By BRYAN URBACH
PALESTINE - A three-headed monster found its way into Palestine on Friday night.
Palestine Wildcat quarterback Gee Clark, wide receiver Sheldon Watson and running back/wide receiver Jarrell Owens lit up the homecoming stage as Palestine shutout the visiting Pittsburg Pirates 32-0.
The Wildcats were able to perform this way even with two star athletes in attendance. NFL running back Adrian Peterson and former pro runner Sandra Cummings Glover were on hand as the Wildcats honored both at halftime for their performances while at Palestine. Peterson had his No. 28 jersey retired, and both athletes received large plaques to honor their time at Palestine.
The deciding play in this game was in the third quarter with 9:30 left in the game. Palestine had been driving the ball and had made it down to the 13-yard line. Quarterback Gee Clark hiked the ball and handed it off to Jarrell Owens to the right side. Just when the defense noticed Owens had the ball and not Clark, Owens sailed the ball over the defenders' heads to a wide-open Sheldon Watson in the right corner of the end zone. Palestine coach Lance Angel said he was proud of the way his team performed tonight, as different players had to step up because of injuries.
“Our kids are finally getting into shape,” Angel said. “Jarrell is getting into shape now and being able to play both ways effectively. We're going to look up in a couple of weeks and have five or six running backs back there. Tonight was big for us to be able to get the kids back on a winning streak. The kids can kind of take a breath now coming into the bye week. We have a lot of work to do next week to get better.”
After a 32-0 blowout, it is hard to think that a team needs to get any better, but Angel said there is always room for a team to improve. If Clark and Watson keep playing as well as they did tonight, Palestine should have some good depth going forward. Angel said after the bye week the Wildcats will go from having a 32-man roster this week to having a 40-man roster after players start coming back from injuries.
“Sheldon made some great plays out there,” Angel said. “Gee made some great throws, too. That is something that we have to continue getting better at each week. It was a big night for each of them. Obviously, the offensive line and running backs played a big part in their success with the blocking, which is nice to see. It was a great job by all of them.”
Clark finished the game passing for 12-19 for 258 yards and three touchdowns. Owens finished the game with 15 carries for 95 yards and a rushing touchdown as well as throwing the game-changing touchdown in the third quarter to Sheldon Watson, who finished with 8 receptions for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
If the three-headed monster of Clark, Watson and Owens can keep up this type of play, Angel said the Wildcats could be in a great position heading into district play out of the bye week.