ROCHELLE — The Zephyr Bulldogs beat the odds to return to the postseason.
Needing a 20-point victory over Rochelle — which carried an eight-game win streak into Friday’s regular season finale — just to get into a three-way coin toss, the Bulldogs earned a 56-28 victory.
The coin flip also went the Bulldogs’ way as the quarters for Zephyr (7-3, 3-1) and Santa Anna (9-1, 3-1) matched, resulting in the end of the season for a Rochelle (8-2, 3-1) squad that was one victory away from an outright district championship and the top playoff seed.
Santa Anna, which had its district bye Friday, will be the top seed from Six-Man Division I District 9 due to its 40-20 victory over Zephyr — which is why the Bulldogs needed a 20-point win.
The Bulldogs were sparked by a 224-yard, five-touchdown rushing effort from Derek Jesko as Zephyr finished with 390 yards of total offense — all on the ground.
Dakota Rogers chipped in 90 yards rushing and a touchdown and Josh Todd ran for a 26-yard score.
Defensively, Jesko recorded 17.5 tackles trailed by 9.5 and a sack from Jayden Choat, seven and an interception from Kaiden King and six tackles and a pick by Todd.
Zephyr will face Gordon in the bi-district round of the playoffs next week, which is tentatively scheduled for Friday night in Hico.
Santa Anna — which earned a share of its first district championship since 1988 — is squaring off with Lingleville in May next Friday in the Mountaineers’ first playoff game since 2006.
Blanket 66, Mullin 46
BLANKET — The Blanket Tigers’ first season as a member of Six-Man Division II resulted in a playoff berth as head coach Tyler Tabor’s squad knocked off Mullin, 66-46, in a District 13 play-in game Friday night.
The Tigers (5-5, 2-1) will next challenge District 14 champion Cherokee at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lometa.
In Friday’s victory, Blanket led 14-12 after one quarter, stretched the advantage to 38-18 at halftime and took a 50-30 edge into the fourth period.
The Tigers yielded 533 yards of total offense — 373 rushing and 160 passing — to Mullin (6-4, 1-2), but intercepted two passes.
Offensively, Blanket generated 370 yards, including 293 rushing, and lost three fumbles.
Rafael Marquez rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns for Blanket, while Kaeden Chasteen chipped in 73 yards and four scores on the ground.
Tyler Martinez connected on 6 of 10 passes for 77 yards as Rowdy Johnson grabbed a team-high three receptions totaling 19 yards.
Mullin received 148 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Matt Evans, while Josh Mickelson chipped in 144 yards on the ground. Boyd Humphries also rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
Through the air, Mason Weaver passed for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both caught by Evans, who finished with five receptions for 66 yards. Mickelson also threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Mickelson.
Sidney 70, Rising Star 57
RISING STAR — Following a one-year hiatus, the Sidney Eagles have returned to the postseason thanks to a 70-57 victory over Rising Star.
A year ago, it was Rising Star which eliminated Sidney from postseason contention.
The District 12 runner-up Eagles (9-1, 2-1) will face District 13 champion Newcastle at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Strawn.
In Friday’s playoff clinching victory, Sidney produced 487 yards of total offense, with 383 coming on the ground.
Rising Star (2-8, 1-2), meanwhile, finished with 422 total yards, including 362 rushing.
The Eagles led 14-13 after one quarter, 40-25 at halftime and 46-31 heading into the fourth period.
Sidney’s Chris Dominguez scored on runs of 18, 24, 27, 20, 10 and 19 yards, returned a kick 45 yards for six points and threw scoring strikes of 23, 26 and 10 yards to Blake Crawford.
For Rising Star, Eric Griffith reached the end zone on runs of 51, 5, 39 and 30 yards, threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Jose Martinez and ran a kick back 45 yards for six points.
Samuel Rodriguez chipped in a 52-yard carry and an 80-yard kick return for points.
Richland Springs 61,
Brookesmith 0 (Thursday)
BROOKESMITH — The two-time defending Six-Man Division II state champion and top-ranked Richland Springs Coyotes stretched the state’s longest win streak in any classification to 40 games with a 61-0 victory over the Brookesmith Mustangs in Thursday’s regular season finale.
The Coyotes (10-0, 3-0) built a 38-0 lead after one quarter and added 23 points in the second period to end the game at halftime.
Defensively, Richland Springs limited Brookesmith (1-9, 0-3) — which ended its season with nine consecutive losses — to negative 17 yards of total offense on 35 snaps. The Mustangs also lost four fumbles and their only pass completion resulted in a net gain of zero yards.
The Coyote offense compiled 176 yards on 30 snaps as Chance Bush completed 5 of 7 passes for 111 yards with three touchdowns. Trevor Tinney rushed for touchdowns of 27 and 5 yards on his two carries and completed a 25-yard pass. Chris Munoz finished with two receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown, Patrick Phillips and Brian Salinas caught passes of 43 and 39 yards, respectively, and Gunner Mann and Thomas Fowler hauled in scoring strikes of 7 and 5 yards.
Richland Springs also scored on a 47-yard kick return by Fowler to open the game, two fumbles returned for touchdowns and a safety.
For Brookesmith, Peyton Donahoo rushed for 12 yards, Derek Mackey added 11 and Taylor Stephens finished with 6 yards on the ground. The rest of the Mustangs lost 46 yards on nine official rushing attempts.
District 13 champion Richland Springs will face District 14 runner-up Oglesby at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Evant in the first round of the playoffs.
San Saba 49, Santo 21
SAN SABA — The District 5-A Division I tri-champion San Saba Armadillos, who are heading to the playoffs as the third seed, capped their regular season with a 49-21 victory over Santo Friday night.
San Saba (5-5, 3-1) will face Cayuga in the first round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Joshua.
The Armadillos scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters as San Saba racked up 331 yards of total offense, with 263 coming on the ground.
Sean Argote led the ground game with 120 yards and a touchdown followed by 79 yards and two scores from Garrett Hartranft.
Kelan Verette completed all four of his passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns as Jarrett Mathis grabbed a pair of receptions for 44 yards and a score, while Jordan Watson caught a 14-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Kolton Ellis led San Saba with 13 tackles trailed by 12 from Aaron Perez, 11 from Juan Ortega and 10 from Michael McKinnerney.
Hico 9, Goldthwaite 6
HICO — The Goldthwaite Eagles missed a chance to win the District 5-A Division I championship outright, but will still be the league’s top playoff seed following Friday’s 9-6 loss at Hico.
Goldthwaite (5-5, 3-1) did not lose by enough points to allow Hico (7-3, 3-1) to claim the top seed and the third tri-champion — San Saba (5-5, 3-1) — was forced to settle for the No. 3 seed.
Each team scored a first-quarter touchdown, and the Eagles did not convert their extra point. Hico then tacked on a fourth-quarter safety.
Goldthwaite finished with just 204 yards of total offense, including 188 rushing. Hico compiled 211 yards, with 122 coming on the ground.
Quarterback T.R. Jones rushed for Goldthwaite’s only touchdown, while Dakota Perry finished with 88 yards on the ground.
Goldthwaite has a first-round playoff bye due to being the top seed.
Granbury NCT 68, Victory Life 38
The Victory Life Warriors took a 12-point lead in the fourth period before Granbury North Central Texas stormed back to clinch the second playoff berth from TAPPS Six-Man Division II District 2 by a 68-38 count.
Victory Life (2-7, 1-2) finished with 288 yards and only one turnover, while NCT (9-1, 2-1) amassed 464 yards and overcame two interceptions.
Sam Haley passed for 92 yards and two touchdowns for VLA, while Garrett Hagood chipped in 24 yards and a score on the ground and Kegan Bessent added 22 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Ethan Essary caught two passes for 49 yards and a touchdown and Hagood contributed two receptions for 49 yards and a trip to the end zone.
Bessent led VLA with eight tackles and Hagood intercepted two passes.
May 53, Lometa 8
MAY — The May Tigers concluded their season with a 53-8 home victory over Lometa Friday.
May (6-4, 1-3) received 97 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Justin Howard, 77 yards from Ethan Jaggars and 24 yards on the ground and a score by Dakota Chambers.
Kendrick Aguerro completed all three of his pass attempts for touchdowns covering 91 yards. Isaac Williams added a 14-yard scoring toss and Jaggars threw for 33 yards.
Dylan Starnes caught three passes for 52 yards, all touchdowns, while Jaggars hauled in a 53-yard scoring reception and Jared Howard caught one pass for 20 yards.
Aguerro also returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown.
Colorado City 27, Coleman 0
Breckenridge 35, Comanche 27