Brookesmith, VLA, Santa Anna, Comanche begin league play; Goldthwaite, San Saba in 99th 'Battle of the River'

Five of the local games in the Bulletin coverage area this weekend are district contests, while the other three are the final tune-ups before the start of league play.

Below is a brief glimpse at Friday’s eight Week 7 contests:

Gustine (1-3, 0-0)

at Brookesmith (2-4, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Brookesmith Mustangs have ensured their first multiple-win season since 2011, and now target their first win streak since the same year as they host the Gustine Tigers in the District 12-A Division II opener for both squads.

Brookesmith is coming off a 69-50 victory at Paint Rock. Cade Stephens rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns of 35, 55 and 38 yards for the Mustangs while J.W. Smith chipped in 148 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns from 65 and 11 yards out.

Smith also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Phoenix Burns — who completed both of his pass attempts for 18 yards. Burns was also on the receiving end of a 50-yard scoring toss from Mason Brummett, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 93 yards.

The Mustangs added points from the special teams unit with a 50-yard kick return for a touchdown by Marcos Martinez and a 29-yard field goal by Ryder Nelson, while Burns also scored defensive points on a 29-yard fumble return.

For the season, Brookesmith averages 26 points and 257 yards per game — 198 rushing and 49 passing.

On the ground, Burns has gained 609 yards with six scores, Stephens has rushed for 347 yards and six touchdowns and Smith has chipped in 269 yards with three trips to the end zone.

Burkett has completed 15 of 20 passes for 220 yards, Smith is 6 of 13 for 50 yards and Burns is 3 of 3 for 23 yards, and all three players have thrown a touchdown. Leading receivers include Smith (7-59, TD), Burns (4-59, 2 TDs) and Stephens (3-48, TD).

Gustine opened the season with a 29-28 win over Victory Life and has since fallen to Baytown Christian (46-0), Evant (46-0) and Oglesby (52-0), along with a pair of weather-cancelled contests.

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

May (6-0) at Knox City (3-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The No. 10 May Tigers made their debut in the sixmanfootball.com Class A Division I Top 10 this week following a sixth straight victory. The Tigers will attempt to push their season-opening win streak to seven as they visit Knox City Friday.

May is a coming off a 56-6 victory over Water Valley which comes on the heels of wins over Santa Anna (54-20), Eden (64-12), Throckmorton (61-42), Blanket (65-20) and Rising Star (54-0).

Knox City has defeated Rule (69-22), Guthrie (49-48) and Newcastle (38-28), while falling to Ira (68-41), Crowell (66-32) and Throckmorton (26-12).

In May’s 50-point win last week, the Tigers surrendered just 84 yards of total offense and three first downs while forcing four turnovers.

On the offensive end, May finished with 257 yards of total offense — 180 on the ground and 77 through the air. Jacob Brown rushed twice for 79 yards and a score and Cameron King added 72 rushing yards on three carries with two trips to the end zone to pace the ground game. Through the air, Wyatt Mote completed all four of his passes for 77 yards with Brown catching three for 64 yards and a touchdown. King made the other reception, covering 13 yards.

According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 17-point favorite.

Lometa (4-2) at Blanket (4-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Blanket Tigers will attempt to bounce back from just their second loss of the season as they welcome the Lometa Hornets in their pre-district finale.

Blanket came up on the short end of a 46-22 decision at Strawn last week, a game the Tigers led 14-8 in the second period before allowing 38 consecutive points. Blanket’s only other loss came at May by a 65-20, a game in which the Tigers trailed just 27-20 late in the third period until they were ravaged by injuries.

Lometa owns victories over Mullin (66-20), Morgan (52-7), Cedar Park Summit (32-20) and Sidney (54-8), with losses against Cherokee (72-24) and Gorman (61-48).

Last week against Strawn, Blanket finished with 199 total yards — 100 on the ground and 99 through the air — but committed three turnovers. The Tigers surrendered 417 yards — 299 rushing and 118 passing — with three takeaways.

Luke Kinkade rushed for 34 yards, Eddie Hernandez and Isaac Pedraza added 25 each and Logan Wheeler finished with 22 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.

Trenten Varner completed 1 of 4 passes for 65 yards and a score while Kinkade was 3 of 6 for 25 yards.

Blake Hood caught two passes for 26 yards and a score, Wheeler added a 65-yard touchdown reception and Kinkade hauled in a 9-yard catch.

According to sixmanfootball.com, Blanket is an 11-point favorite.

Weatherford Christian (1-4, 0-2)

at Victory Life (1-4, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

In a battle of two teams seeking their second wins of the season, the Victory Life Academy Warriors open TAPPS Six-Man Division II District 2 action by hosting the Weatherford Christian Lions.

The Warriors’ lone victory this season came at the hands of VLA-Durant, 68-32. Since then, Victory Life has fallen to Mullin (58-14) and Fredericksburg Heritage.

The Lions’ win was at the expense of Abilene Christian (46-42) in the season opener. Weatherford Christian is in the midst of a four-game losing streak with defeats at the hands of Forestburg (72-32), Waco Live Oak (51-6), Temple Holy Trinity (54-6) and Azle Christian (56-26).

According to sixmanfootball.com, Victory Life is a 29-point underdog.

Goldthwaite (5-1, 2-0)

at San Saba (0-5, 0-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The 99th “Battle of the River” takes place Friday night at Rogan Field where the San Saba Armadillos host the Goldthwaite Eagles in District 7-2A Division I action.

Goldthwaite — which is ranked No. 10 in Class 2A Division I this week by Harris Ratings Weekly — comes into the contest with an unblemished district record and three-game win streak overall, while San Saba is still seeking its first victory of 2016.

The Eagles rolled to a 48-7 victory over Valley Mills last week as Goldthwaite generated 439 yards of total offense — 281 rushing and 158 passing — while giving up 216 yards — 204 on the ground and just 12 through the air — and forcing two turnovers.

Quaid Seward picked up 222 rushing yards and scored twice while Christian Valencia completed 5 of 12 passes for 114 yards and a 44-yard touchdown to Aris Shelton. Valencia also rushed for 20 yards and two scores. Kyle Schwartz added a 52-yard reception and McKennon Jones caught three passes totaling 50 yards.

San Saba, which is coming off its bye, started district play with a 34-7 loss to Valley Mills. In that contest, the score was tied at the half, but the Armadillos allowed 10 points in the third period and 17 more in the fourth.

The Armadillos finished with 149 yards of total offense — 121 rushing and 28 passing — with two turnovers, while allowing 327 yards — 258 on the ground and 69 through the air.

San Saba’s Erik Argote rushed for 68 yards while J.B. Salinas added 37 yards and a 4-yard touchdown. Sean O’Keefe completed 3 of 8 passes for 28 yards and chipped in 18 yards on the ground. Dalton Pierce caught a 17-yard pass and Cole Turpin added an 11-yard reception.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 36-point favorite.

Comanche (2-3, 0-0) at Jim Ned (1-4, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Comanche Indians and Jim Ned Indians will jockey for early positioning in the District 3-3A Division I standings when the two squads square off Friday night.

Comanche has started its season with victories over Ballinger (35-14) and Little River-Academy (19-14), while falling to Coleman (24-10), Cisco (62-20) and Eastland (48-15).

Jim Ned is coming off its only victory over Bangs (33-19), while the Indians have been defeated by Coleman (37-0), Goldthwaite (24-20), Anson (40-20) and Sonora (51-14).

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 13-point favorite.

Santa Anna (3-3) at Blackwell (5-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Santa Anna Mountaineers will attempt to extend their win streak to three games in their final contest before District 8-A Division I action commences as they visit the Blackwell Hornets Friday night.

Santa Anna is averaging 87.5 points per game in back-to-back victories over Evant (63-26) and Cherokee (110-84). The Mountaineers also own a victory over Robert Lee (58-57) with losses at the hands of May (54-20), Garden City (52-6) and Zephyr (56-0).

Blackwell’s lone loss came against Moran (61-48) while the Hornets have knocked off Paint Rock (57-28), Brookesmith (52-6), Woodson (76-24), Rotan (20-8) and Veribest (30-26).

According to sixmanfootball.com, Santa Anna is a 35-point favorite.

Mullin (4-1, 0-0) at Sidney (0-5, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Mullin Bulldogs are targeting a fifth straight victory, while the Sidney Eagles are looking to secure their initial win of 2016 as District 12-A Division II action commence for both teams.

Since a season-opening loss to Lometa (66-20), Mullin has rebounded with wins over Rising Star (46-0), Cranfills Gap (82-33), Victory Life (58-14) and Rochelle (78-31).

Sidney’s season has featured losses to Moran (50-0), Blanket (forfeit), Morgan (37-18), Cranfills Gap (50-12) and Lometa (54-8).

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