Brookesmith battles Panther Creek for top spot in District 12-A Division II; May, Zephyr start league slates

A dozen games are on the Week 9 docket as district play swings into high gear for all area teams Friday night. The following is a brief preview of those contests:

Blanket at Jonesboro

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Blanket Tigers will tangle with the Class A Division I No. 9 Jonesboro Eagles as District 10-A Division I action kicks off for both teams Friday after byes last week.

Blanket (5-2) is coming off a 51-50 victory at Lometa in its most recent outing, rallying from a 14-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. Jonesboro (6-1) slipped past Oakwood, 78-61, in its most recent outing.

The Tigers have fallen to May (54-8) and Strawn (66-14) — both undefeated squads — and Jonesboro’s only loss was at the hands of unbeaten Milford (71-44) in Week 2.

In Blanket’s win over Lometa, the Tigers finished with 411 total yards as Trenton Varner completed 12 of 18 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Kameron Spivey hauled in two catches for 67 yards and a score, John John Alexander added a touchdown grab among his two catches for 40 yards, Adan Lopez pulled down a 43-yard catch and Luke Kinkade finished with four receptions for 43 yards.

On the ground, Logan Wheeler rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and Kinkade finished with 112 yards.

Defensively, Alexander tallied nine tackles followed by Spivey with eight, Kinkade with five and a fumble recovery, Varner with four and a fumble recovery and Jonathan Sifuentes also pounced on a loose ball.

Jonesboro is averaging 59 points and 429 yards per game, with 355 coming on the ground. Leading rushers include Wyatt Young (887 yards, 12 TDs), Ethan Lilljedahl (514 yards, 9 TDs), Andy Sarmiento (344 yards, 3 TDs) and Payton Merx (258 yards, 4 TDs). Anthony Lopez has thrown for 217 yards and six touchdowns, while leading receivers include Trevor Sellers (7-150, 4 TDs) Sarmiento (7-110, 3 TDs) and Christian Baker (4-110, 3 TDs).

Last season, Blanket suffered a 54-6 loss to Jonesboro.

According to, Blanket is a 45-point underdog.


at Panther Creek

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Brookesmith Mustangs put their three-game win streak on the line against the Panther Creek Panthers in a contest that will likely determine the District 12-A Division II championship.

Brookesmith (4-4, 2-0) has knocked off Gustine (50-0) and Mullin (48-46) in its first two league outings, while Panther Creek (5-2, 1-0) rolled past Sidney (62-16) last week.

In the Mustangs’ narrow win over Mullin last week, Brookesmith finished with 505 total yards, with 418 coming on the ground, while committing the game’s two turnovers. The Mustangs allowed 398 yards, including 345 rushing.

Mason Brummett generated 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Jonathan Willoughby added 131 yards and a score. Randall Williams chipped in 44 yards and Holden Bolt rushed for 19.

Through the air, Willoughby completed both his pass attempts for 60 yards and a score, while Bolt’s lone completion was a 27-yard score. Rydeer Nelson finished with two grabs for 71 yards and a pair of scores, while Rusty Roberts caught a 16-yard pass.

In Panther Creek’s win over Sidney last week, the Panthers finished with 337 total yards, including 252 rushing, while allowing just 171 yards — 124 passing and 47 rushing — and forcing two turnovers.

J.C. McDonald rushed for 167 yards and four touchdowns and completed 4 of 5 passes for 85 yards and another score. Matthew Morris rushed for 85 yards and two scores and caught a 23-yard touchdown. Haynes Harper led all receivers with three catches for 62 yards.

Last season, Brookesmith was dealt a 66-22 loss by Panther Creek.

According to, Brookesmith is a 45-point underdog.

Even with a loss Friday, the Mustangs could secure a second consecutive postseason berth with a victory over winless Sidney next week, as Brookesmith’s district bye falls in Week 11.

Gorman at May

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Class A Division I No. 7 May Tigers look to continue their undefeated run and secure their 19th straight regular season victory as they host the Gorman Panthers in the District 11-A Division I opener for both teams.

May (7-0) had a bye last week, with its last outing being a 62-16 homecoming victory over Knox City. Gorman (5-2) is coming off a 72-26 non-district defeat at the hands of Zephyr last week.

In the Tigers’ win over Knox City, Wyatt Mote passed for 139 yards and four touchdowns as all his completions resulted in points. Mote hurled scoring tosses of 59 yards to Jaden Baker, 41 yards to Chris Flenniken, 28 yards to Daniel Salinas and 11 yards to Preston Johnston. Mote also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Self.

On the ground, Self rushed for 40 yards and two scores and returned a kick 75 yards for a touchdown as well, while Johnston was the top ground gainer with 42 yards.

On the defensive end, Salinas recorded eight tackles, Self notched five and recovered a fumble and Mote tallied four with a fumble recovery and an interception.

In Gorman’s loss to Zephyr, the Panthers scored the first two touchdowns but surrendered 340 total yards, including 314 on the ground, and were outscored 72-12 after the first quarter.

Last season, May rolled to a 59-14 triumph over Gorman.

According to, May is a 45-point favorite.

Zephyr at Evant

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Class A Division I No. 10 Zephyr Bulldogs begin their quest for a District 10-A Division I championship against the Evant Elks in just their second road game of the season.

Zephyr (7-0) is coming off last week’s 72-26 victory over Gorman, while Evant (6-1) had a bye. The Elks’ last game was a 71-21 triumph over Nueces Canyon on Oct. 14. Evant’s lone loss was a 62-16 setback against Iredell in Week 4.

In the Bulldogs’ victory last week, Zephyr generated 340 yards of total offense, with 314 coming on the ground.

Mason Rogers led the Bulldogs with 223 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Nicholas Moody chipped in 71 yards on the ground and three scores. Devin Williams rushed for a 9-yard touchdown and also returned a kick 46 yards for a touchdown.

Kason King completed 1 of 5 passes for 15 yards, that to J.P Gowin. Hunter Williams added an 11-yard pass to Moody, and Williams also rushed for 11 yards.

Defensively for the Bulldogs, Robert Clark collected 15 tackles with one for loss; Hunter Williams notched 12 tackles with an interception; Devin Williams tallied 10 tackles; and Moody finished with eight tackles with three for loss.

Last season, Zephyr chalked up a 66-16 victory over Evant.

According to, Zephyr is a 45-point favorite.

Clyde at Comanche

7:30 p.m. Friday

The two teams atop the District 3-3A Division I standings square off as the Comanche Indians welcome the Clyde Bulldogs.

Comanche (6-1, 2-0) has knocked off Jim Ned (37-13) and Merkel (31-14) in its two district outings, while Clyde (5-2, 2-0) owns league wins over Merkel (23-21) and Early (56-13).

In Comanche’s victory over Merkel last week, the Indians compiled 470 yards of total offense, with 365 coming on the ground. Defensively, Comanche gave up 213 yards — 173 rushing and 40 passing — and forced a pair of turnovers.

Colten Roberts rushed for 267 yards and three touchdowns of 6, 60 and 25 yards. Roberts also caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Bronte Hermesmeyer to open the scoring.

Hermesmeyer connected on 5 of 7 attempts for 105 yards with Trevor Higginbotham hauling in four receptions for 70 yards.

In Clyde’s triumph over Early, the Bulldogs racked up 491 total yards — 331 rushing and 180 passing — but committed four turnovers. Defensive, Clyde allowed 285 yards — 189 through the air and 96 on the ground — with two takeaways.

Zach Wyatt rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, Peyton Burton completed 21 of 33 passes for 180 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, and Peyton Laughlin hauled in seven receptions for 88 yards and two trips to the end zone.

Last season, Comanche picked up a 28-7 win over Clyde.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 24-point favorite.

Eastland at Coleman

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Coleman Bluecats will attempt to bounce back from their first District 4-3A Division II loss and remain in the upper echelon of the league standings as they host the Eastland Mavericks.

After a 46-12 triumph over Bangs in the district opener, Coleman (2-5, 1-1) was blanked by Cisco (47-0) last week. Eastland (5-2, 2-0), meanwhile, has defeated Tolar (35-15) and Dublin (42-3) in league action.

In Coleman’s loss last week, the Bluecats were limited to 181 total yards, with 129 coming on the ground, while committing the game’s only turnover. Coleman surrendered 443 yards — 327 rushing and 116 passing.

Devante Roberson rushed for 66 yards for the Bluecats and Denton Allen added 58. Allen also completed 5 of 16 passes for 52 yards, with Kevin Holloway making two grabs for 21 yards.

In Eastland’s win over Dublin, the Mavericks allowed negative-10 yards rushing on 23 carries and 205 yards total for the game. On offense, Eastland produced 405 yards — 232 on the ground and 173 through the air.

Brandon Fielding rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns, Zach Brown completed 6 of 9 passes for 118 yards and David Vasquez grabbed four catches for 83 yards. Brenton Stuck added touchdown carries of 6 and 3 yards and Behren Morton scored on an 18-yard jaunt.

Last season, Coleman dropped a 30-14 decision to Eastland.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is a 32-point underdog.

Goldthwaite at Crawford

7:30 p.m. Friday

The road to a potential District 7-2A Division I championship takes the Goldthwaite Eagles to Crawford, where the Pirates will attempt to avoid a second league loss.

Goldthwaite (4-3, 3-0), coming off its district bye, carries a four-game win streak into the encounter. Crawford (6-2, 3-1) eventually pulled away from San Saba for a 26-6 victory last week.

The Eagles’ most recent outing was their 35-13 victory over San Saba in the 100th Battle of the River. Goldthwaite racked up 522 total yards and was able to overcome 16 penalties for 145 yards.

Quaid Seward rushed for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Drew Hermesmeyer completed 11 of 14 passes for 205 yards and two scores and Isaac Chavez caught four passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. McKennon Jones also hauled in four catches for 64 yards with a trip to the end zone.

In Crawford’s win over San Saba, the Pirates generated 359 yards, with 304 coming on the ground, and did not commit a turnover. Defensively, Crawford had a pair of takeaways — an interception and a fumble recovery.

Last season, Goldthwaite was on the short end of a 34-9 decision against Crawford.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 1-point underdog.

San Saba at Hico

7:30 p.m. Friday

The San Saba Armadillos will attempt to remain the District 7-2A Division I playoff chase when they visit the Hico Tigers.

Since a 48-6 district opening victory over Valley Mills, San Saba (3-4, 1-2) has since dropped district decisions to Goldthwaite (35-13) and Crawford (26-6). Hico (5-2, 2-1) owns district wins over Valley Mills (42-6) and Hamilton (21-6), with a loss to De Leon (27-14).

In San Saba’s outing with Crawford last week, the Armadillos were limited to 115 total yards — 104 through the air and 11 yards on the ground on 17 carries.

Sean O’Keefe completed 9 of 20 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Eli Salinas pulled down four receptions for 69 yards, Klay Prew added two for 12 yards and Cole Tupin (17 yards), Josh Lambert (3 yards) and Joseph Watson (3 yards) also made catches.

K.J. Simon was the top ground gainer for the Armadillos with 9 yards.

In Hico’s win over Valley Mills, the Tigers amassed 344 total yards — 270 rushing and 74 passing — while allowing 182 yards, with 129 coming on the ground, with three takeaways.

Jacob Smith rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown, while Briley Johnson added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground along with a 74-yard scoring strike to Grayson Holt. Cooper Conlee chipped in 33 rushing yards and a touchdown as well.

Last season, San Saba was handed a 40-0 defeat by Hico.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 13-point underdog.

Richland Springs at Rochelle

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Class A Division II No. 3 Richland Springs Coyotes carry a 66-game district win streak into Friday’s District 13-A Division II opener against the winless Rochelle Hornets, as head coach Jerry Burkhart’s squad eyes a 16th straight league championship.

Richland Springs (6-1) is coming off a bye week, with its most recent outing being an 84-36 victory over Fort Worth THESA on Oct. 13.

In that contest, the Coyotes finished with 491 total yards — 366 rushing and 125 passing — while allowing 363 yards — 187 through the air and 176 on the ground — with a pair of takeaways.

Hutton Lusty rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns, Walker Tippie added 146 yards and four scores and Jordan Burkhart finished with 61 yards rushing and a 51-yard kick return for a touchdown.

Through the air, Tippie was 5 of 7 for 104 yards with touchdown passes of 44 yards to Lusty and 10 yards to Landon Burkhart. Jordan Burkhart went 3 for 5 for 21 yards and a 1-yard score to Tippie, who caught three passes for 21 yards.

Defensively, Tippie finished with 17 tackles and a sack while Cameron Parham chipped in eight tackles, also with a sack.

Rochelle (0-7) has been outscored 402-61, tallying no more than 24 points in any game while being shutout in three contests.

Last season, Richland Springs blanked Rochelle, 56-0.

According to, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.

Rising Star at Strawn

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Rising Star Wildcats challenge the Class A Division II No. 2 Strawn Greyhounds in the District 11-A Division II opener for both squads.

The Wildcats (2-5) are coming off a 76-34 non-district victory over Gustine, while Strawn (7-0) pummeled Cherokee, 60-0, last week.

Rising Star is averaging 33 points and 243 yards — 191 rushing and 52 passing — while allowing 46 points per outing.

Freshman Korbin Bass has rushed for 682 yards and eight touchdowns, David Martinez has added 257 yards and nine scores and Colton Edwards has chipped in 179 yards and two trips to the end zone. Alex Teplichek has thrown for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while Micah Carnley leads all receivers with nine receptions for 200 yards and a pair of scores.

Strawn has given up just 68 points all season while amassing 455 — an average weekly score of 65-9.

Last season, Rising Star was shutout by Strawn, 50-0.

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

Gustine at Mullin

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Mullin Bulldogs will attempt to keep an outside shot at the playoffs alive as they host the Gustine Tigers in District 12-A Division II action Friday night.

Mullin’s (4-4, 1-1) four-game win streak was snapped in a 48-46 road loss to Brookesmith last week. The Bulldogs outlasted Sidney (86-63) in their district opener on Oct. 13.

Gustine’s (2-5, 0-1) lone district outing was a 50-0 defeat at the hands of Brookesmith, while the Tigers are coming off a 76-34 non-district loss to Rising Star last week. Mullin picked up a 56-50 overtime win over Rising Star earlier this season.

Last season, Mullin slipped past Gustine, 48-39.

According to, Mullin is a 45-point favorite.

Santa Anna at Veribest

7:30 p.m. Friday

The defending District 8-A Division I champion Santa Anna Mountaineers will attempt to break into the win column for the first time this season as they visit the Veribest Falcons in the league opener for both teams.

Santa Anna (0-7) has been outscored 410-18, mustering no more than 6 points in any game with four shutouts.

Veribest (4-3) is the only team in the district to post a winning record against non-district foes. The Falcons defeated Rochelle (60-14), Brookesmith (45-0), Mullin (56-0) and Panther Creek (71-35) with losses to Rankin (58-12), as well as Blackwell (77-38) and Highland (58-8) in their two most recent outings.

Last season, Santa Anna throttled Veribest, 63-18.

According to, Santa Anna is a 45-point underdog.