HICO — In a back-and-forth battle that featured seven lead changes, the Richland Springs Coyotes tallied the final touchdown with 41 seconds left to secure a 34-29 Class A Division II Region IV semifinal victory over the Calvert Trojans here Friday night.
Calvert (8-4) grabbed a 29-26 edge over Richland Springs (10-0) with 3:41 left in the contest, but the Coyotes responded with a 9-yard touchdown run by Landon Burkhart, and the two-point kick from Wade Appleton, to reclaim the advantage with less than a minute left.
Richland Springs began the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Landon Burkhart to Matthew Rigdon 2:30 into the contest.
Calvert seized its first lead, 8-6, on a 4-yard Jaquaris Ford run and David Williams two-point kick with 5:07 left before halftime.
The Coyotes move ahead, 14-8, at the 3:32 mark of the second quarter on a 5-yard run by Rigdon, coupled with Appleton's two-point kick.
The Trojans appeared to grab a 16-14 halftime edge on a 40-yard pass from Danielshijon Hurst to Corderrius Gilmore, and Williams' two-point kick, with 46 seconds left before halftime.
But Richland Springs wrapped up the first half with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Burkhart to Appleton, giving the Coyotes a 20-16 advantage with no time left on the clock.
Just 2:41 into the third period, Calvert regained a 22-20 lead as Davien Flentroy scored on a 20-yard run.
With the Trojans again driving at the 2:49 mark of the third, Lane Shannon intercepted a pass from Hurst and returned it for a touchdown, staking Richland Springs to a 26-22 lead — the final points scored before Calvert surged in front again late in the fourth period.
Richland Springs finished with 320 yards of total offense — 171 rushing and 149 passing — while Calvert generated 245 yards — 123 through the air and 122 on the ground — but committed the game's two turnovers.
Burkhart completed 5 of 6 passes for 100 yards with two scoring tosses for Richland Springs, while rushing for 81 yards and a score and catching a 33-yard pass. Ridgon compiled 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground, completed 4 of 10 passes for 49 yards, and hauled in an 8-yard scoring reception.
Appleton led the Coyotes with three catches for 76 yards while Jaydeyn Bryant grabbed two receptions for 17 yards and Massiah Clarady (12 yards) and Griff Rigdon (3 yards) also caught passes.
Defensively for Richland Springs, Burkhart tallied 11 tackles with 2.5 for loss, Shannon contributed 8.5 tackles and the pick six and Bryant recorded 5.5 tackles.
Next week, the Coyotes face Oakwood (8-4) — a 60-20 winner over Blanket Friday night — at 7 p.m. Friday in Hico in a rematch of last year's season-ending loss for Richland Springs.
San Saba 54, Collinsville 6 (Thursday)
MINERAL WELLS — The undefeated San Saba Armadillos cruised to their 12th consecutive win, 54-6 over Collinsville Thursday night in Class 2A Division I Region II area playoff action.
The Armadillos led 26-0 after one quarter and added four more touchdowns in the second period as neither team scored after halftime.
San Saba amassed 515 yards of total offense — 371 rushing and 144 passing.
Sean O'Keefe rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns, Eli Salinas added 112 yards and two scores and Risien Shahan finished with 48 yards and a trip to the end zone.
Through the air, O'Keefe threw for 101 yards and a touchdown while Shahan and Weston Lackey added 30 and 13 passing yards, respectively. Logan Glover hauled in four receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Armadillos.
Defensively, Shahan notched 14 tackles, with seven for loss, followed by nine each from Abel Martinez and Stone Sears.
San Saba (12-0) will face Bogota Rivercrest (11-1) — a 28-19 winner over De Leon Friday — at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mansfield's Vernon Newsom Stadium in the Class 2A Division I Region II semifinals.
Nueces Canyon 66, May 62
MERTZON — The May Tigers' 10-game win streak — and 2019 football season — came to an end Friday night at the hands of the Nueces Canyon Panthers, who chalked up a 66-62 victory in Class A Division I Region IV semifinal action.
May (10-2) produced 461 yards — 322 rushing and 139 passing — against the Nueces Canyon (10-2) defense, but that wasn't enough to keep the season alive.
The Tigers' ground attack featured 137 yards and two touchdowns from Rory Bustamente, 135 yards and two scores from Isidro Salinas, 48 yards from Blake Harrell, and a 2-yard touchdown run by Keith Cross.
Through the air, Harrell connected on both his pass attempts for 73 yards and a touchdown, Bustamante completed 2 of 4 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, and Seth Johnston was 2 for 2 for 10 yards with a scoring toss.
Leading receivers included Chris Flenniken with three grabs for 59 yards and two scores, Tyler Wheeler with two receptions for 73 yards with a trip to the end zone, and Cross caught a 7-yard pass.
Defensively for May, Bustamante returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown and recorded four tackles, while Harrell led the Tigers with nine takedowns. Salinas also contributed four tackles trailed by Flenniken, Cross, Lane McGinn, and Aaron McGinn with three apiece.
Nueces Canyon will move on to face Jonesboro (11-1) — a 46-36 winner over Eden Friday night — in the Region IV championship game next weekend.
Oakwood 60, Blanket 20
AQUILLA — For the second year in a row, the Blanket Tigers' season reached its conclusion in the Class A Division II Region IV semifinal round of the playoffs at the hands of the Oakwood Panthers.
In a rematch of last year's 51-6 Oakwood triumph, the Tigers came up on the short end of a 60-20 decision Friday night.
Knotted at 6 early thanks to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Trenten Varner to Tyler Simpson, Blanket (9-3) trailed 21-6 by the end of the first period. The Tigers closed gap to 21-14 early in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Logan Wheeler, but Oakwood (8-4) answered with 33 consecutive points to stretch the advantage to 54-14. Blanket's final points of the season came in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Jenkins to Hector Castaneda.
Blanket finished with 232 yards — 165 rushing and 67 passing — but turned the ball over three times. Oakwood produced 336 yards, with 281 coming on the ground, and was turnover free.
Castaneda rushed for 128 yards for Blanket while Wheeler chipped in 56. Through the air, Varner completed 5 of 15 passes for 59 yards, while Jenkins connected on his only toss of the night. Leading receivers included Castaneda with two grabs for 33 yards, Hayden Rogers with two catches for 16, Simpson with a 14-yard touchdown reception and Brady Furry hauled in a 4-yard pass.
Defensively, Simpson and Tanner Isom led Blanket with seven tackles apiece followed by Furry with six and Rogers and Castaneda with four apiece.
Oakwood will face undefeated Richland Springs — a 34-29 winner over Calvert — at 7 p.m. Friday in Hico for the Region IV championship at a time, date and place yet to be determined.