The race for district championships and playoff berths are in high gear as the high school football season reaches Week 8. Among the teams looking to remain undefeated in district play are May, Richland Springs, Comanche, Coleman, San Saba, and Cross Plain, while Zephyr and Brookesmith begin league action this week.
The following are brief glimpses at this week’s games involving teams covered by BrownwoodNews.com:
Santa Anna (4-2, 0-1) at No. 5 May (6-1, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Class A Division I No. 5 May Tigers, in pursuit of their fifth straight district title, host the Santa Anna Mountaineers for homecoming Friday night in 13-A Division I action targeting a fifth straight win this season.
The Tigers are coming off a 49-0 triumph over Gorman in the league opener, while the Mountaineers dropped their district opener to Baird, 66-16.
May is averaging 57 points and 340 yards per game – 219 rushing and 121 passing.
The ground game is led by Rory Bustamante (367 rushing yards, 6 TDs), Kaden Halk (341 rushing yards, 8 TDs), Isidro Salinas (330 rushing yards, 6 TDs) and Damian Salinas (201 rushing yards, 5 TDs).
Through the air, Bustamante has thrown for 461 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception while Blake Harrell has added 356 yards with six scoring tosses and one pick.
Leading receivers include Chris Flenniken (10–203, 4 TDs), Halk (8-213, 3 TDs), and Hayden King (7–218, 4 TDs).
Defensively, May is surrendering 20 points per game with 12 takeaways – six interceptions and six fumble recoveries – with two returned for touchdowns.
Standouts include King (71 tackles, 20.5 for loss, 1 FR), Isidro Salinas (50 tackles, 8 for loss), Flenniken (43 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 2 FR, 1 INT), Halk (36 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs), Bustamante (27 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FR), Brian Kunkel (26 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1 FR), Damian Salinas (24 tackles (2 for loss, 1 FR), Harrell (19 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 FR), and Aaron McGinn (19 tackles, 1 FR).
Santa Anna has also fallen to Brookesmith (54-8) this season with pre-district wins over Trent (46-0), Rising Star (68-22), Olfen (60-0), and Panther Creek (58-6).
According to sixmanfootball.com, May is a 45-point favorite.
Lometa (5-1, 0-0) at Zephyr (1-5, 0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
The Zephyr Bulldogs look to turn around their fortunes as the start of District 15-A Division I action arrives Friday night against the Lometa Hornets.
Thus far Zephyr has only defeated Paint Rock (51-6) with losses to Cherokee (65-8), Blanket (59-14), Stephenville Faith (72-66), Veribest (42-32) and Sidney (48-0).
Statistical information on the Bulldogs for the season is unavailable.
Lometa’s only loss came at the hands of Cedar Park Summit Christian (60-12) while the Hornets own victories over Paint Rock (53-0), Rochelle (76-26), Buckholts (62-16), Cherokee (45-12) and Lingleville (56-6).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Zephyr is a 45-point underdog.
Panther Creek (1-6, 0-1) at Brookesmith (3-2, 0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday – canceled
The Brookesmith Mustangs will pick up a forfeit win over Panther Creek in their District 15-A Division II opener as Friday’s game has been canceled. The Panthers are forfeiting due to not having enough healthy players to field a team this week.
No. 17 Cherokee (5-2, 1-0) at No. 2 Richland Springs (5-0, 1-0)
7 p.m. Friday
The Class A Division II No. 2 Richland Springs are pursing a 19th straight district championship, 75h straight district win, and 10th state championship overall as 16-A Division II action continues against the No. 17 Cherokee Indians Friday night.
The Coyotes’ season thus far has featured wins over Austin Royals (55-8), Darrouzett (56-7), Fort Worth Covenant Classical (61-16), San Antonio FEAST (68-16) and Rochelle (47-0) in last week’s district opener.
Cherokee has defeated Buckholts (57-12), Sidney (48-28), Gustine (77-30), Zephyr (65-8) and Mullin (47-0) in last week’s district opener, with losses against Lometa (45-12) and Irion County (73-28).
Richland Springs is averaging 57 points and 277 yards – 184 rushing and 93 passing – per game, with three turnovers.
The Coyotes’ ground game is led by Landon Burkhart (487 yards, 10 TDs), Jadeyn Bryant (284 yards, 12 TDs), Zane Capps (97 yards, 1 TD), Brandon Stewart (22 yards, TD), Jeremiah Usery (17 yards), and Kenny Triplett (13 yards, TD).
Through the air, Burkhart has passed for 380 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions, Bryant has thrown for 73 yards with a scoring toss and Triplett has tossed a 13-yard touchdown.
Leading receivers include Capps (9–94, 3 TDs), Bryant (5–103, 4 TDs), Chase Gossett (5-74, TD), T.J. Grant (4-164, 2 TDs), and Kelton Lusty (2-31, TD).
Defensively, the Coyotes yield 9 points and 73 yards – 69 passing and 4 rushing – per outing, with 12 takeaways.
Standouts include Bryant (24 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries), Grant (20 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 interception), Burkhart (15.5 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception), Lusty (11 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1 interception), Stewart (10 tackles, 2 interceptions), Usery (8.5 tackles, 2 for loss), Nick Nilson (6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Cohen Tharp (5.5 tackles, 1 for loss), and Chase Gossett (4.5 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.
No. 9 Eastland (3-3, 1-1) at No. 17 Comanche (6-0, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
One of the most prolific offenses in the state clashes with one of the stingiest defenses as the No. 17 Comanche Indians host the No. 9 Eastland Mavericks in a District 5-3A Division II showdown.
For the season, the Comanche defense has yielded a total of 33 points and no more than seven in any game. Eastland enters the game on a three-game win streak, averaging 73 points per contest during that span including putting 91 on the board against Panhandle.
Comanche has defeated Mason (14-0), Brady (28-7), Early (35-7), Tolar (36-6), Cisco (14-7), and Dublin (38-6) to open the season.
After falling to Wall (38-3), Holliday (29-28) and Jim Ned (62-27), Eastland has bounced back with wins over McKinney Christian (78-54), Panhandle (91-71) and Millsap (50-23) in the district opener last week.
Eastland is led by quarterback Behren Morton, a Texas Tech commit, who against Panhandle threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 196 yards and five more scores. In the win over McKinney Christian, Morton threw for 486 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards and three scores.
The Indians generate 28 points and 307 yards – 229 rushing and 78 passing – per game, while allowing 5 points on average
Quarterback Hudson Welch has thrown for 531 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while top rushers include Logan Wilkerson (454 yards, 8 TDs), Luke Wilson (415 yards, 4 TDs), Oscar Rios (230 yards, 1 TD), and Jorge Rios (97 yards, 1 TD). Top receiving threats include Bryce Hermesmeyer (10–203, 2 TDs) and Taelon Sorrells (7-99, TD).
Comanche’s defense is spearheaded by Cash Cook (72 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack), Harrison Kolb (44 tackles), Christian Holmes (43 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks), Wilkerson (35 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack), Matthew Gonzales (33 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks), Hermesmeyer (32 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 INTs), and Jorge Rios (32 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 sacks). The Indians have also recorded 13 takeaways – including 11 interceptions – and 17 sacks.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Comanche is a 9-point underdog.
Goldthwaite (3-4, 0-1) at Coleman (5-1, 1-0)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coleman Bluecats look to remain undefeated in District 4-2A Division I action and shoot for a fifth straight victory, while the Goldthwaite Eagles eye their first league triumph after a lopsided loss last week.
Coleman is coming off a 35-0 win over De Leon win which the Bluecats yielded just 120 yards of total offense – 108 rushing and 12 passing.
Offensively, the Bluecats generated 258 yards – 168 on the ground and 90 through the air.
Corbin Rosales completed 5 of 7 passes for 90 yards with touchdowns of 43 yards to Dylan Mickler, who grabbed two catches for 47 yards, and 28 yards to Braxton Smith, who finished with two receptions for 38 yards.
Dayden Hunter led the Bluecats with 45 yards rushing while R.J. Wright ran for 42 yards and a 2-yard touchdown, Rosales also chipped in 42 yards on the ground, and Cort McFadden scored on a 26-yard carry.
Rosales contributed a 51-yard punt return for a touchdown as well.
Goldthwaite is looking to rebound from a 64-6 loss to San Saba in which the Eagles trailed 56-6 at halftime.
Goldthwaite gave up 599 total yards – 387 passing and 212 rushing – with no takeaways while forcing just one point.
Offensively, the Early finished with 245 yards, including 241 rushing, but lost three fumbles.
Quarterback Jackson Patrick accounted for the only touchdown on a 76-yard run as he finished with 128 yards on the ground. Seth Gardner added 45 yards rushing and caught the only pass completion for a 4-yard gain. Aaron Anzua added 32 yards on the ground, Carsyn Campbell chipped in 19 and Dusty Partin finished with 17.
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Coleman is a 21-point favorite.
No. 3 San Saba (4-1, 1-0) at Winters (1-5, 0-1)
7 p.m. Friday
The Class 2A Division I No. 3 San Saba Armadillos put their air attack on display in a 64-6 thrashing of rival Goldthwaite last week, and look to start 4-2A action with a second straight win as they visit the Winters Blizzards Friday night.
Last week, San Saba quarterback Risien Shahan passed for 375 yards and six touchdowns – with 343 of yards and all six of his touchdowns in the first two quarters as the Armadillos took a 56-6 halftime lead. San Saba had averaged a modest 64 yards passing in its first four games while rushing for 322 yards per start.
For the season, San Saba averages 41 points and 450 yards – 300 rushing and 150 passing – per game, while giving up 15 points.
Shahan has thrown for 635 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. Leading rushers include Stone Sears (781 yards, 13 TDs), Weston Lackey (344 yards, 3 TDs), and Shahan (210 yards, 3 TDs). Primary receiving threats include Logan Glover (11-298, 3 TDs), Reagan Mejia (6-164, 2 TDs), and Sears (6-146, 2 TDs).
Leading the way for the San Saba defense – which has tallied 18 sacks and 14 takeaways — are Landon Yarbrough (45 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks), Sears (30 tackles, 10 for loss, 6 sacks), Bladen Cally (30 tackles, 5 for loss), Justin Yarbrough (30 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 FR, 1 INT), Shahan (29 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 sacks), Bryan Reza (26 tackles, 4 for loss), and Glover (25 tackles).
Winters jumped out to a 14-0 lead in its district opener last week before Cisco rallied for a 28-14 victory.
The Blizzards’ only win this year came against Hico (41-0) while also falling to Hawley (36-13), Bangs (42-19), Eldorado (51-19) and Anson (34-22)
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, San Saba is a 48-point favorite.
Cross Plains (6-1, 2-0) at Meridian (3-3, 1-1)
7 p.m. Friday
The Cross Plains Buffaloes are chasing a fifth win in a row and 3-0 start in District 8-2A Division II action as they visit the Meridian Yellow Jackets Friday night.
Cross Plains has started district play with wins over Hico (33-12) and Santo (27-14).
In last week’s triumph over Santo, the Buffaloes defense forced seven turnovers – five fumble recoveries and two interceptions – and allowed 224 yards, including 201 on the ground.
Offensively, Cross Plains finished with 190 yards – 120 rushing and 70 through the air.
Cason Allen rushed for 59 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 45 yards and another score, and caught a 13-yard pass. Cody McWilliams added 48 yards on the ground and scored once, while Wade Byrd finished with two receptions for 57 yards with a trip to the end zone.
Meridian’s two district games have been a 60-0 loss to Albany followed by a 62-0 win over Ranger.
Prior to district the Yellow Jackets lost to Kerens (19-7) and Hubbard (34-9) and defeated Frost (27-0) and Bartlett (7-0).
According to Harris Ratings Weekly, Cross Plains is a 40-point favorite.