CLASS 2A GRIDIRON GRADES: Week 4

in Roundups

Crawford surges into Class 2A, DI Top 10 poll after swatting state-ranked Holland; 2A, DII’s top-ranked Mart declaws 3A, DI Whitney

With the pollsters finally taking notice, the Class 2A, Division I Crawford Pirates surged from among the unranked into the No. 7 spot in the state rankings by swatting the previously 10th-ranked Holland Hornets, 13-8, last Friday night.

And leaving no doubt just how lethal they can be, the Class 2A, Division II’s top-ranked Mart Panthers declawed the Class 3A, DI Whitney Wildcats, 32-7, making another statement that they stand poised to pounce on their fourth straight state title this season.

But the Heart of Texas region has plenty of teams playing like legitimate postseason contenders. The surprising Rio Vista Eagles remained undefeated with a resounding 62-0 thrashing of Tioga, while the Class 2A, DII Hubbard Jaguars remained undefeated by outlasting Meridian, 34-9, to snap the Yellowjackets’ two-game winning streak.

CRAWFORD 13, HOLLAND 8

CRAWFORD — Despite enjoying a 13-0 advantage at halftime, the Crawford Pirates needed a late defensive stand to hold off the 10th-ranked Holland Hornets, 13-8, Friday night at Pirate Stadium.

Knocking Holland (3-1) from the undefeated ranks, Pirate defensive back Luke Torbert intercepted a deflected Hornet pass with less than two minutes remains, and Crawford ran out the clock for the win.

While the Pirates (4-0) remained undefeated and climbed into the state’s top 10 poll, Holland saw their 21-game winning streak dating back to 2018 snapped.

Although Crawford carried a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter, Hornet quarterback Ayden Tomasek connected with wide receiver Ashton Morris for a 26-yard gain before scoring on a six-yard touchdown run and adding the two-point conversion.

Crawford running back Garrett Pearson put the Pirates up by two scores in the second quarter on a 76-yard touchdown run after quarterback Tanner Merenda broke the scoreless tie with a 29-yard touchdown pass.

BOSQUEVILLE 52, RIESEL 26

BOSQUEVILLE – Bosqueville quarterback Luke Bradshaw passed for five touchdowns and ran for another as the Bulldogs rolled over Riesel, 52-26, Friday night at Bulldogs Stadium.

As Bosqueville (1-2) jumped out to a commanding first half lead, Bradshaw completed 15 of 23 passes for 295 yards and ran for another 68 yards. Running back Jay King led the Bulldogs on the ground with 121 rushing yards.

Although Riesel (2-2) finally got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter when quarterback Dakota Davis connected with tight end Will McClintock for a 26-yard scoring strike, the Indians put Kyson Dieterich at the helm in the second half. Dieterich produced two touchdowns, passing for 141 yards and rushing for 74 more, but it proved to be too little, too late.

ITASCA 39, RANGER 6

ITASCA – After getting an unexpected week off when their road game at Santo was canceled last week due to COVID-19 precautions, the Itasca Wampus Cats returned to the field for their homecoming game against Ranger last Friday night. And in the process, the Wampus Cats (1-1) gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about with a 39-6 victory over Ranger (0-3) in their final non-district game.

HAMILTON at BANGS, ccd.

RIESEL – Although the Hamilton Bulldogs refused to let COVID-19 deny them the chance to take the field last Friday night when Bangs cancelled the game due to pandemic protocol. But for Hamilton, there still proved to be a price to pay.

Last Thursday, Hamilton ISD’s Twitter feed stated that “All football games against Bangs are canceled this week. We look forward to starting district play next week against Itasca.”

But the Hamilton Bulldogs decided not to stand pat and scheduled a last-minute matchup with Jewett Leon at Riesel last Friday night. But the Cougars (3-1) handed Hamilton (2-2) a surprising 40-22 loss.

HUBBARD 34, MERIDIAN 9

HUBBARD – Despite another notable defensive performance, the short-handed Meridian Yellowjackets could not produce any points as the undefeated Hubbard Jaguars wore down the visitors to run away with a 34-9 victory last Friday night.

Giving the Jaguars (3-0) all they could handle in the first half, the Jacket defense scored on a safety and senior defensive end Teagan Smith scooped up a fumble and returned it 50 yard for the score to trail 12-9 at halftime.

“The defense played great once again,” Meridian second-year head coach Wade Morton said. “The first half, they were lights out. They scored on a safety and on a scoop and score.”

Defensively, Teagan and senior Victor Orozco led the Jackets 12 tackles apiece, followed by senior Anthony Gonzalez with 11 and sophomore Gage Edwards with eight.

“We have a lot of players getting some valuable experience before we go into district play. Experience isn’t what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you. We’ll get to see some great film on things we need to improve on. I’ve always believed you learn more from a loss than a win. We’ll be better.”

With senior quarterback Dylan Poole out with an injury, the Jackets (2-2) reshuffled the deck in their final non-district game and produced only 137 yards of total offense. Sophomore Michael Crawford led Meridian with 64 yards rushing on 14 carries, followed by Gonzalez with 49 yards rushing and three receptions for six yards.

“With Dylan out and getting healthy for district play, we got to see Brayden Wehmeyer and what he could do,” Morton said. “He’s a freshman and has a great head on his shoulders. We trust him completely and back him 100 percent. He’ll only get better, and the future looks great.

“Hubbard was the first team that mixed up their defensive fronts, going from an odd to an even front. We did the best we could do and always will. Hubbard knew we were limited and took advantage of it. I give them all the credit, they did a great job.”

Fortunately for the Jackets, they have an open date in the schedule to get healthy before opening District 8-2A, DII play Oct. 2.

“The open date is going to pay off and allow us to get healthy,” Morton said. “It will also allow us to clean up some things we need to clean up.”

MART 32, WHITNEY 7

MART – Leaving no doubt just how lethal they can be, the Class 2A, Division II’s top-ranked Mart Panthers declawed the Class 3A, DI Whitney Wildcats, 32-7, making another statement that they stand poised to pounce on their fourth straight state title this season.

After battling to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter, Mart (4-0) ran away from the Wildcats (1-3) as senior quarterback Roddrell Freeman threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores.

Freeman completed eight of 13 passes for 140 yards and rushed for 86 yards on 17 carries. Junior Kei’Shawn Clater caught four passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns, while junior running back Klyderion Campbell rushed for 54 yards and a score.

CHILTON 58, AXTELL 14

CHILTON – Sophomore Daylon Ford scored four touchdowns while junior quarterback McKeller Cook scored twice and converted five two-point conversions to lead Chilton (2-2) over the winless Axtell Longhorns (0-4), 58-14, at home last Friday night.

Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ provides 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 covers 15 Class 2A schools spread out across six districts in two divisions. Be sure to check back every week for the Friday Night Flashback and the Class 2A Gridiron Grades featuring district standings, scores and upcoming matchups for all 15 Class 2A teams from the Heart of Texas.

Photos by WENDY OROZCO & SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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