Roscoe Plowboys, Santo Wildcats square off in area duel of 10-1 squads

Carson Field
Abilene Reporter-News
Roscoe's Jake Gonzalez (20) fights for extra yardage during Thursday's Region II-2A Division II bi-district playoff against Quanah at Post on Nov. 11, 2021. The Plowboys pulled away for the 38-16 victory.

It took a while for Roscoe to find a groove in its first playoff game. The Plowboys trailed Quanah 9-0 in the first quarter of their bi-district game but rallied to win 38-16. 

Quarterback Jax Watts completed 20 of 33 pass attempts for 276 yards and a touchdown. His long was a 73-yard touchdown to Seth Wilcox. 

Roscoe's backs also ran well, as they went for 177 yards as a team. With 111 yards, Antonio Aguayo was their top runner.

The level of difficulty increases as Roscoe (10-1) heads into the area round. The Plowboys will battle Santo, who also comes into the game 10-1. It's only loss was to unbeaten Albany, 33-6, for the District 2-2A championship.

The Wildcats had no trouble in the first round, beating Petrolia 31-0. Case Procter scored three touchdowns on the ground and paced Santo’s offense with 134 rushing yards.

Roscoe and Santo are similar teams in the way they both have excellent records after playing schedules that weren’t particularly daunting. Because of this, it’s hard to predict how Thursday’s showdown will go. 

Roscoe is a much more pass-heavy team than Santo, who threw just once against Petrolia. Both teams have sound defenses, so it will likely come down to who makes fewer mistakes.

PICK: Roscoe 34, Santo 28

Snyder staying hot after bi-district win

Snyder (8-3) vs. Graham (7-3)

Snyder made quite the statement in its bi-district game.

The Tigers shut out Seminole to win their first bi-district championship in eight years. They made it a blowout in the second half, outscoring the Indians 24-0 to win 31-0.

Snyder will need to fire on all cylinders again in round two when it faces Graham. The Steers are 7-3 and have won their last six games.

Most recently, they beat Sanger 35-14 in their bi-district game. Graham beat Midland Greenwood 17-0 earlier in the year. Greenwood beat Snyder 34-7 in the regular season.

Snyder's Tim Henderson leaps into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter of Friday's game against Jim Ned.

In Graham’s backfield is Noah Jilek. The junior running back has run for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns.

Dom Dominguez has become an efficient runner in Snyder’s backfield. He eclipsed 100 yards in his first two varsity starts, running for 100 and a touchdown in the Seminole win.

Dominguez needs to have another big game if the Tigers want to compete against a very good Graham squad.

PICK: Graham 41, Snyder 27

Battle of the Greyhounds

Throckmorton (11-0) vs. Strawn (11-0)

Between Throckmorton and Strawn are 22 wins. Neither team has lost in 2021, but one of the teams’ unbeaten seasons will come to an end Friday.

Both squads mercy-ruled their opponents in round one. Throckmorton won 87-40 over Ladonia Fannindel, while Strawn crushed Morgan 72-7.

The dominance of these teams can’t be overstated; Strawn enters the contest ranked No. 2 in 1A Division II, while Throckmorton is No. 7. Only one of the team’s combined 22 wins wasn’t via mercy rule, and that was Strawn’s 16-point win over Westbrook — a top-10 team in 1A Division I.

Throckmorton quarterback Braden Crow rushes past a Rule defender on Friday, Oct. 1.

Both teams are very capable of making a deep run in the 1A II playoffs, but that won’t happen thanks to the bracket’s format. Friday’s “Battle of the Greyhounds” should be one for the ages.

PICK: Strawn 65, Throckmorton 55

Surging Sweetwater

Sweetwater (8-3) vs. Aubrey (10-1)

Sweetwater’s dynamic offense was on display in the bi-district round. 

The Mustangs raced past Borger 50-15, thanks to a dominant performance from Leo Holsey. The quarterback was responsible for six Sweetwater touchdowns: three through the air, three on the ground. He combined for more than 300 total yards.

Admittedly, Borger wasn’t exactly the toughest foe. The Bulldogs came into the game with a 2-8 record and lost three games in a row before playoffs.

Sweetwater’s road ahead isn’t easy, as it faces Aubrey in the second round. Aubrey put together a strong regular season, finishing 9-1 with several impressive wins. The Chaparrals’ most notable win was their 49-14 rout of Whitesboro in Week 2.

Sweetwater senior Joeangel Reyna runs past a Snyder defender on Friday, Oct. 9.

Winners of their last seven games, the Mustangs are very capable of competing in this area matchup. They went undefeated in district play and haven’t looked back since starting the season 1-3.

Against an Aubrey team that scores a lot of points, Holsey will need to keep Sweetwater’s offense rolling like it has recently.

PICK: Aubrey 42, Sweetwater 37

Early rolling into area round

Early (9-2) vs. Shallowater (9-2)

At one point, Early’s season seemed to be going in a downward spiral. The Longhorns lost two games in a row to start district play 0-2. 

But since then, they have been excellent. Early comes into the area round on a four-game winning streak, most recently beating Pilot Point 43-21.

Tre Beam was a star in the first round, posting 241 yards on the ground and scoring two total touchdowns. Beam’s performance earned him Big Country Player of the Week honors.

The Longhorns (9-2) now will set their sights on a 9-2 Shallowater team. 

Quarterback Tucker Hale throws a touchdown pass on Friday, Oct. 15. He completed 17 passes in Early's loss to Breckenridge.

Shallowater has a handful of lopsided wins under its belt, some of which came against playoff teams such as Denver City, Seminole and Panhandle. The Mustangs’ losses were both very impressive, as well. They fell by a combined 14 points to Childress and Abernathy, who have a combined 20-2 record.

Early will need more production out of Beam, quarterback Jaxyn Price and the Longhorns’ other weapons to keep up with Shallowater. If the last four games are any indication, they should compete well.

PICK: Shallowater 38, Early 35

Bearcats still unbeaten

Hawley (11-0) vs. Sundown (8-3)

Unsurprisingly, the No. 5 Bearcats crushed San Saba in their playoff opener. They won 56-9 as their running backs scored seven touchdowns while their defense intercepted three passes.

Austin Cumpton had another huge game in Hawley’s backfield, rushing for 111 yards and five touchdowns. The junior has 11 touchdowns on the year, and that number would be well higher if an injury didn’t sideline him for a few weeks in the middle of the season.

Hawley wide receiver Kason O'Shields leaps over a couple Forsan defenders on a kick return on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

Admittedly, San Saba wasn’t a normal playoff-caliber team, coming into the game 2-8. But in the area round, Hawley will get its first true postseason test.

Hawley faces an 8-3 Sundown team that made light work of Sanford-Fritch in round one. The Roughnecks rushed for 414 yards and eight touchdowns as a team on their way to a 52-13 win.

Sundown has only allowed more than 20 points three times all season — it lost all three of those games. The Roughnecks’ defense is typically stingy, but landslide wins have been the outcome anyone has been able to move on them.

If Cumpton has and the Bearcat backs have another big game, they should be on their way to round three.

PICK: Hawley 31, Sundown 20

Carson Field is the area sports reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News. He covers primarily Big Country high school sports. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to reporternews.com.

Big Country Power Rankings

CLASS 3A/4A

1. Jim Ned (11-0); Last week: Beat Peaster 49-12; This week: Muleshoe (6-5).

2. Stephenville (11-0); Last week: Beat Brownwood Dunbar 49-21; This week: Paris (7-4).

3. Sweetwater (8-3); Last week: Beat Borger 50-15; This week: Aubrey (10-1).

4. Snyder (8-3); Last week: Beat Seminole 31-0; This week: Graham (7-3).

5. Early (9-2); Last week: Beat Pilot Point 43-21; This week: Shallowater (9-2).

CLASS 2A

1. Albany (10-0); Last week: Beat Era 68-0; This week: Olney (6-5).

2. Hawley (11-0); Last week: Beat San Saba 56-9; This week: Sundown (8-3).

3. Coleman (9-0); Last week: Beat Anson 62-12; This week: Post (5-6).

4. Roscoe (10-1); Last week: Beat Quanah 38-12; This week: Santo (10-1).

5. Cisco (6-2); Last week: Beat Haskell 55-28; This week: Panhandle (6-5).

CLASS 1A

1. May (11-0); Last week: Beat Irion County 68-20; This week: Jonesboro (11-0).

2. Strawn (11-0); Last week: Beat Morgan 72-7; This week: Throckmorton (11-0).

3. Throckmorton (11-0); Last week: Beat Fannindel 87-40; This week: Strawn (11-0).

4. Jayton (10-1); Last week: Beat Benjamin 52-41; This week: Lorraine (8-1).

5. Westbrook (10-1); Last week: Beat Ira 64-14; This week: Rankin (10-1).

Carson’s Big Country Picks

CLASS 4A

STEPHENVILLE vs. Paris

Sweetwater vs. AUBREY

Snyder vs. GRAHAM

CLASS 3A

Early vs SHALLOWATER

JIM NED vs. Muleshoe

Ballinger vs. ABERNATHY

Eastland vs. BELLS

Dublin vs. PALMER

CLASS 2A

CISCO vs. Panhandle

HAWLEY vs. Sundown

COLEMAN vs. Post

ROSCOE vs. Santo

ALBANY vs. Olney

CLASS 1A

Westbrook vs. RANKIN

MAY vs. Jonesboro

JAYTON vs. Loraine

Throckmorton vs. STRAWN

Gordon vs. GOLD-BURG