CLASS 1A GRIDIRON GRADES: Week 2

in Roundups

Six-man schools remain in the spotlight among reduced field under the Friday night lights

There’s nothing else quite like six-man football and the way people rally around it in the small towns in which it’s played. And this season in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, high school football fans have taken notice more than ever before.

Class 1A football often gets lost in the shadows of the big 11-man schools. But with the staggered start to the 2020 Texas high school football season, the Heart of Texas area continues to feature a host of marquee matchups as the season moves into Week 3 under the Friday night lights.

But unfortunately, when COVID-19 strikes in one of these small towns, it can have a debilitating effect, as we saw with several cancellations of games around the area during the first two weeks of the season.

CRANFILLS GAP 41, MOUNT CALM 20

CRANFILLS GAP – Rebounding from a disappointing season-opening loss, the Cranfills Gap Lions shook off a slow start to breeze by Mount Calm, 41-20, at home last Friday night.

Quarterback Cason Cox threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Lions roared back after a shaky start earmarked by key mistakes that stalled potential scoring drives.

After a scoreless first quarter, freshman Adan Flores finally got Cranfills Gap (1-1) on the scoreboard with a 20-yard touchdown run, followed up by Cox connecting with Aiden Doty for a 38-yard scoring strike on the Lions’ next possession.

Clinging to a 15-14 lead at halftime, the Lions finally opened things up behind the running of Flores and senior  Jason Youngblood, who also rushed for 60 yards and a score. Flores led the Lions in rushing with 88 yards on 12 carries, while Doty caught a team-high four passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Cox completed seven of 10 passes for 123 yards and ran for 52 more.

“Overall, I believe we started the first half slow,” Cranfills Gap head coach Adam Carroll said. “But we finally started scoring and really opened it up in the second half.”

Defensively, sophomore Logan Fronterhouse led Cranfills Gap with 16 tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles, followed by freshman  Blake Allen 14 tackles, Youngblood with 13, Flores with 12 as well as Cox with nine takedowns and two fumble recoveries. “The defense was flying to the ball all night and did a great job of swarming,” Carroll said. “Our defense played great, except for just a few plays of keeping outside containment. It was great to get a lot of these younger players experience with 4 players out with injuries.”

MORGAN 27, OGLESBY 6

OGLESBY – Playing in adverse field conditions, the Morgan Eagles overcame the elements to plow through Olgesby, 27-6, on the road last Friday night at Oglesby’s Tiger Stadium. Junior Manuel Muniz threw two touchdown passes while senior Derik Davenport caught two scoring passes and passed for another to lead Morgan.

On the strength of recovering back-to-back onside kicks to open the game, Oglesby jumped out to a 6-0 lead. But after that, the game belong to the Eagles as Morgan (1-1) sloshed its way to a 12-6 lead by halftime before putting the Tigers away with 13 unanswered points in the third quarter.

“It did not start well for the Eagles,” Morgan head coach Edward Aviles said. “But the Eagles were patient and got a feel for playing in the mud. The Eagles knew it was going to be a messy ball game, but we were looking forward to playing in a wet game.

“After the previous weeks of hot weather, this game was a change of pace and a relief. The weather was refreshing, but terrible. Poor Oglesby had ruts all over the field during pregame. The  monsoon that hit us in the first half was another layer of a mess that was fun to watch, but frustrating to deal with at the same time.”

Both the Tigers and the Eagles suffered through the sloppy conditions with bad snaps and pitches that made it difficult to get anything going offensively. Derik Davenport led the Morgan defense with 10 tackles, followed by junior Gerardo Monroy with six. “The Tigers put a valiant effort, but the Eagles came out on top by getting some breaks by throwing the wet ball in a monsoon,” Aviles said. “It literally poured during part of the first half. The Eagles were fortunate to pull off a win.”

JONESBORO JV 34, WALNUT SPRINGS 16

JONESBORO – Coming off an impressive season-opening win, the Walnut Springs Hornets fell behind early and never could make up the difference as the Class 1A, DI Jonesboro junior varsity pulled away for a convincing 34-16 victory last Thursday night.

“I felt like the opening kickoff set the tone for the rest of the game,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “We gave up an onside kick, and Jonesboro scored a few plays later. We did take the lead later in the first quarter. But we were simply unable to establish any momentum, and the Eagles took advantage of every opportunity we provided them.”

Freshman quarterback Bryan Chavez tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to junior Jordan Onterveros and senior Corey Hargrove broke off a touchdown run to account for the Walnut Springs points. Defensively, the Hornets (1-1) were led by senior Abraham Lares and senior Christian Aguilar with nine tackles apiece.

“I was proud of our kids,” Flippen said. “They had two chances to score in the third and fourth quarters,  but just could not finish the job. I think we learned a lot about ourselves and our team last night. We have work to do, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ will provide award-winning coverage of the 2020 Texas high school football season, focusing on Class 3A, 2A and 1A schools in the 10-county Heart of Texas region — which includes Bosque, Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan and Somervell counties.

Within the Heart of Texas region, THE SPORTS BUZZ will be covering 21 Class 1A-Six-Man schools spread out across eight districts in two divisions. Be sure to check back every Sunday for the Class 1A Gridiron Grades and Friday Night Flashback featuring district standings, scores and upcoming matchups for all 21 Class 1A teams from the Heart of Texas.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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