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November 12, 2020

GRIDIRON GURUS: Week 1

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Bi-District Playoff Picks

Although we are getting a late start, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus return for the 2020 Texas high school postseason with the Class 4A, 3A, 2A & 1A playoffs beginning this week.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), while Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton, The Sports Buzz  photographer David Harding and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

Kicking off with the UIL state playoffs this week, join us every Thursday throughout the rest of the 2020 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school playoff games, your favorite college teams from the NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III, as well as the state’s two NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

©2020 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SEEING IS BELIEVING

in Football

CLASS 1A GAME OF THE WEEK: In the much-anticipated six-man Battle of the Bosque, 15th-ranked Morgan flew past Walnut Springs for the District 12-1A, DII title & county bragging rights

WALNUT SPRINGS — After talking about the possibility for years, Bosque County finally got a Class 1A six-man football district all its own when the UIL realigned last February. And with the announcement came the excitement and anticipation of finally naming a mythical Bosque County champion.

Using superior speed, size and senior leadership, the 15th-ranked Morgan Eagles left no doubt who the title belonged to in 2020 with an overwhelming 58-6 road victory over the young and surprising Walnut Springs Hornets. 

Regardless, both teams advance to the playoffs this week as Walnut Springs (7-3) takes on the 11th-ranked Strawn Greyhounds (8-2) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Hico’s Tiger Stadium, while Morgan (8-2) will battle the Gordon Longhorns (7-3) at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Gorman.

“It was a special night for the Eagles when they clinched the District 12 title and the Bosque County title with the victory,” Morgan football head coach Edward Aviles said. “I am proud of the team’s efforts, and the preparation they have done. They had a good week of practice preparing for the Hornets, and it showed.”

Senior Derik Davenport threw four touchdown passes and ran for another, sophomore Adrian Vera-Rico hauled in three scoring strikes, while senior Ivan Alvarez ran for one score and caught a touchdown pass as Morgan jumped out to an early lead and closed out the win over the Hornets at halftime by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule.

Wasting no time getting on the scoreboard, Derik Davenport opened the game by scooping up an onside kick attempt on the run and returned it 55 yards for the score as the Eagles soared to 30 unanswered first quarter points and never looked back.

“The Morgan Eagles were just a much better team than I was expecting,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “We knew they had great size and quickness, but their speed was amazing. You just can’t judge that on film.

“We tried an onside kick to open the game, it ended up being pooched, and they took the opportunity to return it for a touchdown. After that, anything that could go wrong did.”

Hitting three different receivers for scoring strikes, Davenport completed six of seven passes for 178 yards, hooking up with Vero-Rico three times for 146 yards and three scores while junior Gerardo Monroy caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown and Alvarez scored on a 30-yard catch. Junior Manuel Muniz also tossed a 54-yard touchdown pass.

In the meantime, Walnut Springs struggled to move the ball consistently and turned the ball over twice, as the only Hornet score came on a 65-yard kickoff return by freshman Diego Muniz.

Defensively, sophomore Dathan Davenport led the Eagles with seven tackles, followed by Vera-Rico with six, Derik Davenport with five, while Alvarez pulled down two interceptions and collected four tackles.

“We couldn’t connect on our passes because of the pressure they were putting on us,” Flippen said. “They had a great defensive scheme. We have been able to run the ball all year long, but they took that away early on. If it had not been for our freshman kickoff returner, Diego Muniz, I don’t know if we would have scored.

“They were just dominating on both sides of the ball, and we didn’t have an answer. I’ll take responsibility for that.”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

©2020 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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