The 7-on-7 state qualifying season reaches the halfway point Saturday for the Brownwood Lions, who host their own 16-team tournament as they continue their quest for a 20th consecutive appearance in the state tournament.
Brownwood's qualifier begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with all games taking place at the high school. The winners of the four pools will meet in semifinal action at 12:30 p.m., with the semifinal winners advancing to the 7-on-7 Division II state tournament at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station June 27-28.
The Lions will compete in Pool A along with Lubbock Christian, Gatesville and Burnet, which has already qualified for state and therefore cannot advance past pool play. Pool B is made up of Early — seeking its second 7-on-7 state berth and first since 2001 — the Brownwood JV, Breckenridge and Llano. Comprising Pool C is Godley, Cameron, Robinson and Stephenville, while Pool D consists of Lampasas, Sweetwater, Glen Rose and Jim Ned.
The Lions have posted a 3-4 overall record in two tournaments thus far, going 1-2 at the Gatesville qualifier and finishing 2-2 at the Burnet tournament — advancing to the championship game before falling on the final snap.
Brownwood's most recent outing was the Burnet qualifier on May 25, where the Lions defeated Midlothian Heritage (27-24) and Fredericksburg (34-19), then fell to McGregor (38-33) and Burnet (45-40).
The Lions opened qualifying action at the Gatesville qualifier on May 18 where Brownwood fell to McGregor (26-25) and Rockdale (33-13), while upending Palestine (21-18).
In seven games, Brownwood has scored on 29 of 52 possessions, a 56 percent success rate.
Quarterback Drew Huff has connected on 146 of 216 passes — 68 percent — with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Leading receivers include A.J. McCarty (39 catches, 11 TDs), Isyah Campos (27 catches 4 TDs), Reece Rodgers (24 catches, 3 TDs), Dane Johnson (20 catches, 2 TDs), Khyren Deal (16 catches, 4 TDs), Damion Jones (11 catches, 3 TDs), Royshad Henderson (4 catches), Cade Jetton (4 catches), Cooper Swanzy (2 catches) and Hunter Day (1 catch, 1 TD).
Defensively, the Lions have picked off six passes — one each by Deal, McCarty, Jones, Henderson, Rodgers and Rowdee Gregory.
If the Lions are unable to qualify for state this weekend, Brownwood has one more state qualifier left as the Lions will compete at Jim Ned on June 15.