Three Deer Park TIFI football teams clinch trips to semifinals

October 30, 2018 GMT

BAYTOWN - Forty Texas Intercity Football, Inc. (TIFI) youth football teams turned the grounds at Goose Creek Memorial High School into an all-day football fiesta Saturday.

The eight clubs from TIFI’s five age divisions who survived 10 weeks of regular season battles descended on the campus to begin three weeks of exciting postseason competition, leading to the TIFI Super Bowl at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium Nov. 10.

From messages of success on car windows to T-shirts with inspirational messages, it made for a terrific atmosphere.

The Deer Park Tigers and Rams were very much a part of that atmosphere, sending the combined total of six teams to TIFI’s postseason party.

But for 20 teams, the football fun came to a halt. For 20 others, they’ve earned a second trip to Goose Creek Memorial this Saturday after clinching berths to the semifinals.

As for Deer Park’s contingent, it was just like the bigger TIFI picture. Three advanced to the Final Four, three saw their seasons come to an end.

Here’s a look at what unfolded during TIFI’s football fiesta.


As Senior Tigers coach Bryan White noted in Santa Fe the Saturday before, his crew was facing a difficult first-round assignment, based on just one player.

Yikes, was he ever correct.

Blackhawk Seahawks all-everything player Cameron Mathews was a one-boy wrecking crew, helping the 9-1 Seahawks to a 35-6 win at Patriots Stadium Saturday afternoon.

“There’s no stopping him. You go in with a game plan hoping to contain him, trying to tackle him in a phone booth and you still can’t do it. I’m going to look forward to watching him the next two weeks because they’re a very good football team. Our kids never quit, they fought the whole game but sometimes you’re just overmatched,” White said.

Mathews played offense, defense and he was the kid who kicked the ball way down the field after one of his numerous touchdowns.

But the Tigers only trailed 14-0 at halftime, before Mathews used the opening few minutes of the third quarter to score on a 50-yard touchdown run, followed by a pick-six, intercepting an Adam White pass and returning it 45 yards for the team’s fourth TD.

Mathews’ final touchdown saw the youngster take a direct snap and motor 43 yards for the touchdown, giving him three touchdowns inside the third quarter.

The Tigers highlight was scoring on a Seahawks team that had only allowed 18 points all season, thanks to seven shutouts and one forfeit. Twelve of the 18 were scored by the first-place La Porte Texans way back on Sept. 1.

After a White run of 10 yards, the lanky Ryder Tettenhorst rambled 25 yards to the Seahawks 20. Then on a third down and 15 play, White ate up all 15 plus one for a new set of downs after a determined run.

Undaunted by a six-yard loss, quarterback Landon Kieselhorst came right back, connecting with Mason Fuson for a 12-yard pass, before White ended his terrific campaign by scoring from three yards out.

Fighting back the tears, Bryan White became emotional in the team’s postgame huddle, thanking the Senior Tigers for allowing them to be a part of his life.

“I’ve been with these kids for six years. It’s the only sport I’ve coached my kid in. Now I pass the baton. He goes to junior high and I’ll be watching him with all the Rams kids and all the Seminole kids. They’re fixing to all come together as one. We’ve got three really good teams at our level and they’ve been coached really well. The junior high coaches are going to have a lot to work with,” White said.

The Seahawks advance to play the Clear Lake Falcons, who eliminated the Texas City Stingrays 22-14. In the upper half of the bracket, the La Porte Texans will meet the Bay Area Sharks.


The Deer Park Junior Tigers lost two fumbles in the first quarter and that set the tone for the rest of the game as Dickinson eliminated the Tigers 30-6 on Field A.

Dickinson didn’t take care of the football all that well either, but they had players who took advantage of possessions when they did protect the ball.

Two players in particular combined for four touchdowns, most of them of the long journey kind.

The Tigers found the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a Jackson Brooks scamper of 50 yards. It looked like Dickinson had the angle on Brooks along the right sidelines, but Brooks somehow got past the blue jerseys for the score.


In a mild upset, the five-seed Deer Park Rams defeated the fourth-seed Baytown Broncos 13-6 on Field A.

The Rams now advance to play the La Porte Cowboys this Saturday, who sent the Barber Hills Eagles to the TIFI exit doors with a 36-0 decision.

The Rams defense played strong throughout the game, especially on the edge where the Broncos tried to find running room.

The defense’s only hiccup was allowing a 47-yard touchdown pass that created the final score.

A huge holding penalty against the Broncos prevented the Baytown team from tying the contest earlier in the game.

Thanks to an Alfred Flores tackle on fourth down, the Rams defense forced the Broncos to turn the ball over on downs on their own 15 and the Rams seized the opportunity.

Four running plays saw Caiden Wells, Angel Gonzalez and Dylan West combine to carry the ball to the one, before Wells scored the points, creating a sorely-needed 13-0 cushion.


The Sophomore Deer Park Tigers saw their season end with a 20-7 loss to top-ranked Texas City on Field B.

Despite being the No. 8 seeds, the Tigers took this game into the fourth quarter, before a 60-yard run all but ended Deer Park’s dreams of a major upset.

The Stingarees were led by Rajahe Harkless, whose quickness enabled him to gather first-down runs and give his teammates a 13-0 lead on a 62-yard scamper.

The Tigers made it interesting when quarterback Daniel Vela, on a post route, found receiver Jackson Paradysz, who turned it into a 57-yard gallop to the end zone.

Deer Park’s Brody Holcomb appeared to recover the ensuing onside kick with a referee signaling as such, but all of a sudden, Texas City maintained control of the ball.

Shortly after that, Texas City was finding some insurance points.

Texas City advances to play the Pasadena Bears in the one semifinal game, while the La Porte Texans will meet the Baytown Broncos in the other semifinal contest.


Deer Park Freshman Tigers quarterback Ethan Sauceda turned a fumble into some victory-clinching points as the team turned back Dickinson 20-12.

The snap from center momentarily deposited the football sitting on the ground for a solid second. Cool-as-a-cucumber Sauceda picked it up, found a gap to his left and scored untouched from 35 yards out, giving the team an eight-point lead.

Brody Busch and Cody Hickman were others on offense who helped with the win.

Defensively, there were several nice plays but perhaps the biggest play was Beckett Holbrook stopping Dickinson on a fourth-down play when the team was trying to maintain its new eight-point lead.

The team advances to a Final Four meeting with Texas City, who ousted the La Porte Cowboys 23-0.

In the bracket’s lower half, the La Porte Texans will oppose the Broncos. The Texans nipped the Pasadena Bears 14-13.


The Pee Wee Tigers knocked off the Santa Fe Braves 30-6 Saturday morning to earn a Final Fourth berth against sixth-seed Texas City.

The coaching staff saw such boys as Harper Wilson, Drew Riddle, Alex Leija excel on the offensive side of the ball, while defensively, Jacob Vela, Grayson Stratford and Landry Guettler were among the youngsters bottling up Texas City’s offense.

In the other Pee Wee scores, the La Porte Texans blanked the Baytown Broncos 39-0, the Clear Lake Falcons toppled the La Porte Cowboys 20-6 and Texas City rushed by the Bay Area Sharks 30-21.