The Wharton Tigers continue to struggle defensively, but for the first time in several weeks, so did the offense, which led to a 45-14 loss to the Stafford Spartans during a Homecoming game at EJMS on Friday, Sept. 26.

Stafford improved to 1-4 on the year; Wharton, which has a bye next week, fell to 1-4.

The Spartans had a 38-0 lead when WHS got on the scoreboard in the third quarter.

Sterling Harris, who had all of his completions in the second half, threw to James Jones for a 34-yard pass. Josh Rivas connected on his first of two point-after attempts. The score came at the 2:45 mark of the third quarter.

Stafford answered with a score before the quarter ended. WHS would score in the fourth quarter with 3:52 left in the game. Defender Tylor Heard scored on a 40-yard fumble return.

It was one of two fumbles WHS recovered, the first coming in the first half by Raymond Hudson in Stafford territory.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they couldn’t make the most of the opportunities that were presented to them because of the pressure that the Stafford defense presented all night long.

Harris (5-of-20, 91 yards, interception) was constantly being pressured and had little time to set up a play to his receivers. He was 0-for-14 passing in the first half. As a runner, Harris had eight rushes for negative 39 yards.

Running back Keijon Waddell did earn 131 yards rushing on 17 carries. 

The Tigers have a bye before opening district at Bellville in two weeks. The Brahmas are 4-0 after their game against Columbia was cancelled on Friday.

Stafford’s two losses this season have come against two teams WHS hasn’t played – Sealy and Bellville.

Matthew Watkins provided statistical information for this story.

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