May, Blanket, Zephyr, Richland Springs, Santa Anna, Rising Star start district

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, all Bulletin coverage area teams have reached the district portion of the schedule as Blanket, May, Zephyr, Rising Star, Santa Anna and Richland Springs join the fray Friday night.

For those teams with a few district games under their belts, a pair of battles for first place are on deck. In District 12-A Division II, the undefeated Panther Creek Panthers visit the upstart Brookesmith Mustangs, winners of three straight, for sole possession of first place.

Also, in District 7-2A Division I action, the No. 2 Crawford Pirates invade Goldthwaite to face the Eagles in a clash for the league’s final two unbeaten squads.

The following is a glimpse at the Week 9 schedule:

Panther Creek (7-0, 1-0)

at Brookesmith (4-4, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

On the cusp of their first postseason appearance since 2006, the Brookesmith Mustangs have the opportunity to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the District 12-A Division II championship as they host the undefeated Panther Creek Panthers Friday.

Brookesmith is in the midst of a three-game win streak, their longest since 2011 when the Mustangs finished with a 4-6 record. The Mustangs are coming off a 54-36 district triumph over Mullin last week, own a 51-38 victory over Gustine and started the streak with a 69-50 road win over Paint Rock.

Panther Creek, which is coming off its bye week, has downed Robert Lee (28-22), Trent (46-0), Rising Star (59-0), Paint Rock (60-14), Veribest (49-0), Benjamin (45-38) and Sidney (via forfeit).

The Mustangs are averaging 33 points and 287 yards — 244 rushing and 43 passing — per outing, while allowing 45 points.

Brookesmith’s ground game is led by Phoenix Burns (968 yards, 15 TDs), J.W. Smith (583 yards, 10 TDs) and Cade Stephens (445 yards, 6 TDs).

Through the air, Mason Brummett has completed 18 of 25 passes for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Smith and Burns have also thrown one touchdown apiece and combined for 92 yards passing.

Smith (9-135, TD) leads the Mustangs in receptions followed by Ryder Nelson (6-51), Burns (4-59, 2 TDs) and Stephens (4-54, TD).

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

May (7-0, 0-0)

at Gorman (5-2, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Class A Division I No. 7 May Tigers, coming off their bye week, will attempt to remain undefeated as they open District 11-A Division I action against the Gorman Panthers, who have lost their last two contests.

May has defeated Santa Anna (54-20), Eden (64-12), Throckmorton (61-42), Blanket (65-20), Rising Star (54-0), Water Valley (56-6) and Knox City (50-0).

Gorman opened the season with wins over Mount Calm (78-35), Throckmorton (96-48), Lometa (61-48), Iredell (68-60) and Bryson (78-58), but has since lost to Stephenville Faith (56-16) and Zephyr (66-46).

In May’s most recent outing, the 50-0 win over Knox City, the Tigers ground game featured 99 yards and two touchdowns from Cameron King and 75 yards and two scores from Jacob Brown.

Through the air, Wyatt Mote connected on 5 of 9 passes for 97 yards and two scores, Brown was 2 of 2 for 38 yards and King completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Self.

King also recorded a team-high four receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown while Brown hauled in three receptions for 52 yards with a trip to the end zone.

Defensively for May, Daniel Salinas led the way with 13 tackles followed by King with 12 and Kaleb Simpson with 10.

In Gorman’s loss to Zephyr last week, the Panthers finished with 438 yards — 237 rushing and 201 passing — but fumbled the ball away twice. Defensively, Gorman yielded 510 yards, including 400 on the ground.

Trent Padron completed 12 of 20 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, Ismael Herrera rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and Garrett Bell caught four passes for 79 yards with a trip to the end zone to pace the Gorman offense. Sam Rainey also added three receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.

According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 43-point favorite.

Evant (4-3, 0-0)

at Zephyr (6-1, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Class A Division I No. 8 Zephyr Bulldogs open their District 10-A Division I schedule in search of a fifth consecutive victory as the Evant Elks come calling.

Since a 52-6 loss to Richland Springs in Week 3, the Bulldogs have responded with victories over Santa Anna (56-0), Lingleville (66-12), Cherokee (62-12) and Gorman (66-46).

Evant enters district action having won two of its last three games. The Elks, who are coming off their bye week, knocked off Nueces Canyon (72-36) on Oct. 8 and Morgan (54-6) on Sept. 23, with a loss to Santa Anna (57-20) sandwiched between on Sept. 30.

In Zephyr’s 20-point win over Gorman last week, the Bulldogs tallied 510 yards of total offense, with 400 coming on the ground. Nicholas Moody rushed for 226 yards and three touchdowns of 24, 10 and 32 yards, while Bishop Norman added 169 yards and three scores from 58, 26 and 25 yards.

Through the air, Kason King was 4 of 9 for 80 yards with scoring tosses of 30 and 18 yards to Devin Williams and 7 yards to John Paul Gowin. Williams finished with three catches for 73 yards and Gowin added two receptions for 37 yards, also hauling in a 30-yard pass from Norman.

Defensively, Zephyr gave up 438 yards — 237 rushing and 201 passing — but forced and recovered a pair of fumbles.

Brayden Malloy and Zack Miller led the Bulldogs with 16 tackles apiece, Hadley Spieckerman followed with 13 and Norman finished with 12 and both fumble recoveries. Moody chipped in nine tackles followed by Williams with eight, Robert Clark with six, and King and William Simpson with two apiece.

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

Jonesboro (7-0, 0-0)

at Blanket (5-2, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Blanket Tigers begin their bid for a fifth straight postseason appearance against the Class A Division I No. 5 Jonesboro Eagles, who bring an undefeated record into Friday night’s District 10-A Division I opener.

Blanket’s only losses this season have come at the hands of unbeatens May (65-20) and Strawn (46-22), with victories over Rising Star (54-6), Rochelle (48-0), Brookesmith (55-8), Lometa (28-22, OT) and Sidney (by forfeit)

Jonesboro has knocked off Iredell (54-8), Milford (34-16), Avalon (69-41), Cherokee (78-13), Coolidge (60-12), Dallas Lutheran (70-22) and Oakwood (60-12).

In Blanket’s most recent outing, its overtime win over Lometa, the Tigers overcame a 14-point first-quarter deficit and, after a scoreless second half from both squads, tallied the only points in overtime on a Blake Hood touchdown.

Blanket generated 266 yards, with 236 coming on the ground, while allowing 163 yards — 91 rushing and 72 passing — and recovering two fumbles.

Logan Wheeler rushed for 90 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown that evened the score at 22. Eddie Hernandez chipped in 59 yards while Isaac Pedraza added 43 yards and a trip to the end zone. Quinton Alexander also contributed 35 yards on the ground.

Through the air, Luke Kinkade completed 4 of 7 passes for 30 yards with a touchdown. Alexander led the team with two receptions for 21 yards.

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

Victory Life (2-5, 0-1)

at Waco Live Oak (4-3, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Victory Life Academy Warriors are looking to notch their first TAPPS Six-Man Division II District 2 win of the season as they visit Waco Live Oak Friday.

The Warriors are coming off just their second victory of the season, a 44-24 road triumph over Temple CenTex Home School last week. Victory Life also owns a win over VLA-Durant (68-32) with losses against Gustine (29-28), Orange Community Christian (73-24), Mullin (58-14), Fredericksburg Heritage (66-20) and Weatherford Christian (56-8).

Waco Live Oak, ranked No. 2 in TAPPS Six-Man Division II by sixmanfootball.com, owns victories over Denton Calvary (51-6), Dallas Inspired Vision (48-6), Weatherford Christian (51-6) and Blum (61-38), with losses against Waco Methodist Children’s Home (32-31), Calvert (47-44) and Austin Veritas (62-35).

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

Comanche (4-3, 2-0)

at Clyde (6-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Comanche Indians and Clyde Bulldogs are both looking to remain atop the District 3-3A Division I standings as the two squads square off Friday night.

Comanche has started its league campaign with victories over Merkel (38-14) and Jim Ned (21-6) while Clyde has flattened Merkel (50-0) and Early (72-14). Despite the Bulldogs’ 58-point win over the Longhorns last week, Clyde slipped from No. 9 to No. 12 in this week’s Harris Ratings Weekly Class 3A Division I poll.

In Comanche’s triumph over Merkel last week, the Indians surrendered the game’s first two touchdowns, but answered with 38 consecutive points to coast to the victory.

The Indians compiled 318 yards of total offense, with 280 coming on the ground, as Jeremy Bostick rushed for a team-best 92 yards and scored on carries of 6 and 2 yards. Colton Roberts and Kade Mercer each scored on 1-yard runs, Ethan Wilson added a 10-yard touchdown carry and Alfred Cervantes booted a 22-yard field goal.

Comanche surrendered just 164 yards — 80 of which came on a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes. The Indians allowed just 84 yards on the other 36 snaps and recovered three fumbles.

In Clyde’s win over Early last week, the Bulldogs generated 566 total yards — 296 passing and 270 rushing — while yielding 281 yards. Clyde led 36-0 after one quarter and 58-6 at halftime as Tanner Riley completed 12 of 15 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns. Brandon Berry led the way with four receptions for 159 yards and three scores while Payton Burton rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown.

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

Coleman (5-2, 1-1)

at Eastland (5-2, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Coleman Bluecats will attempt to rebound from their first District 4-3A Division II loss and remain in the championship picture as they visit the Eastland Mavericks, who are flawless in league action thus far.

Coleman suffered a 42-21 loss to Cisco last week in a game that was deadlocked at 21 at halftime. The Bluecats allowed 416 yards of total offense — 307 rushing and 109 passing — and did not force a turnover. Offensively, Coleman generated 264 yards — 148 rushing and 116 passing — but tossed three interceptions.

Bryson Hammonds finished with 82 yards rushing while Riley Harris chipped in 51 for the Bluecats. Hammonds completed 7 of 16 passes with three picks, as Harris finished with four grabs for 52 yards, Darrian Hunter added two for 44 and Jett Allen contributed a pair of receptions for 20 yards.

Eastland, which opened district with a 57-20 thrashing of Tolar, pummeled Dublin, 76-14, last week.

The Mavericks — who are ranked No. 9 in Class 3A Division II by Harris Ratings Weekly this week — led 42-0 after one quarter last week and finished with 504 total yards, including 435 rushing. Chris Martinez led the charge with 218 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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

Crawford (7-1, 4-0)

at Goldthwaite (6-1, 3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

First place is on the line in District 7-2A Division I as the league’s last two unbeaten teams clash. The Goldthwaite Eagles, coming off their district bye, welcome the Crawford Pirates — ranked No. 2 in Class 2A Division I by Harris Ratings Weekly, who throttled San Saba, 56-0, a week ago.

Goldthwaite’s most recent outing was a 29-0 victory over San Saba in the 99th Battle of the River. The Eagles amassed 489 total yards — 286 rushing and 203 passing — with three turnovers while giving up 189 yards — 112 through the air and 77 on the ground.

Christian Valencia completed 8 of 13 passes for 154 yards and two scores while Jaydan West was 5 of 7 for 49 yards. Kyle Schwartz caught five passes for 92 yards and a score and Zac Gaspar added five grabs for 77 yards with a trip to the end zone. On the ground, Leo Garcia rushed for 132 yards followed by Quaid Seward with 66 and Aris Shelton with 35 yards.

In Crawford’s win over San Saba last week, the Pirates gained 432 yards — 273 rushing and 159 passing — while giving up 113 yards — 86 on the ground and 27 through the air — with two fumble recoveries.

Garrett Dutschmann rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, Casen Ewing completed 5 of 6 passes for 148 yards and two scores and Cade Johnston caught three passes for 117 yards with a trip to the end zone.

Harris Ratings Weekly lists this as the No. 2 Class 3A game in the state this week, and Goldthwaite as a 14-point underdog.

Hico (5-2, 2-1)

at San Saba (0-7, 0-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The San Saba Armadillos will attempt to halt a 13-game losing streak that dates to Sept. 18, 2015 as they host Hico Friday.

San Saba is off to an 0-7 start, with its most recent loss coming at the hands of No. 2 Crawford, 56-0. Hico is coming off its first district loss, a 36-29 setback against Valley Mills.

Last week, San Saba managed just 113 yards of total offense — 86 rushing and 27 passing — with a pair of turnovers, while giving up 432 yards — 273 on the ground and 159 through the air.

Ruben Parra rushed for a team-high 33 yards and completed 6 of 9 passes for 27 yards for San Saba. J.B. Salinas chipped in 30 yards rushing, while Erik Argote added 11. Joseph Watson was the leading receiver with a 21-yard catch.

According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 25-point underdog.

Rochelle (0-7, 0-0)

at Richland Springs (6-0, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The top-ranked Richland Springs Coyotes take aim at a 15th straight district championship, and 65th consecutive league victory, when they host the winless Rochelle Hornets in Friday’s 13-A Division II opener.

The Coyotes, winners of 21 games in a row overall, have defeated Paducah (58-0), Zephyr (52-6), Austin Hill Country (60-8), High Island (54-7), Sterling City (48-0) and Rockwall Heritage (54-6).

The Hornets have fallen to Veribest (59-13), Medina (29-21), Blanket (48-0), Eden (67-6), Paint Rock (55-6), Mullin (78-31) and Oglesby (by forfeit).

Richland Springs averages 54 points and 348 yards — 240 rushing and 108 passing — per game with no turnovers. Defensively, the Coyotes allow 4 points and 133 yards — 74 through the air and 59 on the ground — with 13 takeaways.

Walker Tippie (652 yards, 12 TDs), Hutton Lusty (431 yards, 11 TDs) and Jordan Burkhart (269, 4 TDs) anchor the ground game. Tippie (333 yards, TDs) and Burkhart (304 yards, 7 TDs) are the primary passers, and Tippie (7-183, 4 TDs), Cameron Parham (5-208, 3 TDs), Colt Carlisle (4-90, TD), Lusty (4-72, 2 TDs), Burkhart (4-34, 2 TDs) and Traven Day (3-64, 2 TDs) have hauled in receptions.

Defensive standouts include Tippie (32.5 tackles, six interceptions, two fumble recoveries), Lusty (30.5 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks), Carlisle (28 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one interception), Parham (21.5 tackles, 7.5 for loss, three sacks) and Brandon Tharp (20.5 tackles, 3.5 for loss).

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

Veribest (2-3, 0-0)

at Santa Anna (4-3, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Santa Anna Mountaineers target a fourth straight victory in the District 8-A Division I opener against Veribest.

Santa Anna is averaging 81 points per game during its win streak with victories over Cherokee (110-84), Evant (57-20) and Blackwell (75-28).

Veribest has defeated Rochelle (59-13) and Brookesmith (52-7) this season, with losses to Panther Creek (49-0), Blackwell (30-26) and Highland (56-8).

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

Strawn (7-0, 0-0)

at Rising Star (1-6, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Coming off their first victory of the season, 34-18 over Gustine, the Rising Star Wildcats eye a win streak against undefeated Strawn in the District 11-A Division II opener.

In Rising Star’s win last week, the Wildcats overcame a pair of fumbles and finished with 254 total yards, including 204 rushing.

Colton Edwards amassed a team-high 54 yards on the ground with a 26-yard touchdown while David Martinez chipped in 60 yards and a 4-yard scoring carry. Alex Teplicek completed all three of his pass attempts for touchdowns — 1 and 24 yards to Micah Carnley and 25 yards to Gavin Brumley. Teplicek also contributed 51 yards rushing.

Defensively, the Wildcats forced four takeaways and allowed 241 yards of total offense.

Strawn has defeated Blum (60-14), Granbury Cornerstone (42-0), Forestburg (62-14), Fort Worth THESA (54-37), Union Hill (48-36), Abilene Christian (65-0), Blanket (46-22) and Gordon (28-22).

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

Mullin (5-2, 1-1)

at Gustine (1-5, 0-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Both the Mullin Bulldogs and Gustine Tigers look to get back on track in District 12-A Division II action.

Mullin is coming off a 54-36 loss to Brookesmith while Gustine suffered a 34-18 non-district loss to Rising Star last week.

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