The final week of the high school football season has arrived with most playoff participants already determined, but some teams are still fighting to extend their campaign. Among those teams are the Zephyr Bulldogs, who can clinch the No. 2 spot from District 15-A Division I with a home win over Lometa Friday night.
Here is a glimpse at the 11 games involving Bulletin coverage area teams on the final night of the regular season:
Lometa (3-6, 0-2) at Zephyr (3-6, 1-1)
The Zephyr Bulldogs can return to the playoffs after a one-year absence with a victory over the Lometa Hornets in Friday's home finale. The Bulldogs were in a similar situation last year, but fell victim to an upset that ended their string of seven straight postseason appearances.
A loss by Zephyr, coupled with a loss by Evant against Jonesboro, would result in a three-way tie for second place in the district, and a tiebreaker would determine the advancing team. A Zephyr and a win by Evant over Jonesboro, which turned out to be the case last year, would result in the Bulldogs staying home.
Zephyr is coming off a 59-12 loss to Jonesboro which followed a 64-46 come-from-behind win over Evant in the district opener.
Against Jonesboro, the Bulldogs surrendered 454 yards of total offense — 296 rushing and 158 passing — as well as the first 30 points of the game.
Zephyr produced 196 yards, with 138 coming on the ground. Mason Rogers rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown while completing 3 of 12 passes for 26 yards. Bryson Gibbs finished with 16 yards through the air and a 6-yard scoring toss to Cole Miller. Orin Kern caught two passes for 20 yards and Gibbs also pulled down a 22-yard reception. Kannon Eoff chipped in 17 yards on the ground.
Rogers led Zephyr with 10 tackles trailed by seven each from Kern and Jayden Millican.
Lometa has lost its two district games by a combined scored of 110-10 — 60-10 to Jonesboro in the opener and 50-0 to Evant last week. The Hornets' last win came on Oct. 11, a 36-2 triumph at Bynum.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Zephyr is a 29-point favorite.
Sidney (3-6, 2-1) at No. 10 Blanket (7-2, 3-0)
The Class A Division II No. 10 Blanket Tigers can secure the District 15-A Division II championship outright with a victory over the Sidney Eagles, who are looking to pull the upset and create a three-way tie atop the league standings.
With a Blanket win, the Tigers will be the top seed in the playoffs from 15-A Division II for the second year in a row. However, if Sidney pulls off the win and Brookesmith defeats Rising Star, the Tigers, Eagles and Mustangs would share the league title. A Sidney win coupled with a Rising Star upset of Brookesmith would send the Eagles to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and the Tigers as No. 2 seed.
Blanket chalked up a 49-0 road victory over Mullin last week. In that victory, the Tigers yielded negative-13 yards of total offense, including minus-17 rushing, and created the game’s only turnover.
Offensively, the Tigers generated 206 total yards with 195 coming on the ground. Logan Wheeler rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns, Carlos Morales chipped in 43 yards and a score, Hector Castaneda rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown and Dakota Pogue added 22 yards with a trip to the end zone.
Through the air, Trenten Varner completed 1 of 3 passes, an 11-yard scoring strike to Tyler Simpson.
Defensively for Blanket, Castaneda led the way with eight tackles followed by six from Simpson and four from Morales.
Sidney is coming off a 66-25 win over Rising Star and also owns a 58-6 district victory over Mullin. The Eagles' league loss came at the hands of Brookesmith, 48-0.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Blanket is a 45-point favorite.
No. 9 May (8-1, 2-0) at Lingleville (5-4, 1-1)
The Class A Division I No. 9 May Tigers look to conclude the regular season with a ninth straight victory and secure the outright District 14-A Division I championship in the process as they visit the Lingleville Cardinals.
If the Tigers were to stumble, and Gorman defeats Santa Anna as expected, May, Lingleville and Gorman would share the district championship and a tiebreaker would determine the two postseason qualifiers.
May is fresh off a 72-48 victory over preseason district favorite Gorman, which put the Tigers in the driver's seat for a fourth consecutive league crown.
Against Gorman last week, May finished with 461 yards of total offense — 250 passing and 211 rushing.
Rory Bustamante completed 5 of 6 passes for 158 yards with three touchdowns while rushing for 106 yards and another score. Isidrio Salinas racked up 65 yards on the ground and scored twice, while Blake Harrell was 4 of 7 through the air for 66 yards and a touchdown, and he also returned a kick 55 yards to the end zone. Ethan Self completed two passes, both for touchdowns, covering 16 yards.
Keith Cross led all receivers with five catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns, Tyler Wheeler contributed four receptions for 67 yards and three trips to the end zone, Salinas grabbed two for 35 yards, and Lane McGinn pulled down a 17-yard scoring reception.
Defensive standouts for May included Salinas (8 tackles and 2 caused fumbles), Chris Flenniken (8 tackles), McGinn (7 tackles and on interception), and Seth Johnston (6 tackles and an interception).
Lingleville picked up its first district victory over Santa Anna, 40-19, last week. The Cardinals have also upended Three Way (36-30), Bluff Dale (33-26), Cherokee (42-35) and Walnut Springs (61-36) this season.
According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.
Brookesmith (8-1, 2-1) at Rising Star (3-5, 1-2)
The Brookesmith Mustangs return to action after their District 15-A Division II bye looking to lock up the league's No. 2 playoff spot and fourth straight trip to the postseason. The Rising Star Wildcats, meanwhile, find themselves in the role of potential spoiler.
A Brookesmith win, coupled with a Blanket victory, would set those two teams up as the league's top two playoff seeds for the second year in a row. If Brookesmith wins and Sidney upsets Blanket, the three teams would split the district title and a tiebreaker would determine the qualifying teams. Brookesmith could still advance with a loss as long as Blanket defeats Sidney as the Mustangs own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles. A Mustangs loss coupled with a Sidney upset would leave Brookesmith at home as Sidney would assume the No. 1 seed and Blanket would be No. 2 with those two teams splitting the championship.
Brookesmith's most recent outing was a 48-0 victory over Sidney on Oct. 25. In that contest, the Mustangs surrendered just 4 yards of total offense while churning out 186 yards, all on the ground.
Tyler Williford rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns, Johnathan Willoughby added 42 yards and a score and Avery Williford reached the end zone on a 26-yard rush, his lone carry of the game. Clayton Adame also chipped in 24 yards on the ground.
Defensively for Brookesmith, Holden Bolt recorded 10 tackles trailed by Avery Williford with eight, and Willoughby and Jeremaya Ibara with five apiece.
Rising Star is coming off a 66-25 loss to Sidney and has also fallen in district action to Blanket, 57-0. The Wildcats own a 33-6 district triumph over Mullin.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Brookesmith is a 45-point favorite.
No. 3 Richland Springs (8-0, 3-0) at Rochelle (8-1, 3-0)
The Class A Division II No. 3 Richland Springs Coyotes look to secure their 18th straight district championship and 78th league victory in a row as they visit the Rochelle Hornets to determine the top two playoff seeds from District 16-A Division II.
The Coyotes, who own forfeit wins over Lohn and Panther Creek, handed Cherokee a 62-15 defeat last week.
Richland Springs' latest victory saw the Coyotes allow just 106 yards with five turnovers forced by the defense, including two that resulted in touchdowns — an interception return by Massiah Clarady and a fumble recovery by Wade Appleton.
On the offensive end, Richland Springs produced 267 yards — 146 rushing and 121 passing. Landon Burkhart rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown and completed 3 of 5 passes for 66 yards and another score in his season debut. Matthew Rigdon added 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground while passing for 55 yards with another touchdown.
Lane Shannon led the way with two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, Decklyn Chandler pulled down a 39-yard scoring toss and Chase Gossett grabbed two receptions for 16 yards.
The Coyotes also scored on a 50-yard kick return by Griff Rigdon, who rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown as well.
Defensively, Burkhart’s eight tackles were a team-high trailed by five from Shannon and four from Appleton.
Rochelle owns an 85-68 district victory over Cherokee along with forfeit wins over Lohn and Panther Creek. The Hornets' lone loss this year came to Eden (68-30), with victories over Stephenville Faith (60-33), Santa Anna (69-20), Kopperl (63-33), Rising Star (56-21), Mullin (65-0), Lingleville (78-43) and Smoking for Jesus Ministry Christian School (58-19).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.
No. 3 San Saba (9-0, 4-0) at De Leon (3-6, 2-2)
The San Saba Armadillos, ranked as high as No. 3 by Dave Campbell's Texas Football website, have already secured District 7-2A Division I's top playoff seed and can lock up an outright district title and second straight unbeaten regular season with a win at De Leon Friday night.
San Saba was tested for the first time all year last week, defeating Crawford by a 48-28 count in a game that was tied at 14 at halftime. Prior to last week, the Armadillos had allowed 9 points all season.
In last week's win, the Armadillos finished with 547 yards of total offense, and all but 10 of those yards came on the ground. Sean O’Keefe compiled 369 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries, Eli Salinas contributed 110 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushes and Risien Shahan chipped in 59 yards and a trip to the end zone on nine attempts.
Defensively, San Saba gave up 236 yards and forced three turnovers, including a 29-yard interception return by Logan Glover that wrapped up the scoring.
For the year, San Saba is now averaging and 56 points and 486 yards — 239 rushing and 157 passing — with 4 points allowed per outing.
Salinas has rushed for 1,330 yards and 18 touchdowns while O'Keefe has contributed 1,143 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Landon Yarbrough leads the defense with 123 tackles, including 22 for loss and four sacks, while Logan Glover has picked off six passes.
De Leon is coming off a 48-7 victory over Goldthwaite in which it limited the Eagles to 99 yards of total offense.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 32-point favorite.
Tolar (5-4, 2-2) at Comanche (4-5, 2-2)
The Comanche Indians and Tolar Rattlers will determine the No. 3 and No. 4 playoff seeds from District 6-3A Division II as the two teams square off in Friday's regular season finale.
Comanche is coming off a 20-16 loss at Dublin while Tolar rolled past Rio Vista, 36-7.
In the Indians' loss last week, Comanche led 7-0 after a 4-yard Logan Wilkerson touchdown, 13-7 after a 23-yard pass from Hudson Welch to Jorge Rios, and 16-14 following a 36-yard field goal, but gave up the decisive 57-yard touchdown pass with 4:37 left.
Comanche finished with 231 yards of total offense, with 190 coming on the ground, but committed the game's only turnover. Defensively, the Indians gave up 236 yards, with 164 coming through the air.
Luke Wilson rushed for 101 yards for Comanche trailed by 51 yards from Wilkerson and 23 from Oscar Rios. Welch completed 4 of 9 passes for 41 yards as Rios caught two for 28 yards and Wilson added two receptions for 13.
Tolar produced 272 yards — 144 rushing and 128 passing — with one turnover last week, while giving up 191 yards and creating a pair of takeaways.
Jackson LeCluyse completed 9 of 16 passes for 128 yards with three touchdowns while rushing for 33 yards. Wesley Miller rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown and Braegan Berry chipped in 33 yards on the ground with a trip to the end zone. Seth Carroll caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown and Reese Robinson finished with two grabs for 24 yards and scored once.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 14-point favorite.
Goldthwaite (2-7, 1-3) at Valley Mills (5-4, 2-2)
The Goldthwaite Eagles need a victory and help to create a three-way tie for third place in the District 7-2A Division I standings and a tiebreaker to decide the No. 3 and No. 4 playoff seeds.
A Goldthwaite win over Valley Mills, coupled with a De Leon loss to San Saba, would result in all three teams finishing district with a 2-3 mark. If the Eagles fall to Valley Mills, however, Goldthwaite is ousted from postseason consideration.
The Eagles will need a massive victory to erase the 48-7 deficit of last week's loss to De Leon in the case of a potential three-way tie scenario.
Against De Leon last week, Goldthwaite mustered just 99 yards of total offense — 87 yards on the ground and 12 through the air — while allowing 277 yards, including 196 rushing.
Nick Jones led the Eagles with 60 yards rushing while Isaac Chavez and Jordan Simon chipped in 16 apiece. Through the air, Jackson Patrick was 1 of 2 for 12 yards, with Chavez hauling in the reception.
Valley Mills owns district wins over Hico (45-6) and De Leon (21-0), with losses to San Saba (43-0) and Crawford (21-12). If Valley Mills wins, it will finish as the No. 3 seed regardless of the San Saba-De Leon result due to defeating De Leon head-to-head.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Goldthwaite is a 17-point underdog.
Merkel (2-7, 2-4) at Coleman (3-6, 2-4)
The Coleman Bluecats will attempt to conclude their season on a winning note as they welcome the Merkel Badgers to Hufford Field for a District 4-3A Division II tilt.
Since winning their first two league games, the Bluecats are in the midst of a four-game slide. The Badgers, meanwhile, snapped a four-game slump with a 34-18 victory over Grape Creek last week.
Coleman is coming off a 63-7 loss to Ballinger in which the Bluecats managed just 33 yards of total offense, including negative-29 yards rushing, with three turnovers. Coleman gave up 454 yards — 245 through the air and 209 on the ground — and forced one turnover.
The Bluecats scored their lone touchdown with 2:54 left in the first half on a 1-yard plunge by Robert Wright, who finished with 33 yards rushing.
Corbin Rosales completed 8 of 11 passes for 62 yards as Jalen Holloway grabbed two receptions covering 34 yards.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is an 8-point favorite.
Santa Anna (1-8, 0-2) at Gorman (6-3, 1-1)
The Santa Anna Mountaineers will attempt to foil the Gorman Panthers in their season finale and notch a second win in their initial season under head coach Jack Graves.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 40-19 District 14-A Division I loss to Lingleville and have also fallen to league front-runner May, 60-6. Santa Anna's only victory this year is a 52-0 homecoming triumph against Mullin on Sept. 27.
Gorman is looking to rebound from its 72-48 loss to May and secure the district's second playoff berth. A Panthers' victory, coupled with a May win over Lingleville, would result in the runner-up position. If Gorman were to win and Lingleville were to stun May, a three-way tie for the district championship would require a tiebreak to determine the league's two playoff representatives.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Santa Anna is a 45-point underdog.