LIBERTY CITY — The Sabine Cardinals will head into the postseason with a win and a chance to set the school record for victories in a season after knocking off White Oak, 23-7, in the regular season finale on Friday at James Bamberg Stadium.
The win moved the Cardinals to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in District 8-3A Division I play. It marks just the third time in school history Sabine has won nine games and the first since the Cardinals went 9-2 in back-to-back campaigns in 1952 and 1953.
White Oak ends the year at 0-10 and 0-6, just the second winless season for the Roughnecks in 85 years.
Sabine intercepted a couple of passes in the first half, turning one of them into instant points en route to a 14-0 lead at the break.
The Cardinals opened the scoring by driving 58 yards in 10 plays to open the game, getting on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run by Landon McKinney. McKinney had six carries for 42 yards on the drive.
Less than two minutes later, freshman Cayden Fortson intercepted a pass and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Cardinal lead at the 7:22 mark of the first period.
White Oak later drove inside the Sabine 10 after a 46-yard pass from Blake Barlow to Colton Cobb, but the Cardinals later forced a turnover on downs.
Bre’den Ford picked off Barlow in the final seconds of the half to keep the score at 14-0 at intermission.
Late in the third quarter, Sabine stalled out at the White Oak 23-yard line, but Fernando Jaimes came on to hammer a 40-yard field goal to put the Cardinals in front 17-0 with 2:40 left in the period.
White Oak got on the board with 7:48 to play when Barlow connected with Jackson Frazier on a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap a short, 5-play, 34-yard drive that was set up by a Cobb fumble recovery.
Sabine ended the scoring five minutes later with a 1-yard run by McKinney.
Dylan Creager blocked the extra point for White Oak.