Battle for the Bosque takes shape as Walnut Springs, Morgan post crucial wins with 25th-ranked frontrunner Cranfills Gap idle
While the Class 1A, Division II’s 25th-ranked Cranfills Gap Lions enjoyed an open date last week while at the top of the District 12-1A, DII standings, the all-Bosque County league’s other four teams battled for positioning to make a run at a postseason berth.
Once the Friday night lights went off on the Battle for the Bosque, the Walnut Springs Hornets controlled their own destiny while the defending district champion Morgan Eagles took the first step toward setting up a season finale showdown for a playoff spot.
WALNUT SPRINGS 62, IREDELL 14
Keeping themselves in the playoff picture, the Walnut Springs Hornets posted a convincing 62-14 victory over Iredell Dragons last Friday to move into sole possession of second place in District 12-1A, DII.
Overcoming three turnovers including an interception on the first play from scrimmage, the Hornets (2-1 in district, 4-5 overall) took advantage of two Iredell (1-1, 3-3) fumbles and the safety by Jesse Lamb.
“I was real proud of our guys maintaining their composure with a couple of turnovers that allowed Iredell to take an early 14-12 lead,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “Earlier in the year, the same thing happened in a couple of games and we were not able to get it back together. Maybe we are maturing and coming together as a team at the right time of the season.”
Diego Muniz scored four touchdowns, while Josue Ontiveros tossed two scoring strikes, one to his brother Jordan Ontiveros for 41 yards and the other one to Anthony Muniz for 42 yards. Bryan Chavez ran for a touchdown and converted on six of seven two-point kicks, and Brenden Shumake closed out the scoring on a 44-yard run.
Defensively, Anthony Muniz led the Hornets with 13 tackles, Lamb contributed 11 tackles along with a safety, while Luis Fraire had two big defensive plays that put the Dragons in a hole.
“We were able to get a good start, but we could not stay consistent on both sides of the ball,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “In the end, Walnut Springs played well, and we could not keep up the scoring.”
MORGAN 50, KOPPERL 0
Snapping a five-game losing streak and posting their first district win of the season, the defending district champion Morgan Eagles soared to a 50-0 victory over the young and rebuilding Kopperl Eagles last Friday night.
“Our goal for this game was to work on executing our offense,” Morgan head coach Edward Aviles said. “We needed everyone to do their job to improve our scoring. We worked on recognizing situations and anticipating our opponents play-calling. We were fortunate to work on my younger players development.”
With the win, Morgan (1-1, 1-5) moved into a tie for third place with Iredell before the two teams face each other in a battle for survival this week. Kason Sims tossed three touchdown passes while Dathen Davenport and Adrian Vera-Rico scored twice apiece to lead Morgan over Kopperl (0-3, 0-7).
“Each week has been about growth and moving forward for us,” Kopperl first-year head coach Aaron Maxwell said. “Unfortunately, we’re still struggling to find the end zone. But over the last couple weeks, we have found a bit of a passing game and that has opened up some things for us.”
Although Kopperl failed to get into the end zone, Isaac Payen filling in admirably at quarterback connecting with Jaxson Smith for a couple of big catches, while Anthony Johnson and Christian Falk performed well in the backfield.
Christian Falk continues to shine on defense, especially in pass defense, while Michael Ensor put consistent pressure on the quarterback this week. “We are so proud of the boy’s continued hustle and grit to play every down that they have,” Maxwell said. “And that determination will serve us well in the future.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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