whose team led the Dragons, 28-24, at halftime. “Some of that was because of self-inflicted wounds, but they stayed focused on the goal.

“I just thought we executed a little better in the second half and I thought our intensity level rose as we were going for the victory.”

The Titans (9-3) will now go for their second consecutive regional title Friday night, when they play at Western (6-6) at 7:30. The Warriors beat Collins, 31-26, for the region title in 2010, but the Titans returned the favor last season, 13-12.

Farris’ 162 rushing yards, 84 receiving yards and three touchdowns helped Collins earn that rubber match against Western. 

“Dre was special tonight,” Lucas said. “He made big play after big play.”

The first of those came after Doss quarterback Devonte Moffitt, who gave the Titans fits all night, ran 57 yards for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

On the second play of the Titans’ ensuing possession, Farris burst up the middle for a 75-yard TD run.

The Dragons (5-7) responded with another long TD. This one, a 66-yard pass from Moffitt to Ronnell Colbert, made it 12-7.

But back came Collins. On the first play of the Titans’ ensuing possession, Lawson Page threw to Nathan Sames, who quickly pitched to Farris – the old “hook and ladder” play – who ran down the left sideline to complete the 64-yard touchdown.

Collins recovered its ensuing onside kick, and five plays later the Titans were in the end zone again on Masai Whyte’s 2-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds to play in the first period.

Doss responded with an 8-play, 69-yard drive that James Yarbourgh capped with a 10-yard TD run.

The Dragons then forced Collins to punt on its next possession, but Lawson Page’s 62-yard boot pinned Doss deep in its own territory.

A short time later Sames’s second interception of the first half gave the Titans the ball at the Dragons’ 36. Four plays later Farris’ 9-yard touchdown run made it 28-18.

Collins had a chance to add to its lead late in the first half, but a Page pass was picked off and returned to the Titans’ 32. Five plays later, Moffitt’s 1-yard touchdown run cut Collins’ lead to 28-24 10 seconds before halftime.

The second half, which featured far less scoring, was almost all Titans, save a long touchdown run by Moffitt.

Collins increased its lead to 35-24 early in the third quarter on Page’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Sames. The Titans made it 42-24 5:32 later when Whyte capped an 8-play, 61-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown dive.

Moffitt’s 56-yard TD sprint cut Collins’ lead to 42-30 late in the third quarter. The Titans, though, tacked on another touchdown when Page capped off a 12-play, 74-yard drive with a 5-yard strike to Sames.

Page finished the game 11 of 21 for 198 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, but he was 6 for 7 for 91 yards and two TDs in the second half.

“Lawson is such a leader for us on the field,” Lucas said. “He just steps up huge for us.”

Sames, meanwhile, had a huge game on both sides of the ball. He finished with five catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns on offense and six tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble on defense.

“Sames was phenomenal tonight,” Lucas said.

Not to be outdone, Whyte had two short TD runs and a team-high 14 tackles, and Landon Forrest finished with 12 tackles, including two sacks, and also had three catches for 42 yards.

“Landon Forrest was huge tonight on both sides of the ball,” Lucas said.

Doss outgained the Titans by 79 yards in total offense, but that’s deceiving because Collins had several short fields to work with after recovering two onside kicks in the first half and benefiting from five turnovers.

“Blanton Creque, kicking off, we had some huge onside kicks tonight that gave us some short fields,” Lucas said. “That was big for us.”

Now the Titans have another big game, Friday night at Western in the Region 2 final.