Comanche, Coleman, San Saba, Sidney shooting for district victories

Only six local games are scheduled for Week 8 of the high school football season, with many six-man programs on a bye prior to the start of district action. The following is a brief preview of Friday night’s slate of games:


Gorman at Zephyr

7:30 p.m. Friday


Coming off a bye week, the Zephyr Bulldogs look to keep their perfect record intact as they host the Gorman Panthers in the pre-district finale for both squads.

Zephyr’s (6-0) most recent outing was a 60-14 home victory over Cherokee. The Bulldogs finished with 304 yards of total offense — 214 passing and 90 rushing — while giving up 200 yards with three takeaways.

Kason King completed all five of his pass attempts for 168 yards and three touchdowns, while Hunter Williams connected on his only pass attempt for a 46-yard scoring strike. Devin Williams led all receivers with four grabs for 155 yards, including three touchdown receptions, while Nicholas Moody hauled in a 40-yard scoring toss and Mason Rogers made a 19-yard reception. On the ground, Rogers rushed for 88 of Zephyr’s 90 yards and three touchdowns — on his first three carries.

Defensively, Devin Williams returned a fumble 5 yards for a touchdown, Robert Clark intercepted a pass near midfield and William Simpson stripped the ball away for a fumble recovery.

Gorman (5-2) is coming off last week’s 58-12 win over Morgan.

For the season, Trent Padron has rushed for 860 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Panthers while passing for 386 yards and eight scores, along with catching three passes for 81 yards.

Bryce Petree has chipped in 348 yards rushing and four touchdowns while catching a team-best 12 passes for 230 yards and four scores. Junior Mader has 251 yards on the ground and five scores, Justice ­Fischer has thrown for 289 yards and three touchdowns and J.T. Warren has caught six passes for 116 yards with a trip to the end zone.

Last season, Zephyr handed Gorman a 66-46 loss.

According to, Zephyr is a 21-point favorite.


Mullin at Brookesmith

7:30 p.m. Friday


In a battle that could determine the eventual District 12-A Division II runner-up and second playoff team out of the league, the Brookesmith Mustangs hosts the Mullin Bulldogs in a critical showdown.

Brookesmith (3-4, 1-0) carries a two-game win streak into the contest, including last week’s 50-0 thrashing of Gustine in the district opener. Mullin (4-3, 1-0), meanwhile, is riding a three-game win streak into the encounter, outlasting Sidney, 86-63, to kick off district play week ago.

In the Mustangs’ victory over Gustine, Brookesmith generated 425 yards of offense while allowing just 65 yards. The Mustangs rushed for 280 yards and passed for 145. Mason Brummett ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns of 46, 18 and 48 yards, while Johnathan Willoughby chipped in 79 yards with a 50-yard trip to the end zone. Holden Bolt hurled touchdown passes of 67 yards to Willoughby and 40 yards to Ryder Nelson, while Kody Turner also scored on a 2-yard carry.

During Mullin’s win streak, the Bulldogs have also knocked off Loop (56-8) and Rochelle (59-0).

Last season, Brookesmith upended Mullin, 54-36.

According to, Brookesmith a 34-point underdog.


Comanche at Merkel

7:30 p.m. Friday


The Comanche Indians look to remain atop the District 3-3A Division I standings, while the Merkel Badgers attempt to rebound from a loss in their league opener a week ago.

Comanche (5-1, 1-0) routed Jim Ned, 37-13, to kick off district action as the victorious Indians scored all their points before allowing two touchdowns in the final five minutes.

Comanche finished with 292 yards, including 249 rushing, while forcing four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble — and permitting 234 yards, with 139 coming on the ground.

Colton Roberts rushed for 170 yards and scored a 66-yard touchdown. Bronte Hermesmeyer completed 2 of 3 passes — both touchdowns of 21 yards to Gavin Farrar and 25 yards to Jayton McGinnis. Hermesmeyer also rushed for a 1-yard score.

Joe Gilligan tacked on a 7-yard touchdown run and Nacho Rios booted a 36-yard field goal.

In last week’s 23-21 loss to Clyde, Merkel (3-3, 0-1) attempted to rally from a 23-8 deficit midway through the third period. The Badgers finished with just 225 yards — 175 rushing and 50 passing — and turned the ball over three times, while surrendering 379 yards — 231 on the ground and 148 through the air — with one takeaway. Merkel was also flagged 10 times for 112 yards.

Balus Holden rushed for 76 yards, Cole Wilkerson passed for 50 yards and ran for a touchdown. and Zach Owens hauled in two catches for 40 yards for the Badgers. Brady Bilbury added scoring rushes of 7 and 4 yards.

Last season, Comanche handled Merkel, 38-14.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 28-point favorite.


Coleman at Cisco

7:30 p.m. Friday


Both the Coleman Bluecats and Cisco Loboes sit atop the District 4-3A Division II standings after one week, and one squad will greatly enhance its chances of earning a league title when the two teams meet.

Coleman (2-4, 1-0) cruised past Bangs, 46-12, in last week’s district opener, while Cisco (4-2, 1-0) handled Dublin, 43-21.

In the Bluecats’ victory, Coleman generated 456 yards of total offense — 387 rushing and 69 passing. Denton Allen led the way with 254 yards and three touchdowns on the ground followed by Marco Amaya with 73 yards and one score. Allen also returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown and completed 4 of 10 passes — all to different receivers, with Devonte Roberson hauling in a 37-yard catch to go along with his 3-yard touchdown run.

Defensively, Coleman yielded 244 yards — 156 passing and 88 rushing — and forced a pair of turnovers.

In Cisco’s win over Dublin, the Loboes amassed 569 total yards, including 523 rushing on 45 carries. Defensively, Cisco gave up 351 yards, with 291 coming through the air.

Stanley Callahan rushed for 280 yards and three touchdowns for the Loboes while Cooper Witt chipped in 116 yards and a score. Dillon McCoy added 52 yards on the ground with a touchdown and caught a 40-yard pass from Witt as well.

Last season, Cisco doubled up Coleman, 42-21.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is a 31-point underdog.


Crawford at San Saba

7:30 p.m. Friday


The San Saba Armadillos are attempting to rebound from their first District 7-2A Division I loss, but face another tough challenge as the Crawford Pirates come calling.

The Armadillos (3-3, 1-1) are coming off a 35-13 loss to rival Goldthwaite in the 100th Battle of the River, while Crawford (5-2, 2-1) hammered Valley Mills, 49-7, last week.

In last week’s defeat, San Saba yielded 522 yards — 317 passing and 205 rushing — while producing 219 yards — 114 through the air and 105 on the ground.

Sean O’Keefe completed 13 of 25 passes for 114 yards with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cole Tupin, and also rushed for 65 yards and a 1-yard score. Tupin finished with four grabs for 33 yards, Joe Watson caught three passes for 48 yards and Klay Prew hauled in three receptions for 36 yards. Josh Lambert contributed 42 yards rushing as well.

In Crawford’s blowout win over Valley Mills, the Pirates generated 381 yards — 252 rushing and 129 passing. All of the passing yards came from quarterback Gage Pearson to receiver Charlie Adamick. Trey Lacina led the ground attack with 14 carries for 107 yards and a pair of scores, while Casen Ewing added 70 rush yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns.

Last season, Crawford blanked San Saba, 56-0.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 16-point underdog.


Rising Star at Gustine

7:30 p.m. Friday


The Rising Star Wildcats will attempt to notch their second victory of the season in a non-district encounter against the Gustine Tigers.

Rising Star (1-5), in its final game before the start of District 11-A Division II action, is coming off its bye week, while Gustine (2-4) had its two-game win streak snapped by Brookesmith, 50-0, in the Tigers’ District 12-A Division II opener last week.

Rising Star’s only victory occurred on Sept. 29, a 46-0 decision over Trent. In that outing, the Wildcats racked up 302 total yards, with 266 coming on the ground, while allowing just 85. David Martinez rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns while Colten Edwards chipped in 97 yards and two scores. Korbin Bass also contributed touchdown runs of 17 and 12 yards. Through the air, Alex Teplichek’s lone completion went to Micah Carnley covering 36 yards.

The Wildcats have fallen to Blanket (48-0), Mullin (56-50, OT), Panther Creek (73-26), Lingleville (55-35) and Abilene Christian (58-0) this season.

In Gustine’s loss last week, the Tigers mustered just 65 yards of total offense while surrendering 425 — 280 rushing and 145 passing. Michael Lopez rushed for a team-high 37 yards and completed Gustine’s only successful pass in seven attempts for 8 yards to Andres Garcia.

Last season, Rising Star upended Gustine, 34-18.

According to, Rising Star is a 45-point favorite.


Panther Creek at Sidney

7:30 p.m. Friday


The Sidney Eagles are still in search of their first victory as they welcome the reigning District 12-A Division II champion Panther Creek Panthers, who will be playing their first game on the league slate.

Sidney (0-6, 0-1) dropped its league opener to Mullin, 86-63, last week, and has also fallen to Moran (53-24), Blanket (51-22), Morgan (52-6), Cranfills Gap (50-34) and Lometa (58-22).

Panther Creek (5-1, 0-0) is coming off a 64-15 thrashing of winless Rochelle. The Panthers finished with 410 yards of total offense, including 389 rushing, while surrendering 140 yards — with 128 coming on the ground — while forcing a pair of turnovers.

J.C. McDonald led the Panthers with 221 rushing yards and five touchdowns of 3, 46, 45, 58 and 35 yards. Matthew Morris tacked on scoring runs of 20, 28 and 20 yards, along with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Arath Armendariz.

Last season, Sidney forfeited the game to Panther Creek.

According to, Sidney is a 45-point underdog.