MAY — The last in-season loss for the Class A Division I No. 8 May Tigers — who moved up five spots in this week’s sixmanfootball.com rankings — occurred on Oct. 30, 2015 as head coach Craig Steele’s squad attempts to extend its string of consecutive regular-season victories to 17 Friday night at Water Valley.
Kickoff between the Tigers (5-0) and host Wildcats (2-3) is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Water Valley is one of May’s victims during its current run as the Tigers recorded a 56-6 home victory over the Wildcats last season.
May has allowed just 22 points in five outings this season, opening the 2017 campaign with three consecutive shutouts against Santa Anna (60-0), Eden (48-0) and Throckmorton. The Tigers have also downed Blanket (54-8) and what was the top-ranked team in TAPPS Six-Man Division I at the time, Waco Vanguard (59-14).
Leading the charge for the May defense have been Daniel Salinas (48 tackles, 7.5 for loss, one fumble recovery), Preston Johnston (31 tackles, 8.5 for loss), Gage Keckler (27 tackles, 8.5 for loss, two fumble recoveries), Wyatt Mote (24 tackles, two interceptions), Weston Chambers (22 tackles, 3 for loss) and Jacob Brown (18 tackles, 2.5 for loss three interceptions, one fumble recovery).
On offense, May is generating 55 points and 338 yards — 237 rushing and 101 passing — per outing on average.
The ground game features Dalton Self (341 yards, 6 TDs), Salinas (186 yards, 5 TDs), Johnston (184 yards, 4 TDs), Chambers (173 yards, 2 TDs) and Brown (147 yards, 3 TDs), while Mote has connected on 17 of 31 passes for 422 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. Leading receivers include Johnston (5-197, 4 TDs), Brown (4-128, 3 TDs), Keckler (3-66, 3 TDs) and Tyler Wheeler (2-48, 2 TDs).
Water Valley has defeated Westbrook (41-20) and Grady (60-14) while falling to Knox City (76-30), Klondike (67-22), and Eden (36-18) — which May has already defeated.
Against Eden last week, Water Valley allowed 236 yards – all on the ground – and finished with 189 yards, including 110 rushing, while giving the ball away three times.
Jeremy Jackson rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown, Caleb West added 62 yards and a score and Manny Gamboa completed 3 of 13 passes for 79 yards with a 50-yard scoring strike to Justin Riley.
According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.