DENTON- In a match-up of former Class 3A powers who have matched up in some big playoff games (see 1984 and 1985 State Semi-Finals both won by Daingerfield) the now Class 2A Daingerfield Tigers were more than equal to the task against the Vernon Lions Saturday at the Collins Athletic Complex. The Daingerfield spread offense was able to move the ball well against a young Vernon defense, while Vernon which is also young on the offensive side of the ball showed some sparks but overall Daingerfield held the upper hand for most of the evening.
Daingerfield's first offense moved the ball for the most part through the air against Vernon's defense as Juron Smith hauled in a 41 yard pass and then Chris Jones scored from 19 yards out to give the Tigers their lone score in their first set of plays. Vernon moved the ball in spurts against the speedy Tigers defense as QB Ryan Smith used his FB and TE well on the short routes and mixing in some tough running by Craig Whiteside to get their one score on DHS.
In the second set of plays both teams brought in their second units, things started out rocky for Daingerfield as the Tigers threw an interception, but they did respond with a 42 yard touchdown pass which would end up being the final score of the day. Vernon's second offense was only able to manage one first down.
The first units came back out for another set of plays and Daingerfield showed some more flashes utilizing the short slant routes and getting their athletic receivers in space against the very young Lion DB's, however Vernon's defense was able to hold Daingerfield out of the end zone. Vernon's offense continued to struggle putting together any consistent drives as the Tigers overall team speed seemed to throw the timing of the DHS ground game off. Vernon did manage to break one long run on their final play as one of the younger backs managed to race for a 44 yard run.
Daingerfield should feel very good coming out of this scrimmage, as the Tigers showed they could throw the ball with efficiency. The defense was solid, but they are still seeking someone to step up and be the primary ball carrier. Vernon's coaching staff will have some work to do as the Lions young skill players and young secondary at times struggled.
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