Serving the High Plains

Tatum takes decisive victory over Longhorns

LOGAN - Longhorn turnovers turned what might have been a close district game into a decisive 34-8 victory Friday for No. 1-ranked Tatum in eight-man football action.

Logan (7-2) committed three turnovers during the game, including one near Tatum's red zone that was converted into a touchdown. The Longhorns also committed a key penalty that kept a Tatum scoring drive alive.

"When you give a good team the ball inside the 20 or 30, they're probably going to score. We did that twice, and we just can't do that," Logan coach Dwayne Roberts said.

Acknowledging a "hangover" Friday after his team's 38-26 victory over state contender Melrose the previous week, Tatum coach Brent Satterwhite said his Coyotes (7-1) weren't at their best.

"The kids got up big for Melrose and played with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of intensity," he said. "We were a little flat tonight, but give (Logan) credit. They did a good job. They fought us all night. We told them if we didn't get after it early and take care of business, they would stay with us the whole ballgame. And they did."

In particular, Satterwhite expressed dismay over his team's five holding penalties that defused several potential drives.

"That's got to be some kind of record there," he said.

Tatum running back Hayden Mullins gained 182 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Quarterback Taylor Garner completed 18 of 25 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Abraham Duran. Another receiver, David Mendoza, caught eight passes for 143 yards.

Logan totaled just 105 yards in offense - mostly by quarterback Brock Burns, who threw for 80 yards and his team's only touchdown. He connected with Kaeden Stoner for a 23-yard score late in the third quarter and Tatum leading 26-0. Logan's TD was set up by a 47-yard completion to Christian Kotara.

Satterwhite said his main focus was keeping speedy running back Hayden Judd from running wild.. The Coyotes accomplished that, bottling up Judd to 27 yards on nine carries

"We knew we were going to have to stop Burns throwing the ball," he said. "But the main focus was on No. 6 (Judd). I think for the most part we did that."

Tatum caught a break on its first possession. Luke Field returned a punt across midfield but fumbled. Teammate Mullins picked up the loose ball and advanced it to the Logan 30-yard line.

With such a short field, the Coyotes took just five plays to score, with a Mullins 2-yard touchdown run  for a 6-0 lead.

Late in the first quarter, the Longhorns lost a fumble on their 26-yard line. Three plays later, Garner connected with Duran on a 23-yard TD pass for a 12-0 lead.

Late in the second quarter, Tatum embarked on a 13-play, 94-yard scoring drive. A key moment came when on fourth-down-and-4, the Logan defense jumped offsides, giving Tatum a fresh set of downs. The Coyotes capitalized when Garner completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Martinez for an 18-0 lead.

Early in the third period, Mullins scored on a 9-yard run to cap off a six-play, 62-yard drive for a 26-0 lead.

After Logan's lone TD and a two-point conversion run by Park Strong, Tatum responded with its own touchdown - an 11-yard reception by Duran - less than five minutes later for a 34-8 lead late in the third quarter.

Though Roberts was disappointed with his team's mistakes, he wasn't dismayed by its effort.

"Tonight, I was proud of the guys. We fought to the end. It was a battle; they didn't come in her and just trample us," he said. "I don't know whether they came in here, thinking it wasn't going to be much of a game. We just needed a few things to go our way that could have changed that score pretty easily."

It doesn't get any easier for Logan this week. The Longhorns host district rival Melrose (5-2) at 7 p.m. Friday.