On a humid, clear evening at Stingaree Stadium, the Texas City Stingarees rushed for more than 200 yards as a team, but fell 21-14 to the El Campo Ricebirds on Friday night.
After allowing an opening drive touchdown to the Ricebirds, the Stings responded with a score of their own when junior tailback Semaj McCall broke two tackles and burst into the open field on what would be a 44-yard touchdown scamper.
But the next three Texas City drives stalled, and McCall exited the game late in the second quarter with the Stings trailing 14-7. At that point, McCall was the game’s leading rusher having amassed 105 yards and the score on 10 carries.
Coming out of halftime, Surovik and the Stings turned to a more robust rotation of running backs that included Joseph McCarty-Davis, Matthew Armstrong and Corday Williams. But after a slow start to the second half, it was Williams, a senior change-of-pace back, who helped revitalize the Texas City run game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Williams evaded two tacklers, burst through a mass of El Campo defenders and then outran everyone on the field to the end zone. The 35-yard run tied the game 14-14 with just over 9 minutes to play.
Williams finished the game with 9 carries for 107 yards and the touchdown.
But, El Campo was utilizing a committee of running backs, as well, and found their own breakthrough moment when Charles Shorter scored on a go-ahead 36-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
The El Campo backfield trio of sophomore Johntre Davis, freshman Reuben Owens, and the junior Shorter, combined for 281 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries.
The Stings committed eight penalties for 65 yards, but five were false starts. They also lost a fumble and gave up three sacks.
Next Friday the Ricebirds will play host to Rockport-Fulton, who play today against Aransas Pass.