NOCONA — Even though Nocona held a six-point lead at halftime Friday night, there was some uneasiness in the Indians' locker room.
With the exception of a couple big plays, Jacksboro had stuffed Nocona's high-powered rushing attack, forcing several three-and-outs at Jack Crain Stadium.
District titles aren't handed over. And so Nocona returned to playing the brand of football that was the basis for its tremendous season, scoring on its first two possessions of the second half.
Tate Fenoglio and Hayden Hill combined to rush for 289 yards and four touchdowns as the Indians wrapped up the District 5-2A Division II title with a 34-14 victory over the Tigers.
"This was the first time I really felt at halftime we were down on ourselves," Nocona coach Brad Keck said. "They battled through the adversity of the first half, and we needed to see that. It was good for us."
Nocona (9-0, 4-0) wraps up a first-round bye and can finish off the regular season undefeated next week with a win over Henrietta (2-7, 0-4). Jacksboro (7-2, 3-1) hosts Holliday (6-3, 3-1) in what will determine second place.
"(Winning district) has been a lifelong goal for us ever since we were young, challenging ourselves to be the best," Fenoglio said after rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns, plus throwing a TD pass. "We finally got it done and it feels great."
Leading 13-7 at halftime, Nocona took the opening possession of the third quarter and drove 47 yards for a score.
Jacksboro's Reid Spiller peeled off a 55-yard touchdown run two plays later, but that would be the last time the Tigers found the end zone.
Jacksboro quarterback Kirk Weldon threw for 140 yards and a touchdown, but he was under duress much of the night. When he did complete passes, Nocona defenders almost always made the tackle before it turned into a big gain.
"They made a lot more big plays than we did, and we made a lot more mistakes than they did," Jacksboro coach Brian Hodnett said. "Their linemen on both sides of the ball won the line of scrimmage tonight. You throw in a couple of turnovers and short fields they we gave them, you're not going to put up a fight against them."
Nocona extended its lead to 28-14 on Fenoglio's third-down jump pass to Edward Cardoza for a 7-yard touchdown.
The Indians' dagger came early in the fourth quarter. Cardoza sacked Weldon and the football came loose, with Nocona's Kyle Sentel recovering on the Tiger 20. Two plays later, Hill scored for the second time.
In the first half, the Indians found the end zone on Fenoglio's 56- and 1-yard touchdown runs, the second of which came after Hill's 62-yard burst.
Nocona's only other first down came on Cardoza's 54-yard reception, but that drive stalled when Hill was sacked at the Jacksboro 15.
"They've got a heck of a team and they really got after us in the first half," Keck said. "I was a little bit worried we'd have a little bit of a hangover after the big game last week. I think we may have, but I give a lot of credit to Jacksboro. They've got some studs over there."
So does Nocona, which claimed its first district title since 1996 Friday night, ending Jacksboro's six-game winning streak in the process.
Jacksboro 7 0 7 0 — 14
Nocona 13 0 15 6 — 34
J — Kirk Weldon 4 run (Antonio Murillo kick), 7:28
N — Tate Fenoglio 56 run (pass failed), 7:11
N — Fenoglio 1 run (Raul Anaya kick), 3:32
N — Hayden Hill 2 run (Anaya kick), 8:43
J — Reid Spiller 55 run (Murillo kick), 7:45
N — Edward Cardoza 7 pass from Fenoglio (Fenoglio run), 4:22
N — Hill 5 run (run failed), 10:29
First downs 13 14
Rushes-Yards 31-132 43-297
Passing 152 86
Comp-Att-Int 17-30-1 6-11-0
Punts 6-23.8 4-28.3
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 3-1
Penalties-Yards 5-60 5-45
RUSHING: (J) Reid Spiller 6-57; Logan Dixon 10-45; Kirk Weldon 12-34; Dylan Ervin 3-(-4); (N) Tate Fenoglio 22-154; Hayden Hill 14-135; Bryce Dingler 4-25; team 3-(-17).
PASSING: (J) Weldon 16-29-1, 140 yards; Spiller 1-1-0, 12; (N) Hill 5-9-0, 79; Fenoglio 1-2-0, 7.
RECEIVING: (J) David Stretcher 2-58; Spiller 7-39; Dixon 3-20; Nathan Zapata 3-19; Jared Lamberson 2-16; (N) Edward Cardoza 2-61; Dingler 3-18; Fenoglio 1-7.