Second-half surge propels Silsbee over Giddings
Tigers to face West Orange-Stark in region finals for the second consecutive year.
NOVEMBER 30, 2019 – The Silsbee Tigers put on a dominating performance in the second-half of a 4A-DII regional semifinal over Giddings in a 35-14 win at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah on Friday, Nov. 29.
The win mirrors the 2018 season after the Tigers dismantled the Buffaloes in the regional semifinals in a similar fashion. This year, the Tigers started slow, but later punched on the gas pedal to explode in the second half for the victory.
The win sets up a District 10-4A rematch with West Orange-Stark on Friday to stake claim of the Region III title and a chance to face either Geronimo Navarro or Wimberley from Region IV in the UIL class 4A-DII State Semifinals.
Silsbee rode the coattails of another stellar performance by the offensive line that allowed for a record night for senior running back Dralyn Taylor.
Giddings couldn’t stop Taylor who finished with 165 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns. He also picked off two passes on defense to shine for the Tigers.
“I credit my team for coming together to make it happen,” Taylor said after the game. “Everyone stepped up in this one.”
Giddings took advantage of a Silsbee turnover and dominated the Tigers up front to take a 14-0 advantage late into the second quarter. Taylor scored on a 35-yard TD run to cut into the lead going into halftime.
“I challenged our offensive line in the locker room,” Silsbee Head Coach Randy Smith said. “I didn’t think we played well in the first half. We came out and dominated them in the second half. That really helped all of our backs run well.”
Silsbee came out of the locker room with a different mindset and quickly scored on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Raymond Foster to Quincy Kelly Jr. to tie the game 14-14. Foster finished the evening 11-of-21 for 113 yards passing.
After the Tigers forced a Giddings fumble on the ensuing drive, Taylor found pay dirt on a 30-yard run on the first play from scrimmage to give Silsbee its first lead and not turn back.
Later, junior running back Antonius Arline scored on a 4-yard buck and found the pylon in the corner of the end zone to give the Tigers a two-touchdown advantage at 28-14 in the fourth quarter.
Taylor sealed the win with a 31-yard TD run late in the fourth as he bounced off of a tackle and jogged in for the score.
Silsbee will face the West Orange-Stark Mustangs for the second-consecutive time in the Region III finals set for Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Last year, Silsbee defeated the Mustangs in a rainstorm to earn a trip to the state semifinals for the second time in school history. The Tigers are looking to continue its historic run in hopes of earning a trip to the state finals in Arlington on Dec. 20 for the first time in school history.
West Orange-Stark defeated Silsbee 17-9 on Oct. 11 in the first District 10-4A game for both teams. The Tigers are looking to avenge the loss in what will be one of the premier regional finals in the state.
“I know we have gotten better since then, but so have they,” Smith said. “We’ll be ready to play our game. I’m excited about this opportunity once again.”
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