Richland Springs, Comanche, Goldthwaite begin postseason runs tonight
Five local teams are under the Friday Night Lights as their quest for a state championship reaches the postseason. Bi-district briefs for those five contests are as follows:
Class A Division I Region III Bi-District
May (10-0) vs. Forestburg (8-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Gordon
The Class A Division I No. 5 May Tigers carry an undefeated record into the playoffs for the second year in a row, as they look to return to Arlington and the state championship game for the first time since back-to-back runs in 2013 and 2014.
May, the champion of District 11, must first get past the District 12 runner-up Forestburg Longhorns (8-2), whose only losses this season came at the hands of undefeated Strawn (48-0) in Week 2 and Bryson (92-52) in Week 10.
The Tigers enter the playoffs generating 59 points and 353 yards — 216 rushing and 137 passing — per game, while allowing just 9 points on average, with four shutouts. May has allowed no more than 26 points in any game, and just four times have opponents reached double digits in points.
May has gone with a running back by committee approach, as five ball carriers have shouldered the bulk of the load — Preston Johnston (575 yards, 10 TDs), Dalton Self (537 yards, 11 TDs), Jacob Brown (375 yards, 8 TDs), Daniel Salinas (248 yards, 5 TDs) and Weston Chambers (238 yards, 4 TDs).
Through the air, Wyatt Mote has connected on 46 of 71 passes for 1,203 yards with 30 touchdowns and only one interception. Leading receivers include Johnston (12-397, 9 TDs), Brown (11-293, 6 TDs), Gage Keckler (9-199, 6 TDs) and Austin McAbee (7-145, 3 TDs).
Leading the charge defensively for the Tigers are Salinas (104 tackles, 15 for loss, three fumble recoveries), Johnston (61 tackles, 16.5 for loss), Mote (56 tackles, four interceptions, one fumble recovery), Keckler (53 tackles, 15 for loss, two fumble recoveries), Brown (42 tackles, 6.5 for loss, three interceptions, one fumble recovery) and Self (36 tackles, three fumble recoveries).
Forestburg has defeated Wichita Falls Notre Dame (69-44), Weatherford Christian (70-22), Trinidad (92-44), Savoy (68-18), Newcastle (65-18), Saint Jo (54-45), Gold-Burg (53-0) and Gordon (54-50). May picked up a 56-8 win over Gordon in last week’s regular season finale.
Friday’s winner will face either Zephyr (9-1) or Medina (10-0) in the second round.
According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.
Class A Division I
Region III Bi-District
vs. Medina (10-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Eden
The Zephyr Bulldogs have their sights set on a fourth consecutive bi-district championship as they begin what they hope is another lengthy postseason appearance. The District 9 champion Medina Bobcats have other plans, however, and await in the opening round with a flawless record.
Zephyr, the runner-up from District 10, enters the postseason averaging 64 points and 585 yards — 419 rushing and 166 passing — per game, while allowing 28 points per contest.
The ground game is led by Mason Rogers (2,048 yards, 32 TDs), Nicholas Moody (1,277 yards, 32 TDs) and Hunter Williams (696 yards, 10 TDs). Through the air, Kason King (45 of 71 for 1,097 yards, 25 TDs) and Hunter Williams (22 of 41 for 490 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs) have led the way, while leading receivers include Devin Williams (29-957, 24 TDs), J.P. Gowin (12-282, 5 TDs) and Moody (11-303, 5 TDs).
Defensive standouts for the Bulldogs include Robert Clark (88 tackles, three for loss, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries), Hunter Williams (60 tackles, two for loss, four interceptions), Moody (59 tackles, 17 for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries), Devin Williams (53 tackles, six for loss, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries), King (35 tackles, five for loss, two sacks), Rogers (30 tackles, six for loss, three sacks), William Simpson (25 tackles, three for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery), Gowin (24 tackles, seven for loss), and Michael Seider (22 tackles, two for loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries).
Medina enters the contest averaging 64 points while allowing 29 points per contest — almost identical to Zephyr.
The Bobcats’ victories have come against Cherokee (81-54), Rochelle (70-0), Bulverde Bracken Christian (80-52), Bastrop Tribe Consolidated (58-25), Fredericksburg Heritage (37-16), Fayette County Home School (48-0), Abilene Christian (64-46), Lometa (47-38), Eden (86-36) and Nueces Canyon (72-24). Those teams combined for a 49-50 record, with just half the schedule being against UIL programs.
Friday’s winner will face either No. 5 May (10-0) or Forestburg (8-2) in the second round.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Zephyr is a 5-point favorite.
Class A Division II
Region IV Bi-District
Richland Springs (9-1)
vs. Morgan (6-4)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Hamilton
The Class A Division II No. 4 Richland Springs Coyotes’ postseason path to another three-peat, and a state record ninth state championship overall begins against playoff newcomer Morgan, the District 14-A runner-up.
The Coyotes (9-1) are coming off their 16th consecutive district championship and 69th straight district victory, while the Morgan Eagles (6-4) are making their first playoff appearance since 2001. In that time, the Eagles have had one season with a non-losing record — 5-5 in 2008 — prior to this year.
Richland Springs heads to the playoffs averaging 65 points and 330 yards — 226 rushing and 104 passing — per game, with four turnovers, while yielding 21 points and 208 yards — 104 on the ground and 104 through the air — with 21 takeaways.
The ground game is anchored by Hutton Lusty (702 yards, 15 TDs), Walker Tippie (691 yards, 19 TDs), Jordan Burkhart (414 yards, 6 TDs) and Cameron Parham (114 yards, 2 TDs).
Through the air, Burkhart has completed 28 of 44 passes for 616 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions, while Tippie has connected on 14 of 17 attempts for 318 with eight scoring strikes.
Leading receivers include Parham (11-292, 5 TDs), Lusty (7-212, 3 TDs), Linden Brown (4-120, 2 TDs), Landon Burkhart (5087, 4 TDs) and Zach Brown (6-85, 2 TDs).
Defensive standouts for the Coyotes include Lusty (72.5 tackles, 13.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks), Parham (49.5 tackles, 17.5 for loss, five sacks, one interception), Tippie (46 tackles, six for loss, two sacks, four interceptions) and Jordan Burkhart (33.5 tackles, three interceptions).
Morgan is averaging 45 points and allowing 37 per contest.
The Eagles have defeated Bynum (63-0), Penelope (50-36), Sidney (52-6), Bluff Dale (55-14), Cranfills Gap (75-27) and Walnut Springs (93-70), with losses against Lometa (51-43), Evant (51-6), Gorman (58-12) and Iredell (62-0).
Friday’s winner will face either No. 2 Milford (10-0) or Buckholts (7-3) in the second round.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.
Class 2A Division I
Region II Bi-District
vs. Mart (9-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Whitney
The Goldthwaite Eagles will attempt to halt a three-game skid and avoid a second straight first-round exit, but will have to upset the District 8-2A Division I champion and top-ranked Mart Panthers to do so.
Goldthwaite, the No. 4 playoff seed, has tallied a total of 17 points during its three-game slump, while Mart has scored no fewer than 53 points in each of the last seven games, eclipsing 70 points three times including a season-high 90 in a shutout victory over Axtell on Oct. 20.
For the season, the Panthers average 60 points per game while allowing 11. Tyrek Horne has rushed for 1,485 yards and 19 touchdowns, Jace Terry has thrown for 1,491 yards and 26 scores and Zamar Kirven has caught 30 passes for 435 yards with seven trips to the end zone.
In Goldthwaite’s most recent outing — a 51-7 loss to fourth-ranked De Leon in the regular season finale — the Eagles generated 301 total yards, with 212 coming the through the air, but turned the ball over five times.
Drew Hermesmeyer completed 21 of 36 passes for 212 yards with a touchdown, Leo Garcia rushed for 95 yards and T.J. Watson hauled in five receptions for 90 yards. Goldthwaite’s lone touchdown came on a 9-yard toss from Hermesmeyer to Kyle Schwartz in the second quarter.
Defensively, the Eagles surrendered 527 yards — 280 passing and 247 rushing.
Friday’s winner will face either Windthorst or Bells in the second round.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 48-point underdog.
Class 3A Division I
Region I Bi-District
vs. Boyd (3-7)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Granbury
The Comanche Indians, coming off their second consecutive District 3-3A Division I championship, will attempt to avoid a second straight first-round upset as they challenge the District 4-3A Division I fourth seed Boyd Yellow Jackets in bi-district action.
Comanche’s lone blemish on its record is a 25-24 loss to Cisco, as the Loboes rallied in the closing minutes to spoil what would have been a perfect regular season. Against District 3-3A Division I competition, the Indians swept the field by an average margin of 47-20.
The Indians concluded district action with a season-high in points, rolling past the Early Longhorns, 68-26. Comanche amassed 517 yards of total offense, with 442 coming on the ground, while allowing 320 yards, but just 1 rushing yard on five carries.
Kade Mercer rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, Colten Roberts added 124 yards and two scores, and Jeremy Bostick chipped in touchdown carries of 8 and 78 yards. Bronte Hermesmeyer completed 4 of 7 passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns, Jayton McGinnis grabbed three catches for 50 yards with a score, and Trevor Higginbotham hauled in a 14-yard touchdown catch.
Boyd — which has been outscored 34-19 on average — won its season finale over Paradise (29-13) for its lone district win, halting a six-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets also defeated Tolar (21-14 in overtime) and Lake Worth (26-23) in non-district action.
Kody Risenhoover has thrown for 1,551 yards and 14 touchdowns, Russell Jones has rushed for 612 yards and seven scores and Koby Miller has caught 44 passes for 633 yards and 10 touchdowns. Freshman Nick Miller leads the defense with 110 tackles, two sacks and an interception.
Friday’s winner will face either Kermit (6-4) or Slaton (5-5), who square off Saturday, in the second round.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 31-point favorite.