Producing a mixed bag of results, Bosque County headlines Heart of Texas six-man action as Cranfills Gap, Iredell post big wins
With all five Bosque County six-man football teams finally in action, gridiron battles under the Friday night lights last week produced a mixed bag of good news, bad news for area fans.
Looking like the team that won the 2019 district championship, the Cranfills Gap Lions posted an impressive win, while the perennial powerhouse Iredell Dragons took the first step in rebuilding their program through a youth movement.
On the other hand, Bosque County’s two preseason favorites to advance to the Class 1A, Division II playoffs — the 20th-ranked Morgan Eagles and the Walnut Springs Hornets — suffered disappointing losses.
Staying undefeated in Class 1A, Division I action, the fifth-ranked Jonesboro Eagles shut out Perrin-Whitt, 47-0, the Evant Elks stomped Moran, 51-6, the Bynum Bulldogs knocked off the Aquilla Cougars, 43-24, and the sixth-ranked Abbott Panthers blanked the Milford Bulldogs, 48-0, while the ninth-ranked Blum Bobcats were crushed by Waco Live Oak, 52-0.
CRANFILLS GAP 52, MOUNT CALM 0
MOUNT CALM — Rebounding from a disappointing season-opening loss, the Cranfills Gap Lions mauled the Mount Calm Panthers, 52-0, in a non-district matchup on the road last Friday night.
Cruz Flores scored six touchdowns, Elias Marquez rushed for three scores, and Aiden Doty tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another as the Lions (1-1) grabbed an early lead before pouncing on the Panthers (1-1).
“I was proud of the execution on offense,” Cranfills Gap head coach Adam Carroll said. “And the tackling was way better this week. After getting on the scoreboard early, the onslaught was on and the defense kept making plays all night.”
Flores rushed for 271 yards and three touchdowns, caught six passes for 106 yards and three scores, and returned a kickoff for another touchdown to lead the Lions. Doty completed 11 of 20 passes for 171 yards, while Marquez rushed for 103 on only three carries.
Defensively, Flores led Cranfills Gap with 20 tackles, followed by Blake Allen and Eli Whitmer with 11 tackles each, Doty with nine tackles, four interceptions, a fumble recovery and a touchdown, as well as Haydn Kirby and Juan Berumen with nine takedown apiece.
IREDELL 30, WACO LIVE OAK CLASSICAL JV 28
Trying to rebuild their football program to its glory days, the Iredell Dragons took a step in the right direction with a hard-fought 30-28 victory over the Waco Live Oak Classical JV last Thursday evening.
“A close and tough game ended up being a great experience for our young team,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “Mistakes hurt us early, but we were able to be more consistent in the second half. It was a solid win for our team under the circumstances of injuries we have had to deal with.”
After winning three consecutive district titles and making back-to-back trips to the Class 1A, Division II, Region IV finals in 2017 and 2018, the Iredell Dragons were derailed by a slew of injuries in 2019, and then bit by the Covid pandemic and injury bugs last season.
In 2021, the Dragons field a young squad with only five returning lettermen with limited experience. Despite 13 players on the roster, Iredell do not have a single senior.
“The lack of experience really showed up,” Guereca said. “In the end it was a learning process for our team. We’ll just have to keep getting better and be patient for the injured to heal up.”
OGLESBY 36, MORGAN 31
MORGAN – After claiming the first-ever mythical Bosque County Six-Man Football championship by capturing the 2020 District 12-1A, Division II title, the 20th-ranked Morgan Eagles were forced to put their plans to go back-to-back on hold due to Covid protocols shutting down the school for two weeks. In the process, the Eagles lost their second scrimmage and season opener at Penelope Aug. 26.
Finding themselves playing catch-up in more ways than one, the Eagles (0-1) fell behind early then came up short as the 17th-ranked Olgesby Tigers (2-0) held off a second half rally to secure an exciting 36-31 victory Friday night.
“I thought we showed an excellent display of strength and toughness to stay them in the game,” Morgan football head coach Edward Aviles said. “I was hoping we could have played our game against Penelope, but that wasn’t the case. Like always, we adjust to the situations and do the best we can and reach our goals by getting better every week.”
With Oglesby enjoying a comfortable 28-8 with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter, the Eagles responded with 16 unanswered points to get back into the game. But Olgesby responded to rebuild lead, 36-24, with 7:49 remaining in the game.
Promptly marching down the field, the Eagles came right back with a sustained scoring drive as Sims connected with freshman EJ Aviles in the back of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown strike, then settled for a one-point conversion pass to sophomore Mark Garcia with 4:46 on the clock. But the Eagles were unable to complete the comeback late in the fourth quarter.
“We had some injuries in our offensive backfield that stall our comeback chances in the end,” Aviles said. “And we had too many penalties for that comeback to be possible. We managed to stop the Tigers twice when our backs were pinned against the end zone. I was proud of how the Eagles refused to give up.”
JONESBORO JV 52, WALNUT SPRINGS 36
WALNTU SPRINGS — Playing shorthanded due to injuries, the Walnut Springs Hornets could not hold off the Jonesboro JV as the Eagles soared to a convincing 52-36 victory last Thursday.
“Do not let the JV mislead you, those young men can play,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “The Hornets were about as close to being a JV as they could be with two both-way starters out and a third starter leaving the game in the first half. Take away back-to-back interceptions and a lost fumble, and we would have been in a position to win the game after leading at half.”
Anthony Muniz scored four touchdowns to lead the Hornets, rushing for 138 yards and three scores while catching a 65-yard touchdown pass. With two starters out, Adrian Chavez moved from quarterback to running back, picking up 73 yards rushing and one score.
Defensively, Jordan Ontiveros led Walnut Springs with five tackles, followed by Jesse Lamb and Victor Favela with four each, along with Chavez collecting three.
AQUILLA JV 55, KOPPERL 6
Coming off an injury-shorten season in 2019, the Kopperl Eagles decided a shortage of numbers and the Covid pandemic warranted shutting down the football program last season. Returning to the gridiron with a new head coach, the Eagles were forced to cancel their season opener on the road facing the Rochelle JV before finally taking the field last Thursday, losing 55-6 to the Aquilla JV.
“We have to start somewhere and we’re looking at every week as an opportunity to improve,” Kopperl first-year head coach Aaron Maxwell said. “We appreciate the heart and fight the boys showed on Thursday, and their desire to compete until the end.”
Steven Cagle had a 58-yard kick return for Kopperl’s lone touchdown and recovered a muffed onside kick. Christian Falk completed three of six passes for 29 yards and led the Eagles with five tackles defensively.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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