Coleman, Richland Springs attempt to remain perfect; Zephyr, Goldthwaite, Comanche among teams looking to bounce back

Week 4 of the high school football season starts early — today, in fact — with the ‘Battle of the Tigers’ as Blanket ventures to May where the undefeated Brown County programs will resume their rivalry.

In other action this weekend, Class A Division I No. 7 Zephyr attempts to rebound from its first loss while Santa Anna tries to build on its initial victory as the former district rivals clash.

Both Coleman and Richland Springs will look to remain unbeaten as well when the Bluecats host a talented Brady squad while the Coyotes venture to Cedar Park to challenge Austin Hill Country.

The following are brief glimpses of this weekend’s contests:

 

Blanket (3-0) at May (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Thursday

 

Four teams from the Bulletin’s coverage area still have a chance at a perfect season, but that number will decrease by at least one Thursday night when the May Tigers host the Blanket Tigers in a battle of unbeatens.

May — ranked No. 17 in Class A Division I this week by sixmanfootball.com — has started its season with victories over Santa Anna (54-20), Eden (64-12) and Throckmorton (61-42). Blanket — ranked No. 41 in Class A Division I — has tallied wins over Rising Star (54-6), Rochelle (48-0) and Sidney (forfeit).

In May’s win over Throckmorton last week, the Tigers generated 421 yards offense, with 328 coming on the ground.

Jacob Brown led the way with 141 yards and three touchdowns, Cameron King added 105 yards and a score, Daniel Salinas chipped in 60 yards with three trips to the end zone and Wyatt Mote rushed for 22 yards and six points.

Through the air, Mote was 4 of 12 for 62 yards while King completed his only pass attempt for a 31-yard touchdown to Austin McBee. Brown added three catches for 23 yards and King caught a 39-yard pass.

Leading the charge for the May defense were Salinas with 14 tackles, two fumble recoveries and 2.5 tackles for loss; King with 10 tackles, including one for loss; McBee with six tackles, including two for loss; and Dalton Self with six takedowns.

In Blanket’s triumph over Rochelle a week ago, the Tigers generated 256 yards of total offense — all on the ground — while allowing just 67 yards — 49 passing and 18 rushing.

Gabriel Cardenas rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns — from 31 and 42 yards out — while Isaac Pedraza chipped in 69 yards and a 55-yard touchdown. Luke Kinkade added 58 yards with a 42-yard scoring sprint, Blake Hood scored on a 28-yard carry and Quinton Alexander rushed for 13 yards and a pair of touchdowns — from 1 and 12 yards out.

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

 

Zephyr (2-1)

at Santa Anna (1-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Class A Division I No. 7 Zephyr Bulldogs are coming off a 52-6 loss to Class A Division II No. 1 Richland Springs, while the Santa Anna Mountaineers collected a wild 58-57 victory over Robert Lee last week, their first of the season.

The former district mates continue their rivalry Friday night with Zephyr looking to get back on the winning track and Santa Anna attempting to stay there.

In the Bulldogs’ loss last week, Zephyr managed just 81 yards — 41 through the air and 40 on the ground — with four turnovers. A 19-yard touchdown pass from Bishop Norman to Devin Williams with 3:15 left in the first period evened the score at 6, but accounted for Zephyr’s only points.

Nicholas Moody rushed for 25 yards for Zephyr, Norman was limited to 8 yards and William Simpson chipped in a 7-yard carry. Kason King was 1 of 6 through the air for 22 yards and a pick and Norman completed 1 of 2 passes for 19 yards. Williams had both Bulldog receptions, totaling 41 yards.

Defensively, Zephyr allowed 309 yards of total offense — 212 rushing and 97 passing.

In the Mountaineers’ victory, Jacob Herrod’s 56-yard touchdown run with 3:41 left put Santa Anna up for good, 52-49. Guy Watts added an insurance touchdown scamper of 31 yards with 3:21 to go.

The Mountaineers generated 386 yards of offense with 277 coming on the ground. Herrod rushed for 154 yards and Watts added 138. Through the air, Watts was 3 of 8 for 60 yards and Herrod completed 5 of 7 passes for 49. Joe McCall caught a 33-yard pass, Carson Keeney led the way with two receptions for 30 yards and Blaine Beal added a 17-yard catch.

Defensively, Santa Anna yielded 403 yards, with 274 coming on the ground, but intercepted two passes.

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

 

Brookesmith (1-2)

vs. Bryson (3-0)

5:30 p.m. Friday at Gorman

 

The Brookesmith Mustangs will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak, but will do so against their toughest task on the schedule to date — the undefeated Bryson Cowboys.

Since a season-opening 61-18 victory over Trent, the Mustangs have since fallen to Blackwell (52-6) and Veribest (52-7).

Bryson has started its season with victories over Moran (42-14), Wichita Falls Notre Dame (69-24) and Walnut Spring (45-0) to vault to No. 11 in the latest sixmanfootball.com Class A Division I rankings.

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

 

VLA Durant (n/a)

at Victory Life (0-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

Following a bye week, the Victory Life Academy Warriors are back on the field as they host the Victory Life Academy Eagles based out of Durant, Okla. The two teams squared off a year ago in Brownwood with the Warriors emerging with a 48-0 victory.

Thus far in 2016, the Warriors have fallen to Gustine, 29-28, and Orange Community Christian, 73-24.

There is no line for this game on sixmanfootball.com.

 

Little River Academy (3-0)

at Comanche (1-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Comanche Indians will attempt to halt a two-game skid and hand the Little River-Academy Bumblebees their first loss Friday night.

Since a 35-14 opening victory over Ballinger, Comanche has since suffered losses to Coleman (24-10) and Cisco (62-20). Academy, meanwhile, is off to a perfect start with victories over Rogers (34-0) and Whitney (29-20), along with last week’s 21-14 overtime decision over Goldthwaite.

In Comanche’s loss to Cisco last week, the Indians were plagued by five turnovers.

Comanche finished with 230 yards of total offense — 191 rushing and 39 passing — but threw three interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles. Defensively, the Indians allowed 456 yards, including 348 rushing.

Ethan Wilson led Comanche with 54 yards rushing, including a 35-yard touchdown run, while Justin Bostick added a 1-yard touchdown carry and Kade Mercer scored on a fumble recovery — the lone takeaway for the Indians. Mercer was also 4 of 11 through the air for 34 yards with three interceptions and Wilson caught two passes for 12 yards.

In Academy’s win over Goldthwaite, an 11-yard touchdown run by Grayson Edwards in overtime proved to be the difference. Edwards also added touchdown runs of 1 and 64 yards as he finished with 157 yards on the ground.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 6-point underdog.

 

Brady (2-1)

at Coleman (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Coleman Bluecats target their fourth consecutive victory to open the season, but the Brady Bulldogs could provide their toughest challenge yet Friday night.

Coleman is coming off a 37-7 victory over Post, the only team to defeat the Bluecats during the regular season in 2015. Coleman also owns victories over Jim Ned (37-0) and Comanche (24-10).

Brady’s season has featured victories over Pecos (38-21) and Llano (21-7), along with a defeat at the hands of Lago Vista (42-32).

Information on the victory over Post was unavailable, but in the Bluecats’ last home outing against Comanche, Coleman compiled 286 yards of total offense — all on the ground — while surrendering 251 yards — 134 rushing and 117 passing.

Quarterback Bryson Hammonds rushed for 165 yards and a 44-yard touchdown. Terren Holloway added a 40-yard scoring scamper while Riley Harris iced the victory with a 2-yard touchdown carry late in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs average 403 yards per game — 298 rushing and 105 passing.

Quarterback Caleb Turnell has rushed for 585 yards and six touchdowns while completing 34 of 57 passes for 316 yards and two scores. Weston Bauer has added 267 yards and three scores on the ground while Dylan Mork has caught nine passes for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Defensively, Beau Jacoby and Zack Vaughn lead the way with 32 and 28 tackles, respectively.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is a 9-point favorite.

 

Junction (1-2)

at Goldthwaite (2-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Goldthwaite Eagles are looking to rebound from their first defeat of the season as the Junction Eagles come calling on a homecoming Friday night.

Following wins of 20-13 over Mason and 24-20 at Jim Ned, Goldthwaite fell short in a 21-14 overtime decision against Class 3A Little River-Academy this past week.

Goldthwaite led 14-6 at halftime on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Christian Valencia to Zac Gaspar and a 5-yard Kyle Schwartz carry. In overtime, Quaid Seward was stopped short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-2.

Valencia completed 15 of 28 passes for 212 yards with Gaspar grabbing six receptions for 89 yards and Schwartz pulling down four for 46 yards. Seward finished with 110 yards on the ground.

Junction is coming off a 48-28 loss to Sonora and has also dropped a 26-0 decision to Christoval. The only win for Junction came in Week 1, a 41-7 triumph over Ingram Tom Moore.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 17-point favorite.

 

Cross Plains (1-2)

at San Saba (0-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The San Saba Armadillos’ bid for their first victory continues Friday night as the Cross Plains Buffaloes visit Rogan Field.

San Saba is coming off its best offensive showing, but worst defensive performance in a 41-23 loss to Johnson City. The Armadillos have also fallen to Winters (15-14) and Harper (21-6).

Cross Plains started its season with a 39-26 victory over Menard but has since fallen to Perrin-Whitt (22-16) and De Leon (47-6).

Last week against Johnson City, San Saba finished with 423 yards — 305 rushing and 118 passing — but turned the ball over three times. Defensively, the Armadillos yielded 470 yards.

J.B. Salinas rushed for 129 yards for the Armadillos while Chase Turner added 51 yards and a touchdown. Erik Argote chipped in 41 yards, Ian Saint rushed for 40 and Sean O’Keefe tallied 36 yards with a trip to the end zone.

O’Keefe also connected on 4 of 9 passes for 85 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Dalton Pierce led the Armadillos with three catches for 98 yards and a score.

For the season, the Buffaloes are generating 345 yards per game — 310 on the ground and 35 through the air.

Holden Senclair has rushed for 450 yards and five touchdowns while Creed Goode has chipped in 400 yards and four scores. Through the air, Senclair is 12 of 27 for 102 yards. Jevon Tillery has caught a team-high three passes for 34 yards.

Defensively, Senclair leads the way with 27 tackles followed by Goode and James Rhyne with 20 apiece.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 9-point favorite.

 

Richland Springs (2-0)

at Austin Hill Country (1-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The top-ranked Richland Springs Coyotes notched a 52-6 victory over the Zephyr Bulldogs last week and look to remain undefeated when they battle Austin Hill Country Friday night.

For the season, Richland Springs is averaging 55 points and 301 yards — 239 rushing and 62 passing — per game, while giving up just 3 points and 105 yards — 76 through the air and 29 on the ground.

Hutton Lusty has rushed for 229 yards and five touchdowns followed by Jordan Burkhart with 119 yards and two scores and Walker Tippie with 104 yards and three trips to the end zone. Tippie has completed 5 of 7 passes for 108 yards with two touchdowns and Burkhart is 1 of 3 with a 16-yard scoring toss. Leading receivers are Cameron Parham (2-59, TD), Traven Day (2-23, TD), Lusty (1-31) and Colt Carlisle (1-11).

Defensively, Carlisle (12.5 tackles, four for loss, one interception), Lusty (11 tackles, 3.5 for loss), Tippie (6.5 tackles, two interceptions), Brandon Tharp (5.5 tackles, one for loss), Parham (4.5 tackles), Day (4.5 tackles, one interception), Burkhart (four tackles) and Cody Pardy (four tackles) lead the way.

Austin Hill Country opened its season with a 67-54 loss to Giddings State School, bounced back with a 44-43 win over Fredericksburg Heritage and suffered a 48-40 loss to defending Class A Division I state champion Abbott last week.

In the Abbott game, Adam Fawcett rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown while Nate Neumann chipped in 50 yards on the ground. Four players — Stephen Fritschle, Tanner James, Grant Fricklin and James Horton— completed passes as Austin Hill Country threw for 111 yards. Hayden Stewart led the team with four receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Evan Reed tallied 13 tackles and Fricklin added 10.

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

 

Rising Star (0-3)

at Lingleville (1-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Rising Star Wildcats will attempt to notch their first win of the season, and of the Randy Jones coaching era, Friday night as they hit the road to battle the Lingleville Cardinals.

Rising Star has opened the season with losses to Blanket (54-6), Mullin (46-0) and Panther Creek (59-0).

Lingleville’s season has featured a 41-28 season-opening victory over Evant followed by a 58-2 loss to Borden County and a 66-16 defeat at the hands of Blum last week.

Last week against Panther Creek, Rising Star finished with -8 yards of total offense — 8 passing on 2 of 11 attempts and -16 rushing on 18 carries. The Wildcats also lost a fumble, the game’s only turnover. Defensively, Rising Star gave up 216 yards, with 215 coming on the ground.

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

 

Mullin (2-1)

at Veribest (2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Mullin Bulldogs are shooting for a third straight victory while also attempting to hand the Veribest Falcons their initial defeat of the 2016 campaign.

Following a 66-20 loss to Lometa, Mullin has bounced back with wins of 46-0 over Rising Star and 82-33 over Cranfills Gap.

Veribest’s victories have come at the hands of Rochelle, 59-13, and Brookesmith, 52-7.

In the Bulldogs’ win over Rising Star two weeks ago, Mullin generated 299 yards of total offense — 176 rushing and 123 passing.

Ricky Dela Rosa rushed for 152 yards and four touchdowns and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jaxon Wooten. Dela Rosa also hurled a 32-yard scoring toss to Jacob Lavy, while Wooten was 4 of 5 for 101 yards through the air.

Defensively, Mullin yielded just 88 yards — 65 through the air and 23 on the ground.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Mullin is a 27-point underdog.

 

Sidney (0-3)

at Cranfills Gap (0-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday

 

The Sidney Eagles and Cranfills Gap Lions are both searching for their first victories of the season.

Sidney, under new head coach Darin Barrow, has fallen to Morgan (37-18), Moran (50-0) and Blanket (by forfeit).

Cranfills Gap is coming off an 82-33 loss to Mullin and was also defeated by Penelope (45-0) and Evant (46-0).

According to sixmanfootball.com, Sidney is a 10-point favorite.