ZEPHYR— The No. 9 Richland Springs Coyotes advanced to play No. 6 Calvert, and picked up their 10th consecutive victory, after mercy-ruling the Brookesmith Mustangs, 53-6, Friday night in Class A Division II Region IV bi-district playoff action.

The Coyotes (10-1) hit double digits in victories after playing a near flawless game while holding the Mustangs (6-3) scoreless until the final play, when Mason Brummett found Holden Bolt for a 63-yard touchdown.

“Our goal all season is to get better every week and peak at the right time, which is right now in the playoffs,” Richland Springs first-year head coach Thomas Tipton said. “We need to take care of business and the kids bought in. The kids started to trust each other and trust and believe what the coaches are doing. I still think we have room to get better. We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties.”

The late Mustang score was the only blemish in an otherwise perfect game for the Coyotes, who scored on each possession with sophomore Matthew Rigdon leading the way by completing 5 of 6 passes for 103 yards and three touchdows while rushing for 39 yards. Griffin Rigdon tallied 125 yards on eight carries with a pair of touchdowns.

With the Coyote defense holding Brookesmith to less than 100 yards, there was little need to go to the air. For Tipton, his primary concern was penalties, which he said will prevent Richland Springs from advancing against Calvert if they are not remedied.

“It’s the penalties by far. We had five or six and one brought back a touchdown,” Tipton said. “We can’t afford to lose yardage like that. There was one that we gave to them that gave them half the distance to the goal. Instead of being from the 4, it’s from the 2 and that is big in the playoffs. Those 2 yards can be the game and we have to eliminate those.”

As for Brookesmith, the Mustangs reached the playoffs for the third consecutive year — a first in program history — but fell short of their first postseason victory since 1955.

Brummett finished the game completing 4 of 10 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown with the bulk of those yards coming on the final play. Although coming to an anticlimactic end with the game being decided by halftime, Brookesmith head coach Scott Edmonson was pleased with the season and anxious to return in 2019.

“It was nice to see Holden Bolt get a touchdown and it was a good way to end the game,” Edmondson said. “It was out of reach, but we weren’t giving up. I was proud of my guys for that. We definitely didn’t give up. We were district runners up, but it was a good season. We were over .500 and we’re glad to be there. We’re just looking forward to next year. It’s going to get better and we’re still young.”

While Brookesmith’s season comes to an end, Richland Springs hopes its season is just heating up as they next face the District 14 champion Calvert Trojans (8-2) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Gatesville. Calvert advanced after rolling through Trinidad, 48-14, for its fourth win in a row.