Richland Springs, May vie for outright titles; Zephyr looks to guarantee a spot; Coleman, Goldthwaite out to improve positions

The postseason picture will come into focus by the end of the night as the final Friday of the high school football regular season arrives.

District championships, playoff berths and seeding position are at stake in many of the 10 local games on tonight’s docket.

The following are brief previews of those contests:

 

Zephyr at Blanket

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Zephyr Bulldogs are looking to bounce back from their first victory of the season and clinch the second playoff seed from District 10-A Division I, but the Blanket Tigers stand in the way.

Mathematically, Blanket is still in the playoff picture, but the Tigers would need to defeat Zephyr and have Evant knock off No. 4 Jonesboro for that scenario to come to pass.

Zephyr’s string of eight straight victories came to a screeching halt last week with the Bulldogs’ six consecutive loss to Jonesboro.

The Bulldogs managed just 243 yards of total offense and tossed a pair of interceptions.

Zephyr was limited to just 85 yards rushing as Nicholas Moody rushed for 41 yards, Mason Rogers added 32 yards and a touchdown and Hunter Williams rushed for 12 yards and a score.

Through the air, Kason King connected on 5 of 10 passes for 114 yards while Williams was 3 of 6 for 44 yards and two picks. Devin Williams was held to just two catches for 54 yards, J.P. Gowin added two receptions for 45 yards and Robert Clark (24 yards), Elliot Gowin (20 yards) and Moody (17 yards) each caught a pass.

Defensively, Hunter Williams recorded eight tackles followed by Devin Williams with seven and Clark with five.

Blanket was also surprised last week in an 89-44 loss at Evant.

The Tigers finished with 539 total yards — 424 rushing and 115 passing — but lost three fumbles.

Logan Wheeler rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns while Luke Kinkade chipped in 141 yard and two scores. Trenten Varner completed 11 of 14 passes for 115 yards with a touchdown to Wheeler, who grabbed four receptions for 33 yards. Kinkade added two catches for 23 yards.

Tyler Simpson (20 yards), Adan Lopez (18 yards), Kameron Spivey (17 yards) and Tanner Isom (4 yards) also caught passes, while Varner (41 yards), Spivey (13 yards) and John John Alexander (10 yard) also assisted in the ground game.

Defensive standouts for Blanket were Varner and Kinkade with nine tackles each and Alexander and Spivey with five apiece.

Last season, Zephyr upended Blanket, 72-13.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Zephyr is a 33-point favorite.

 

Gordon at May

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Class A Division 1 No. 5 May Tigers, who have already locked up the top playoff seed from District 11, can clinch an outright championship with a home victory over the Gordon Longhorns.

May (9-0, 2-0) notched its 20th consecutive regular-season victory last week with a 48-0 triumph over Lingleville, while Gordon (2-7, 0-2) has yet to win a district game and has only two wins — over Newcastle (44-38) in Week 1 and Granbury NCTA (42-32) in Week 5 — on the year.

In the Tigers’ road win over Lingleville last week, May finished with 395 yards of total offense behind a balanced attack that featured 200 yards passing and 195 rushing.

Wyatt Mote completed 7 of 8 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns, while Jacob Brown threw a 10-yard touchdown pass and Dalton Self added an 11-yard completion. Brown caught three passes for 60 yards and a score, Preston Johnston hauled in a 57-yard touchdown toss, Austin McAbee grabbed two catches for 54 yards with a trip to the end zone, Gage Keckler made two catches for 20 yards and a score and Weston Chambers caught a 10-yard pass.

On the ground, Self rushed for 54 yards, Brown added 42 yards and a touchdown, Johnston picked up 39 yards and reached the end zone once, Daniel Salinas churned out 34 yards, Mote rushed once for 20 yards and Chambers tacked on a 6-yard touchdown on his lone carry.

Defensively, Salinas and Keckler each finished with seven tackles while Mote and Johnston added four tackles apiece.

Last season, May rolled to a 70-28 victory over Gordon.

According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.

 

Tolar at Coleman

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The battle for the No. 3 seed in District 4-3A Division II takes place between the Coleman Bluecats and Tolar Rattlers.

Both teams have secured postseason berths, with the loser falling to the No. 4 spot and having to face District 3-3A Division II champion and undefeated Sonora in the first round. Tonight’s victor will likely draw Alpine, who appears to have locked down the runner-up spot in District 3.

Coleman (3-6, 2-2) is coming off a 28-20 playoff-clinching victory over Dublin. Tolar (5-4, 2-2), meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from a 40-14 district loss to Cisco.

Both the Bluecats and Rattlers have defeated Bangs and Dublin in district competition, while falling to Cisco and Eastland.

Last season, Coleman cruised past Tolar, 28-6.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is an 11-point underdog.

 

De Leon at Goldthwaite

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Goldthwaite Eagles will attempt to halt a two-game losing streak, hand the No. 4 De Leon Bearcats their first loss of the season and improve their District 7-2A Division I playoff positioning on the final night of the regular season.

After winning their first three district contests, the Eagles (4-5, 3-2) have since fallen to Crawford and Hico, scoring a total of 10 points in the two defeats. A loss to De Leon (9-0, 5-0) would result in Goldthwaite opening the playoffs against top-ranked Mart, the District 8-2A Division I champion.

Goldthwaite is coming off a 16-3 defeat to Hico, with the only points being a 50-yard Leo Garcia field goal on the final play of the first half.

The Eagles manufactured 243 yards of total offense — 138 rushing and 105 passing — with a pair of turnovers. Goldthwaite surrendered 263 yards, with 245 coming on the ground.

Quaid Seward was limited to 86 yards rushing on just six carries, while Drew Hermesmeyer completed 11 of 21 passes for 105 yards. Isaac Chavez caught a team-high four passes for 20 yards.

Meanwhile, De Leon picked up a 51-7 victory at San Saba last week.

The Bearcats amassed 524 yards of total offense — 312 passing and 212 rushing. De Leon quarterback Kevin Yeager completed 14 of 19 passes for 312 yards and four scores.

Last season, De Leon edged Goldthwaite, 38-35.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is 26-point underdog.

 

San Saba at Hamilton

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The San Saba Armadillos will attempt to wrap up their first season under head coach Jerod Fikac with a victory and snap a four-game District 7-2A Division I skid as they visit the Hamilton Bulldogs.

San Saba (3-6, 1-4) is coming off a 51-7 loss to No. 4 De Leon as the Armadillos surrendered 524 yards of total offense — 312 through the air and 212 on the ground. Hamilton (4-4, 1-4), meanwhile, ended its own four-game district drought with a 55-14 triumph over winless Valley Mills last week.

The Armadillos average 19 and 277 yards per game — 140 rushing and 137 passing — while giving up 30 points on average.

Quarterback Sean O’Keefe has completed 98 of 204 passes for 1,212 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while rushing for a team-high 581 yards and five scores.

Eli Salinas has chipped in 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns out of the backfield, while receiving threats include Ruben Parra (23-259, 2 TDs), Cole Tupin (20-232, 2 TDs), Salinas (18-205, 2 TDs), Klay Prew (14-175, 2 TDs) and Joseph Watson (12-202, 3 TDs).

Defensive standouts for the Armadillos include Josh Lambert (101 tackles), Erik Argote (87 tackles) and Sakima Herrera (80 tackles).

Last season, Hamilton slipped past San Saba, 33-20.

 

Richland Springs at Cherokee

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Class A Division II No. 3 Richland Springs Coyotes are eyeing their 16th consecutive district championship and 69th straight league victory as they visit the Cherokee Indians in the 13-A Division II finale.

The Coyotes (8-1, 2-0) picked up a forfeit victory over Lohn last week, while Cherokee (4-5, 2-0) upended Rochelle, 50-0, last week.

Richland Springs’ most recent on the field outing was a 54-0 triumph over Rochelle on Oct. 27.

The Coyotes ran just five offensive plays and amassed 126 yards — all on the ground — while giving up a mere 20 total yards with three turnovers forced.

Walker Tippie rushed for touchdowns of 3 and 35 yards on his two carries, Hutton Lusty finished with a team-high 58 yards including a 46-yard touchdown and Jordan Burkhart added a 30-yard scoring jaunt.

Cameron Parham recorded two safeties for the Coyote defense and Jared Martin scored following a fumble recovery. Also, Landon Burkhart returned a punt 25 yards for a touchdown and Jordan Burkhart added a 66-yard kick return.

Parham finished with 6.5 tackles, including five for loss, while Lusty added five tackles with three for loss.

Last season, the Coyotes devoured Cherokee, 68-0.

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

 

Rising Star at Woodson

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Rising Star Wildcats will to attempt to conclude their season with a District 11-A Division II victory, which would be their third for the season, as they visit the Woodson Cowboys.

Both Rising Star (2-7, 0-2) and Woodson (1-7, 0-2) have fallen to Strawn and Moran in district action. The Wildcats’ last victory was a 76-34 decision over Gustine in Week 8, while Rising Star also owns a 46-0 triumph over Trent.

The lone victory for Woodson occurred in Week 1, a 63-14 thrashing of Trent.

Rising Star averages 29 points and 236 yards per game — 178 rushing and 58 passing — while giving up 50 points.

Korbin Bass has rushed for 826 yards and 11 touchdowns while Daniel Martinez has chipped in 400 yards and 10 scores and Colton Edwards has contributed 344 yards and five scores.

Alex Teplichek has thrown for 414 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions, as Micah Carnley has caught 14 passes for 234 yards and two trips to the end zone.

Last season, Rising Star came up short in a 52-13 loss to Woodson.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Rising Star is a 20-point favorite.

 

Mullin at Panther Creek

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Mullin Bulldogs still have playoff life left, but must defeat the Panther Creek Panthers, who are attempting to secure the District 12-A Division II championship outright.

A Mullin (5-4, 2-1) would create a three-way with the Bulldogs, Panther Creek (8-1, 3-0) and Brookesmith (5-5, 3-1) for the district title, however, the Panthers have mercy-ruled each of their 12-A Division II opponents to date.

Mullin, which is coming off its district bye, annihilated Gustine, 72-8, in its most recent outing. Panther Creek, meanwhile, thumped Gustine, 66-16, last week.

A loss by the Bulldogs would eliminate them from playoff contention and end their season.

Last season, Mullin was blanked by Panther Creek, 46-0.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Mullin is a 45-point underdog.

 

Gustine at Sidney

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Sidney Eagles will attempt to avoid a winless campaign as they host the Gustine Tigers in the District 12-A Division II and season finale.

Gustine’s (2-7, 0-3) two wins this season have come against McDade (58-13) and Bluff Dale (24-12) in consecutive weeks. The Tigers have been outscored in district, 188-24.

Sidney’s (0-9, 0-3) closest brush with victory was last week’s loss to Brookesmith.

The Eagles allowed 402 yards of total offense, with 318 coming on the ground, while producing 267 yards, including 258 rushing. Sidney created and also lost three turnovers.

Dennis Morales rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles, Austin Barrow chipped in 63 yards and a score, and Triston Kelly returned a kick 78 yards for a touchdown while also rushing for 41 yards. Aubrey Millwee chipped in 24 yards on the ground as well.

Last season, Sidney forfeited its finale to Gustine.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Sidney is a 31-point favorite.

 

Santa Anna at Paint Rock

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Santa Anna Mountaineers will attempt to prevent a winless season and salvage a victory in the District 8-A Division I and regular season finale against the Paint Rock Indians.

Santa Anna (0-9, 0-2), the 2016 district champion, has been outscored 542-36 this season, an average of 60-4 per outing. The Mountaineers dropped a 62-6 decision to district rival Water Valley last week.

Paint Rock (2-7, 0-2) defeated Gustine, 51-6, in Week 2 and also owns a victory over Rochelle, 48-24. The Indians were dealt a 69-14 district defeat by Veribest last week.

Last season, Santa Anna hammered Paint Rock, 78-29.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Santa Anna is a 23-point underdog.