The two-time defending Six-Man Division II state champion Richland Springs Coyotes inched closer toward a three-peat and a state record sixth state championship with a 68-0 first-round playoff victory over the Oglesby Tigers last week. Next for the top-ranked Coyotes are the No. 5 Jonesboro Eagles (9-2), who visit at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a playoff rematch from a season ago.
Richland Springs (11-0) carries the state’s longest win streak in any classification — 41 games — into the contest, while the Coyotes are also in the midst of a 63-game home win streak and have posted a 131-5 record under the direction of head coach Jerry Burkhart.
The Coyotes are one of four undefeated teams remaining in Six-Man Division II along with No. 2 Milford (11-0), No. 3 Aspermont (11-0) and No. 4 Grandfalls-Royalty (11-0).
Jonesboro, meanwhile, has reeled off seven consecutive victories, including last week’s 116-80 first-round shootout over Trinidad. The Eagles’ only losses have come at the hands of Division I No. 2 Valley (37-28) in the season opener and Zephyr (60-36).
Victims during Jonesboro’s win streak include Dublin Premier (78-12), Oakwood (80-43), Division I No. 7 Abbott (62-46), Iredell (60-13), Morgan (70-0) and Cranfills Gap (68-14).
The Eagles are averaging 67 points per game while surrendering 33.
The Coyotes are producing 65 points per outing and giving up just 12. Richland Springs also generates 310 yards — 206 rushing and 104 passing — per contest, while yielding 139 yards — 62 rushing and 77 passing.
Leading the charge for the Richland Springs offense is Chance Bush, who has rushed for 1,746 yards and 42 touchdowns and passed for 872 yards and 22 more scores.
Brian Salinas has chipped in 269 yards on the ground and seven receptions for 176 yards with three touchdowns, while Ty Mann has contributed 134 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, and three receptions for 59 yards with a trip to the end zone. Gunner Mann has chalked up five catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a 45-yard touchdown, and both of Trevor Tinney’s rushes, totaling 32 yards, went for touchdowns, as did his 17-yard reception.
Other key contributors in the passing game include receivers Thomas Fowler (10-113, 4 TDs), Patrick Phillips (6-139, 3 TDs) and Chris Munoz (7-153, 4 TDs).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 29-point favorite.
Friday’s winner will face either No. 2 Milford (11-0) or Cherokee (6-4) in the Region IV championship game next weekend.
Santa Anna (10-1) vs. Blum (7-4)
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY at BLANKET
The Santa Anna Mountaineers look to continue their improbable postseason run and clinch a berth in the Six-Man Division I Region III championship game as they square off against the Blum Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Blanket.
The Mountaineers (10-1), who are making their first playoff appearance since 2006, collected a 61-16 victory over Lingleville last week in their playoff opener. Santa Anna tallied the final 49 points of the game after falling in an early 16-12 hole.
Blum (7-4), meanwhile, is coming off a 58-20 win over Saint Jo in the first round last week. The Bobcats have won three straight over Kopperl (68-60), Walnut Springs (50-38) and Covington (70-20). Blum’s losses this season have come at the hands of Oakwood (62-6), Bynum (30-28), Division I No. 7 Abbott (60-12) and Coolidge (61-45).
Santa Anna enters the contest averaging 58 points and 390 yards — 287 rushing and 103 passing — per game, while surrendering 23. Last week against Lingleville, the Mountaineers generated 406 yards of total offense, including 376 on the ground.
Michael Valencia is the spark plug for the Santa Anna offense with 2,284 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns to go along with 852 yards passing and 25 scores. Last week, Valencia rushed for 264 yards and six scores and threw a 30-yard touchdown.
Lucas Diaz has chipped in 842 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground, while catching 11 passes for 236 yards and seven touchdowns. Zach Diaz (12-236, 7 TDs) is the top receiver for the Mountaineers, while Talon King (9-250, 4 TDs) and Mikey Rhoades (5-188, 2 TDs) have also been key contributors.
Defensively, Nate Salazar’s 80 tackles are a team-high for Santa Anna followed by 78 and three interceptions from Valencia, 52 and five sacks from Colby Nelson, 43 from Josh Perez, 35 from Lucas Diaz and 34 tackles from Rhoades.
The Bobcats are averaging 44 points per game and allowing 40.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Santa Anna is a 45-point favorite.
Friday’s winner will face either Gordon (8-3) or Savoy (10-0) in the Region III championship game.
vs. Wolfe City (6-5)
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY at VENUS
After receiving a bye for finishing as the top seed from District 5-A Division I, the Goldthwaite Eagles begin their postseason push against the Wolfe City Wolves at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Venus.
The Eagles (5-5) are shooting for their third trip to the state final in four seasons as Goldthwaite won the 2009 Division I title and finished as the runner-up in 2010.
The Wolves (6-5) are coming off a 29-14 bi-district victory over Collinsville, avenging a 44-8 non-district loss in the regular season. Wolfe City is also in the midst of a four-game win streak with victories against Celeste (22-21), Bowie (17-14) and Quinlan Boles (42-27) during that span.
Losses for the Wolves have come at the hands of Tom Bean (15-14), Carlisle (38-0), Leonard (48-19), Honey Grove (54-13) and Collinsville.
Wolfe City averages 21 points and allows 26 points per contest.
Goldthwaite heads into the playoffs producing 28 points and 364 yards — 292 rushing and 72 passing — per contest, while surrendering 17 points and 253 yards —170 rushing and 83 passing — on average.
Dakota Perry has rushed for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns out of Goldthwaite’s wishbone attack, trailed by 860 yards and five scores from Logan Harper and 451 yards and three touchdowns from Joseph Paddock.
Quarterback T.R. Jones has passed for 713 yards and three touchdowns, while Taylor Stephens has hauled down 21 receptions for 355 yards and three scores.
Defensively, Quinton Thompson has recorded 124 tackles for the Eagles followed by 106 from Jaggar Parrish and 90 from Sidney Covey. Goldthwaite has also forced 16 turnovers — seven on interceptions and nine on fumbles.
Friday’s winner will face either Lindsay (8-2) or Cayuga (8-3) next week in the Division I-A Region II semifinals.