Howe Loses Heartbreaker Late
Late field goals sink Howe, 20-17
BY ANNE MARIE EENIGENBURG
SPECIAL TO THE HERALD DEMOCRAT
DENTON -- Mario Duran's 17 yard field goal with 10 seconds left was all Farmersville needed to win the bi-district title over the Howe Bulldogs, 20-17 Saturday at DISD field.
"Turnovers will be a huge factor as to who wins, and we will try not to turn the ball over," said Farmersville head coach Phil Blue.
The Farmers (11-0) did not turn the ball over, but a lost fumble by Howe set the Farmers up for a touchdown and a change in momentum early in the second half after the Dogs (6-5) enjoyed a 10 point lead at the half.
Howe struck first when Dale Boyd intercepted a Josh Howard pass deep to crush a Farmersville drive.
The Bulldogs then proceeded to march 80 yards into Farmer territory, and a completed 19 yard pass from quarterback Charlie Komorowski to tight end Michael Evans at the 1 yard line set up the touchdown by Jeff Ratcliff.
The Dogs carried the momentum into the second quarter.
Facing a first-and-10 at their own 9, Howe's Brandon Watson got a little breathing room out to the 14 yard line, but on the next play from scrimmage, sprinted 71 yards until he ran out of gas allowing speedy Eric Redwine to make a TD saving tackle.
An incomplete pass and huge sack by Farmer Brandon Betterton caused Howe to settle for the field goal, but the Bulldogs still led 10-0.
On the Farmers' first play in the second half, a swinging gate screen pass play to Raines netted yardage to Howe's 10 yard line and stunned the defense.
Reyes scored the TD and Duran added the extra point putting the Farmers on the scoreboard for the first time and cutting Howe's lead to 3 points.
The ensuing kickoff proved to be bad luck for the Dogs and a lost fumble put the Farmers back in business on the Howe 35 yard line. More of the same by big play makers Reyes and Raines outmatched the defense and Reyes scored the go ahead TD, Duran added the point after. For the first time in the game, Farmersville had the lead 14-10.
Determined not to let the game slip away, multiple quarterback sacks by Bulldog linebacker Troy Allison and a mammoth blocked punt by Ian McCarthy got the Dogs back on track. The block gave them 1st and 10 on the Farmers 26 yard line. Komorowski's pass to Eric Brooks connected to the 1 yard line and a quarterback keeper scored the see-saw go ahead run. The extra point was good by Komorowski and back on top 17-14.
Farmersville answered with the quick strike duo of Howard to Raines for a long gain to the Howe 15. Unable to get into the end zone, the Farmers kicked a Duran field goal, forcing a 17-17 tie with four minutes left.
Howe 17 Farmersville 20
Bulldog TraditionTexoma Enterprise - 11/30/2000
Congratulations to the 2000 Howe Bulldogs on making the playoffs for the 16th time in school history. I have learned a great deal about the Howe Bulldog football program in my studies over the past 6 months. I have learned of some traditions and some traditions lost. There was a Victory Light that was placed on the back of the press box in the 60s and was upgraded to a v-shaped light before the 1976 season. It stood there and was lit after every Howe football victory until being replaced by the current Bulldog light before the 1992 season and is still there now. The players took great pride in seeing that light turned on after a win. I remember if I was gone for a weekend as a kid, I would have to race by Bulldog Stadium to see if the victory light was on. Now the Victory Light shines after every game (win or lose). Some traditions just fade away.
One of the greatest traditions is the fact that Howe has played all home games on the same field since the beginning in 1935. That is absolutely amazing and there are only about a handful of teams in Texas that can say that. The lights were added before the 1958 season and games have been played at night every since.
The boys used to raise their helmets before every kickoff. Coach Jim Fryar had his players place coins in the end-zone of every field they would play to represent pay-dirt. There is probably $100.00 worth of coins underneath Bulldog Stadium today.
A lot of you will remember the incredible send-offs down Highway 5 when Howe would travel to arch-rival Van Alstyne. Howe was always had a police escort and about 200 headlights following the bus. The band would play as the bus pulled out of Bulldog Stadium. That made the Van Alstyne road game a home game. That was personally my favorite tradition.
The Oakland Raider look is pretty neat, but there was something about Howe when they wore all black for home games. Some opponents often said that the black helmets, black jerseys, and black pants gave Howe that intimidation advantage. I dont know if thats true or not, but you cant knock success. The most successful teams (Regional Champions of 70, Area Champions of 85, 89, 90) all wore that combination.
The one tradition that has not changed in 57 seasons of Howe football is winning. Howe has 315 wins to 233 losses and has outscored their opponents by a large margin. Coach Davey DuBose may not have kept the victory light tradition or the black helmets, but he has rejuvenated the winning tradition. DuBose passed Buck Smith early in the 2000 season for wins in Howe and is now 3rd on the all-time list behind only Norman Dickey and Jim Fryar. DuBoses winning percentage in Howe is the 2nd best since 1947 behind only Fryar.
So whether you like black helmets, silver helmets, or leather helmets; whether you like the victory light to be on all the time or only after victories; the one thing we can all agree on is that there is nothing like the tradition of Bulldog football.