Happy grinds out district win
Six-Man games are known for high scoring, fast paced games but Friday’s tilt between two rivals looked more like a backyard brawl as Happy gained the upper hand for the District 2-1A title with a hard fought 40-6 win over Nazareth. This game started quickly for the Cowboys (7-1, 1-0) as they forced a punt on the Swifts (6-2, 0-1) first possession which resulted in a block that Quay Hodges scooped up and took in from five yards out to put Happy up early 8-0. After an interception by Jimmy Reyes, the Cowboys offense rode the back of a 30-yard pass play on fourth down to set up their second score. On second and goal, Camden Sperry rolled right and found Kyton Johnson from 10-yards out for a quick 16-0 Happy lead. For the rest of the first half, both teams slugged it out with Reyes stripping the ball from Luke Schulte at the Happy 4-yard line to squander the Swifts only serious scoring chance in the second quarter. After exchanging possessions to start the third, Happy’s Tryce Johnson broke the game open on a 37-yard gallop to give the Cowboys a commanding 24-0 lead. Johnson’s scoring run was one of three in the second half as he gained 137 yards on the night on 10 carries and racked up 10.5 tackles and an interception as the Cowboy D held the Swifts to only 193 yards total offense. Schulte paced Naz with 102 yards on 15 carries.
McLean rallies past White Deer
In a game that saw five lead changes in the second half, McLean rallied to beat White Deer 50-48 at Duncan Field Friday night and, in the process, picked up an important district win. In a competitive District 1-1A race this win gives the Tigers (7-1, 1-0) a key victory. Off the start, it looked like the Bucks (5-3, 0-1) were going to run away with this one as they went up 22-0 in the first quarter. However, McLean tied the game back up at the end of the quarter but went to half trailing 34-28. The two teams went back-and-forth on the scoreboard until McLean scored with 2:12 remaining to regain the lead 50-46. White Deer then drove down to the McLean 11-yard line when, on the next play, Hunter Atwood had the ball stripped and McLean recovered inside the five with 52 left. With two timeouts, the Bucks forced the Tigers into a fourth down with 09 seconds remaining. McLean quarterback Alex Retana scrambled around in the back of the end zone looking to take the intentional safety. Retana finally stepped out with 1.2 seconds to go which set up the ensuing kickoff. McLean’s kick was fielded by White Deer, but they were unable to get down before time expired to seal the victory. In the loss, Atwood amassed 208 yards on only nine carries while punching it in four times and took a pass 47 yards for a touchdown. His running mate, Brodie Weathers, also scored while gaining 108 yards on the ground and racking up 11.5 tackles defensively.
Panthers big second half secures victory
Miami’s bid for an upset fell short as Follett used a 30-point scoring barrage in the third quarter to erase a halftime deficit and hold on for a 60-46 victory on Thursday night at home. The Panthers (7-1, 1-0) raced out to a quick 14-0 lead courtesy two quick scores which included a 60-yard jaunt from Osiel Ventura. Most underdogs would have folded at this point, but Miami (5-3, 0-1) came storming back and led at half 28-22. Using a strong ground game, Follett stormed back to take a 52-32 at the end of three and held on for the victory. Follett’s Shayne Franks gained 102 yards on 12 carries with two scores while Osiel Ventura turned three carries into 78 yards and two scores and had a 68-yard kickoff return for another. Oscar Torres led the Panther defense registering 19 tackles and a sack with Justin Humbert also playing a big part with 13 tackles and two sacks. Haiden Thompson for Miami was 17-of-23 for 403 yards and four touchdowns while gaining 82 yards on the ground. Micah Hinshaw and Luke Wheeler combined for 169 yards receiving on 11 catches while finding the end zone three times.
Week 9 news and notes
It may be a season of what could have been after Valley fell to Spur 62-42 on the road. The Patriots (4-4, 0-1) were up 36-30 at half but lost another key starter to injury and was outscored 32-6 in the second half. Spur’s (6-2, 1-0) Cory Hamilton amassed 132 yards on 18 carries with two scores. Adrian Valdes paced the Patriots with 115 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots will need to upset Knox City next week and hope for Spur to fall to have any chance at the playoffs. In Wildorado, Claude (4-4, 1-0) shut out the home team Mustangs (1-7, 0-1) in the second half to rally for a 36-30 District 2-1A win. Coming off their big game last week, Groom (4-5, 2-0) and Silverton (6-3, 2-1) both notched easy District 1-1A wins. The Tigers raced past Hedley (3-5, 1-1) 68-19 while the Owls beat Darrouzett 52-0.
There were no big surprises across the state as district action was in full swing in all 32 districts. In District 3-1A Division I, Springlake-Earth (4-4, 2-0) picked up a big win over Petersburg 61-16. District 14-1A Division I houses the May Tigers (8-0, 3-0), ranked No. 1 in the state, and Jonesboro, ranked No. 7. After losing a heartbreaker in the state finals last year, May lost several key starters and were thought to be down from last year’s run. Instead, Craig Steele’s team has reloaded and looking better each week. Next week will be a great test as the Tigers travel to Jonesboro (7-1, 2-0) for the district title. Also in Region IV, Irion County (7-0, 2-0) looks strong as the No. 6 Hornets beat Robert Lee 58-0 behind Trevin Coffell’s three passing touchdowns and a score on the ground. Newcastle (5-3, 1-0) took out Strawn 70-36 behind 317 rushing yards and six touchdowns from Isaac King. Cherokee (7-0, 2-0) continues to impress with a 70-20 win over Rochelle. The No. 3-ranked Indians are undefeated on the season and a strong contender to come out of Region IV in Division II.
Week 10 preview
With McLean’s victory over White Deer, the Tigers now have the inside track to a playoff spot and will hit the road facing Miami. Barring Follett losing against White Deer, a Tigers victory would likely sew up at least second place. However, the Warriors could really put this district in turmoil with a victory. Speaking of White Deer, the Bucks will travel to Follett and looking to upset the Panthers. In District 2-1A Division I, Happy hosts Wildorado and Nazareth welcomes Claude as both teams look to take a step closer to a playoff berth. For Valley, this week means everything in District 4-1A Division I. The Patriots will travel to Knox City looking to upset the Greyhounds. A loss likely eliminates any hope of a Valley playoff bid. Finally, in District 1-1A DII, Groom travels to Lefors and Hedley hosts Darrouzett. The Owls will need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and not look ahead to their big matchup the following week against Silverton.