May, Richland Springs eye 2-0 district starts; Brookesmith looks to wrap up playoff berth; Blanket attempts to stay alive
District championships will likely be decided, and playoff berths can be clinched as the next-to-last week of the high school football regular season arrives Friday night. The following are brief glimpses of the 11 games on the local docket:
Jonesboro at Zephyr
7:30 p.m. Friday
In a battle of preseason district favorites, the Class A Division I No. 11 Zephyr Bulldogs host the No. 9 Jonesboro Eagles with sole possession of the District 11-A lead up for grabs. The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the district championship and all but lock up a playoff berth with a victory.
Undefeated Zephyr (8-0, 1-0) is attempting to halt a five-game slump against Jonesboro (7-1, 1-0) including a pair of losses last season — 80-46 in the regular season and 46-44 in the state quarterfinals.
In the Bulldogs’ 80-32 victory at Evant in last week’s district opener, Zephyr produced 559 yards of total offense — 467 rushing and 92 passing.
Mason Rogers rushed for 276 yards and four touchdowns, while Nicholas Moody added 191 yards and four scores.
Through the air, Kason King completed 3 of 5 passes for 85 yards with two touchdowns, while Hunter Williams threw a 7-yard completion. Devin Williams caught all four passes for 92 yards and reached the end zone twice.
On the defensive end, Robert Clark finished with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery while Devin Williams tallied 10 takedowns. William Simpson added nine tackles while Hunter Williams finished with eight and an interception. Michael Seider also recovered a fumble.
Jonesboro — whose only blemish this season is a 71-44 loss to Milford — chalked up its sixth straight victory in a 78-34 decision over Blanket in last week’s district opener.
For the season, the Eagles are averaging 61 points and 396 yards — 307 rushing and 79 passing — per game, but are also allowing 33 points per outing.
Leading the ground attack for Jonesboro are Wyatt Young (1,086 yards, 18 TDs), Ethan Lilljedahl (625 yards, 12 TDs), Andy Sarmiento (376 yards, 3 TDs) and Payton Merx (354 yards, 4 TDs). Top passers are Anthony Lopez (218 yards, 6 TDs), Young (178 yards, 3 TDs) and Lilljedahl (156 yards, 3 TDs), while primary receiving threats include Trevor Sellers (8-170, 5 TDs), Alex Sarmiento (8-111, 3 TDs) and Christian Baker (4-110, 3 TDs).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Zephyr is a 2-point underdog.
May at Lingleville
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Class A Division I No. 5 May Tigers (8-0, 1-0) are seeking their 20th consecutive regular season victory and likely a second straight District 11-A Division I championship as they visit the Lingleville Cardinals Friday night.
May (8-0, 1-0) is coming off a 64-16 victory over Gorman, a game in which the Tigers led just 20-16 halftime. Lingleville (3-4, 1-0) meanwhile, knocked off Gordon, 60-24, in its league opener — the Cardinals’ first-ever victory over the Longhorns.
In last week’s Tiger victory, May amassed 479 yards of total offense — 245 rushing and 234 passing.
Through the air, Wyatt Mote completed 9 of 11 passes for 191 yards with five touchdowns.
Gage Keckler caught three passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns while Preston Johnston hauled in three catches for 44 yards with a trip to the end zone. Jacob Brown and Austin McAbee both caught two passes for 45 yards, with McAbee scoring once. Dakotah Wilkinson grabbed a 17-yard touchdown reception and Weston Chambers added a 14-yard catch.
On the ground, Johnston rushed for 95 yards and a score while Brown chipped in 75 yards and two trips to the end zone. Dalton Self finished with 48 yards and a touchdown and Mote rushed for 27 yards.
Defensively, Daniel Salinas led the charge with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery, followed by Johnston with eight takedowns. Mote added seven tackles and an interception, Brown tallied six tackles and McAbee added five.
Lingleville overcame an early 16-6 deficit to Gordon by scoring 54 of the last 62 points in the game. Devon Corpus scored multiple rushing touchdowns, Jason Misener provided touchdowns through the air and on the ground, and Tom VanKranenburg played a stellar game both offensively and defensively.
Last season, May rolled past Lingleville, 85-37.
According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.
Sidney at Brookesmith
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Brookesmith Mustangs can lock up their second consecutive playoff berth, but must defeat the winless Sidney Eagles to achieve that feat.
Brookesmith (4-5, 2-1) is coming off a 64-16 loss to Panther Creek, while Sidney (0-7, 0-2) is coming off a bye week. The Eagles most recent outing was a 62-16 loss to Panther Creek.
In the Mustangs’ loss to Panther Creek, Brookesmith finished with 163 yards, including 131 rushing, with three turnovers. The Mustangs gave up 384 yards — 293 on the ground and 91 through the air.
Jonathan Willoughby rushed for 70 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown, while Randall Williams chipped in 60 yards with a 36-yard scoring scamper. Holden Bolt completed 3 of 7 passes for 17 yards with a pair of interceptions. Willoughby hauled in a 10-yard grab and Williams made a 7-yard reception.
Friday night will mark the end of the regular season for the Mustangs, who have their district bye next week.
Last season, Brookesmith knocked off Sidney, 43-30.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Brookesmith is a 12-point favorite.
Blanket at Evant
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Blanket Tigers will attempt to keep their postseason hopes alive as they visit the Evant Elks, with both teams seeking their first District 10-A Division I victory.
Blanket (5-3, 0-1) suffered a 78-34 loss to Class A Division I No. 9 Jonesboro last week, while Evant (6-2, 0-1) was dealt an 80-32 loss by No. 11 Zephyr.
In the Tigers’ defeat, Blanket finished with 379 total yards — 224 rushing and 155 passing.
Logan Wheeler caught four passes for 146 yards with a touchdown and also rushed for 100 yards.
Trenten Verner was 6 of 19 for 155 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, and also rushed for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Luke Kinkade caught a 7-yard touchdown pass and rushed for 75 yards, while Kameron Spivey added 28 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Defensively, Spivey recorded 14 tackles followed by Kinkade with 12 and Varner with 11.
Evant, meanwhile, surrendered 559 yards — 467 rushing and 92 passing — to Zephyr a week ago.
The loser of Friday’s game will be eliminated from playoff contention, while the winner will also need to pick up a Week 11 victory to stay in the postseason picture.
Last season, Blanket upended Evant, 56-30.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Blanket is a 13-point underdog.
Brady at Comanche
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Class A Division No. 10 Comanche Indians, according to Harris Ratings Weekly, can lock up at least a share of the District 3-3A Division I championship as they host the winless Brady Bulldogs.
Comanche (7-1, 3-0) is coming off a 42-12 victory over Clyde, while Brady’s (0-8, 0-3) most recent setback was a 43-7 loss to Merkel.
In the Indians’ victory last week, Comanche finished with 485 total yards — 379 rushing and 106 passing — while yielding 318 yards — 168 through the air and 150 on the ground – with two turnovers forced.
Colton Roberts rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown, Kade Mercer chipped in 82 yards and a score, Jameson Allen finished with 63 yards and a trip to the end zone and Joe Gilligan added a 4-yard touchdown run.
Through the air, Bronte Hermesmeyer completed 6 of 10 passes for 106 yards with touchdown tosses of 27 and 9 yards to Trevor Higginbotham, who finished with four receptions for 81 yards.
In the Bulldogs’ loss last week, Brady finished with 177 total yards — 155 passing but just 22 rushing on 24 carries with a pair of turnovers. The Bulldogs gave up 463 yards, including 365 on the ground, but did create five turnovers.
Ryan Decker rushed for a team-high 43 yards and has 763 yards for the season, while Tyler Vaughn completed 16 of 26 passes for 155 yards with an interception.
Last season, Comanche needed overtime before putting away Brady, 23-20.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 48-point favorite.
Coleman at Dublin
7:30 p.m. Friday
In a game that could determine the final playoff berth out of District 4-3A Division II, the Coleman Bluecats visit the Dublin Lions.
Since defeating Bangs, 46-12, in its district opener, Coleman (2-6, 1-2) has not scored the last two weeks in losses to Cisco, 47-0, and Eastland, 45-0. Dublin (2-6, 0-3), meanwhile, is seeking its first league win after falling to Cisco, 43-21, Eastland, 42-3, and Tolar, 30-28.
In Coleman’s loss to Eastland last week, the Bluecats finished with just 87 yards, including 5 yards rushing on 25 carries with three turnovers. Coleman gave up 356 yards — 181 rushing and 175 passing — and created a pair of turnovers.
Denton Allen completed 6 of 14 passes for 82 yards with an interception, while Terren Holloway caught four passes for 58 yards. Devonte Roberson rushed for a team-best 17 yards.
Last week against Tolar, Dublin surrendered a safety with 30 seconds left that determined the contest. The Lions generated 350 yards — 264 passing and 86 rushing.
John Hanes completed 19 of 28 passes for 264 yards with an interception. Blake Porter caught six passes for 98 yards, Jacob Stanley grabbed five receptions for 72 yards and Billy Dane Mercer finished with four catches for 53 yards.
Last season, Coleman held off Dublin for a 41-30 victory.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is a 7-point underdog.
Hico at Goldthwaite
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Goldthwaite Eagles and Hico Tigers are jockeying for playoff position in District 7-2A Division I as the two teams cross paths Friday night.
Goldthwaite’s (4-4, 3-1) four-game win streak was halted last week with its first league loss to Crawford, 20-7. Hico (6-2, 3-1) picked up a 34-7 victory over San Saba last week, with its only league loss coming to De Leon, 27-14.
In the Eagles’ loss to Crawford, Goldthwaite opened a 7-0 halftime lead, but four turnovers allowed the Pirates to rally.
Goldthwaite finished with 250 total yards — 130 passing and 120 rushing — compared to 284 for the Pirates — 184 through the air and 100 on the ground.
Quaid Seward rushed for 104 yards and a 6-yard touchdown for Goldthwaite, while Drew Hermesmeyer completed 15 of 25 passes for 121 yards. Isaac Chavez led all receivers with eight catches for 58 yards, while Kyle Schwartz grabbed four passes for 30 yards and McKennon Jones caught two passes for 35 yards.
In Hico’s victory over San Saba last week, the Tigers produced 343 yards — all on the ground — while attempting just two passes. Hico gave up 218 yards — 156 rushing and 32 passing — while forcing six turnovers — four interceptions and a pair of fumbles.
Jacob Smith led Hico with 108 rushing yards and a touchdown followed by Briley Johnson with 82 yards and a score, Hunter Koonsman tallied 68 yards with a trip to the end zone and Cooper Conlee added 60 yards and a touchdown.
Last season, Goldthwaite collected a 22-7 victory over Hico.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 7-point favorite.
De Leon at San Saba
7:30 p.m. Friday
The San Saba Armadillos will attempt to derail Class 2A Division I No. 4 De Leon and keep their faint playoff hopes alive in their home finale Friday night.
Since opening district with a 48-6 victory over Valley Mills, the Armadillos (3-5, 1-3) have fallen to Goldthwaite, 35-13, Crawford, 26-6, and Hico, 34-7. De Leon has started district with wins over Hico, 27-14, Hamilton, 56-14, and Valley Mills.
For the season, San Saba is averaging 20 points and 242 yards — 124 rushing and 118 passing — per game, while allowing 28 points per outing.
Sean O’Keefe has completed 59 of 128 passes for 821 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions, with a team-high 367 rushing yards and four scores.
Eli Salinas has added 235 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Leading receivers include Ruben Parra (16-221, 2 TDs), Cole Tupin (14-192, 2 TDs), Salinas (8-154, 2 TDs), Joseph Watson (7-55, 2 TDs) and Klay Prew (6-105, 2 TDs).
Defensive leaders include Josh Lambert (73 tackles), Erik Argote (60 tackles) and Sakim Herrera (51 tackles).
In De Leon’s win over Valley Mills last week, the Bearcats amassed 597 yards — 339 passing and 258 rushing. Kevin Yeager completed 11 of 12 passes for 339 yards and six touchdowns and added a 14-yard touchdown run. Chris Cox caught touchdowns of 70 and 45 yards, Calvin Martin added scoring receptions of 52 and 7 yards and Orson Sylva added touchdown catches of 33 and 60 yards.
Anthony Rangel rushed for 163 yards and a 58-yard touchdown, Tony Evans chipped in a 44-yard rushing score and Martin added a 5-yard touchdown run.
Last season, De Leon cruised past San Saba, 41-0.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 37-point underdog.
Lohn at Richland Springs
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Class A Division II No. 3 Richland Springs Coyotes (7-1, 1-0) are scheduled to host Lohn Friday night, who forfeited their District 13-A Division II opener to Cherokee last week.
Richland Springs (7-1, 1-0), meanwhile, earned its 67th consecutive district victory with a 54-0 shutout of Rochelle, as the Coyotes pursue their 16th straight league title.
In the Coyotes’ win last week, Richland Springs ran just five offensive and amassed 126 yards — all on the ground — while allowing Rochelle 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, Richland Springs picked up a forfeit victory over Lohn.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.
Moran at Rising Star
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Rising Star Wildcats will attempt to bounce back from their District 11-A Division I opening loss to No. 2 Strawn and keep their playoff chances alive against the Moran Bulldogs Friday night.
Rising Star (2-6, 0-1) blanked by Strawn, 52-0, while Moran (5-3, 1-0) cruised past Woodson, 52-6.
In the Wildcats’ loss, Rising Star finished with negative-76 yards of total offense — rushing the ball 13 times for negative-83 yards and completing 3 of 6 pass attempts for 7 yards. Alex Teplichek did all the passing for the Wildcats, while Micah Carnley was the top receiver with a 9-yard reception.
Defensively, Rising Star gave up 292 total yards, including 266 on the ground.
In Moran’s win last week, the Bulldogs were led by Randall Laird, who scored on a 4-yard touchdown catch, a 50-yard kick return and a 41-yard run. Chance Cauble completed touchdown passes of 4 and 63 yards to Monte Lancaster, who also rushed for a 2-yard score. Tyler Miller reached the end zone on a 10-yard carry and Curry Pendleton returned a fumble 45 yards for a score.
Last season, Moran blanked Rising Star, 51-0.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Rising Star is a 45-point underdog.
Santa Anna at Water Valley
7:30 p.m. Friday
The defending District 8-A Division I champion Santa Anna Mountaineers vie for their first win of 2017, and attempt to remain in the postseason picture, as they visit the Water Valley Wildcats.
Santa Anna (0-8, 0-1) is coming off a 70-12 loss to Veribest in the district opener, as the Mountaineers recorded a team-high in points this season. For the year, Santa Anna has been outscored 480-30, and the 70 points allowed were the second-most in a game this year.
Water Valley (3-5, 1-0) is coming off a 58-8 victory over Paint Rock in its league opener last week.
Last season, Santa Anna raced past Water Valley, 69-24.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Santa Anna is a 45-point underdog.