Monthly archive

November 2021

POSTSEASON SCOREBOARD: WEEK 3

in Scores/Standings/Stats

Road To The State Title: Class 4A, 3A, 2A & 1A high school football third round playoff scores from the Heart of Texas region

UPDATED: 11:15 p.m., Saturday, November 27, 2021

Here are Friday’s and Saturday’s final scores for the Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A Texas high school football playoff games from around the Heart of Texas region.

Be sure to check back with THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute updates throughout the weekend for scores from the 2021 Texas high school football postseason.

THE SPORTS BUZZ provides award-winning coverage of the 2021 Texas high school football season every week, 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.

Don’t forget to check in with THE SPORTS BUZZ every Friday night for the complete scoreboard from games across the Heart of Texas region.

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

POSTSEASON MATCHUPS: WEEK 3

in Scores/Standings/Stats

Under the Friday night light: Heart of Texas Class 3A, 2A & 1A teams move into the Regional rounds of the 2021 Texas high school football postseason with a host of matchups during the holiday weekend

As the 2021 Texas high school football season moves into the third round of the playoffs, many of the Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A teams across the Heart of Texas will be hitting the road for long trips to a neutral location for their postseason matchups, while others are revisiting familiar foes.

In THE SPORTS BUZZ Games of the Week featuring the six-man playoffs, the Class 1A, Division II’s third-ranked Richland Springs Coyotes (9-1) will be facing the 15th-ranked Oakwood Panthers (8-3) in the Region IV championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Hico’s historic Tiger Stadium, while the Class 1A, DI’s third-ranked Abbott Panthers (12-0) will battle the 17th-ranked Coolidge Yellowjackets (8-4) in a state quarterfinal matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mexia.

Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ will provide award-winning coverage of the 2021 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.

Be sure to check in with THE SPORTS BUZZ every Thursday to find the complete schedule for teams from the Heart of Texas region. Then follow THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute final scores as they become available throughout the weekend.

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

GRIDIRON GURUS: WEEK 14

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Picking Heart of Texas high school football playoff games, NCAA college football teams from Texas, as well as the Cowboys & the Texans

As we advance to the regional round of the 2021 Texas high school football playoffs, the NCAA FCS, Division II and Division III college playoffs continue, and the NFL makes the turn toward the home stretch, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel must sort out the high school postseason surprises across the Heart of Texas, solve the puzzle of college teams fighting for their lives, and figure out which NFL team will win on any given Sunday.

Throughout the rest of the 2021 football season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will test their luck picking a slate of high school football games across the Heart of Texas, a selection of Texas college football games, as well as matchups involving the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Toney Rogers, a local business owner in the Heart of Texas, while Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

Last week proved to be a wild one for the pick’ems panelists. Wade (31-13) got off to a blistering start in the high school playoff picks by missing only four, but then took a beating in the college games. On the flip side, Toney (27-17) could not overcome a disastrous week with the high school playoffs to slide a game behind Wade in the overall standings. Don (34-10) turned in another solid week by missing only one college pick, while Brett (35-9) squeaked out a weekly win with a balanced pick sheet.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school 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!

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DOMINATING DISPLAY

in Football

Looking like a team on its way to another state title, Class 1A, DII’s third-ranked Richland Springs overwhelms 21st-ranked Oglesby in regional playoff matchup

COMANCHE – Getting one step closer to claiming their 10th state championship since 2004, the third-ranked Richland Springs Coyotes completely overwhelmed the youthful 21st-ranked Oglesby Tigers, 53-0, in a Class 1A, Division II Regional playoff matchup last Friday night at Comanche’s Indian Stadium.

Richland Springs senior Jadeyn Bryant accounted for four touchdowns and senior Zane Capps ran for two scores while the Coyote defense took control of the game to dominate Oglesby in all phases of the contest.

After the Coyote offensive attack put up 22 unanswered points in the first quarter, the Richland Springs defensive unit joined in the scoring. By swarming and punishing the Oglesby ball carriers, the Coyotes forced two fumbles and immediately converted them into scores to help put the game away at halftime by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule.

“I’m very proud of our kids,” Richland Springs head coach Jerry Burkhart said. “They came out and played a hard game and stayed focused all week. We told our kids to stay focused and try to win every play. And that’s what we stressed all week long. We knew they would have a game plan for us. They beat Calvert, and I know they were feeling good. You have to be ready to play every week at this level. Next week will be ever harder.”

With the win, the Coyotes (9-1) advance to face the Oakwood Panthers (8-3) in the Region IV championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Hico’s historic Tiger Stadium. As the District 13-1A, DII champions, Oakwood eased past the Cherokee Indians (7-4), 52-16, last Friday night. Cherokee finished the regular season as the District 16-1A, DII runner-up to Richland Springs after the Coyotes handed the Indians a 92-70 loss Oct. 15.

Posting their third shutout in the last four games, the Coyotes limited Oglesby (9-3) to only 52 yards of total offense on 26 plays from scrimmage, led by Blake Thompson rushing for 23 yards on six carries and completing six of eight passes for 20 yards, connecting with Matthew Castillo for two receptions for 25 yards.

“We are a very young team — 15 of our 21 players are freshman and sophomore,” Oglesby head coach Jeb Dixon said. “We played against a very good  team and got some valuable reps. We had a great season we can build on for the future.”

After winning the District 12-1A, DII title, Oglesby knocked off the District 13-1A, DII runner-up Calvert Trojans, 48-30, before running into Richland Springs.

“My hat’s off to Coach Dixon, he gets his kids ready to play,” Burkhart said. “Any time you play him, you have to be ready to play. He has a young group, and I guarantee you they will be coming up and they will be pretty good. They beat a good team last week.”

Scoring on every offensive possession of the game, the Coyotes went to work quickly as Bryant broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown run and Jayden Sutherland nailed the two-point conversion kick to put Richland Springs on the scoreboard just 37 seconds into the game.

On their next possession, Bryant hooked up with Lane Garcia for a 20-yard scoring strike before Capps closed out the first quarter with a 59-yard touchdown romp to give the Coyotes a commanding 22-0 lead.

Bryant opened the second quarter with his second touchdown run before picked up an Oglesby fumble and darting eight yards for another score less than a minute later.

With just over three minutes remaining in the half, Capps ran the ball in from 15 yards out, before Sutherland connected with Jeremiah Beam for the extra point to put Richland Springs ahead by the desired 45 points. But the Coyote defense added another score for insurance when Kenny Triplett scooped up a forced fumble and raced 15 yards into the end zone.

Needing only 18 plays from scrimmage to pile up 208 yards of total offense in just one half of play, Bryant rushed for 93 yards on nine carries for two touchdowns and tossed a 20-yard scoring strike to Lane Garcia. Capps added 85 yards rushing on three attempts and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Bryant and Kenny Triplett converted two Oglesby fumbles into touchdowns, while senior Keston Lusty led the Coyotes with four tackles and six assists, followed by senior Brandon Stewart with four takedowns and three assists.

“We wanted to dominate in all three phases of the game – offensively, defensively and special teams,” Burkhart said. “But we were really focused on being physical tonight. Coming in, we knew our tackling needed to get better, our pass coverage needed to get better, and tonight, we did a lot better job. We just know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re blessed with the opportunity to continue next week and get to play again.”

Last season, the Coyotes were not picked to advance to the state championship game, but did so by upsetting the Strawn Greyhounds in the state semifinals before losing to the favored Balmorhea Bears, 74-38, in the Covid protocol delayed state title game.

“That always leaves a sour taste in your mouth and leaves you playing the what if game,” Burkhart said. “But you know, Balmorhea was a great team, and they beat us. Grandpa always taught me to stay humble when you win and make no excuses when you lose.

“So after we got beat in the state game, we came back and we knew we had to do a lot of things better if we want to get back there. So that’s what we’ve been focusing on since the summer, and these kids believe in the program. I love these kids so much.”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

THE TAKEAWAY RUNAWAY

in Football

Despite surrendering 55 points, the Class 1A, DI’s top-ranked May Tigers pounce on five turnovers to outscore the third-ranked Jonesboro Eagles in Region IV semifinal

DUBLIN – Just when it seemed like everything was going right for the Class 1A, Division I’s third-ranked Jonesboro Eagles, it all went terribly wrong. And when the opportunity presented itself, the top-ranked May Tigers pounced on it.

Capitalizing on five turnovers, the Tigers quickly overcame an early deficit and took control of the contest with 32 unanswered points as May outscored Jonesboro, 84-55, last Thursday night in a Class 1A, DI, Region IV semifinal playoff at Bob & Norma Cervetto Stadium.

May senior Kaden Halk score four touchdowns, Blake Harrell tossed three scoring strikes and junior Damian Salinas scored three times as the Tigers (12-0) took another step toward returning to the state title game for the second straight season to set up a State Quarterfinal showdown with second-ranked Water Valley (12-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Robert Lee.

On Jonesboro’s first offensive play from scrimmage, junior Caleb Christel turned the corner and sprinted for a 46-yard touchdown for an early 8-0 lead. Then after the Eagle defense shut down the Tigers for a second consecutive possession to open the game, Jonesboro appeared on the verge of seizing control of the contest.

But on third-and-11 from their own 10-yard line, the Eagles (11-1) were stripped of the ball and Halk quickly grabbed the loose pigskin and darted 14 yards for the Tigers’ first score as senior Kayden King’s two-point conversion kick tied the score with 4:53 left in the first quarter.

“It was the turning point of the game,” May head coach Craig Steele said. “I thought it was really important how we responded to that with them scoring on one play. The kids had their heads down, but we didn’t stay down. We made a big play on defense.

“They got two stops on us to start the game, which was uncomfortable for us. But I told the kids to stay the course, relax and everything will be alright.”

Riding the momentum of the defensive game-changing play, the Tigers scored on their next three straight possessions to build a comfortable 32-8 advantage they never relinquished.

“I was disappointed in our untimely turnovers,” Jonesboro head coach Eddie Gallegos said. “That had been a strength this season. I think we had only lost three or four all year. But credit Coach Steele and his team, they took advantage. I’m extremely proud of the season our group of kids had. A lot of kids stepped up who had very little varsity experience.” 

Despite surrendering seven touchdowns, the physical Tiger defense turned the tide by forcing five turnovers and returning two of them for scores.

“The turnovers were the difference in the game,” Steele said. “We had one, they had five. And if you look at the scoreboard, that’s the difference in the game. That pretty much says it all. It wasn’t our best defensive game. We didn’t get off blocks as well as we should have, and we probably didn’t tackle as well as we should have. But we made plays when we needed to.”

Following the first big defensive play and a hold on Jonesboro’s ensuing possession, May’s offensive attack went to work. Giving the Tigers their first lead of the game with seven seconds left in the first quarter, senior Avery Williford capped a five-play, 30-yard drive by powering into the end zone from four yards out.

With the Tiger offense finding its footing, Harrell tossed a screen pass to Williford, who turned it into a 41-yard scoring strike. Then after senior Brian Kunkel intercepted a Jonesboro pass, May quickly struck again as Half broke off a 29-yard touchdown run.

Finally putting a halt to the onslaught, Jonesboro responded as Christel cashed in on a one-yard touchdown dive. But May promptly answered as Harrell tossed a 31-yard scoring strike to Kunkel to give the Tigers a commanding 40-16 lead before intermission.

“I thought we did a good job offensively,” Steele said. “The kids ran hard and for the most past took care of the ball. We had that one turnover, but the kids did a good job executing what we needed to execute. We had a lot of stuff in that we didn’t have to use. The kids were able to run pretty much our base stuff and did a great job at it.”

After Jonesboro suffered yet another turnover on its first possession of the second half, junior Luke McKenzie connected with junior Damian Salinas for a 33-yard scoring toss to give the Tigers a 32-point lead. But the Eagles refused to go away as the two teams exchanged scores through the rest of the game as Jonesboro could never make it less than a three-score game down the stretch.

“That’s a credit to Coach Gallegos and their staff, the way they coach their kids,” Steele said. “That’s a really good football team, and Coach Gallegos has done a wonderful job there. It showed tonight. Their kids played with a lot of pride.”

Playing from behind almost the entire game, the Eagles compiled 361 yards of total offense, 287 on the ground and 74 through the air. Christel led the way with 186 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for another 45 yards. Sophomore Jacob Cisneros fought for 51 yards on the ground, running for one score, returning a kickoff for another and tossing a touchdown pass. Sophomore Ian Shoaf ran for a score, and senior Layton Blanchard caught the lone Jonesboro touchdown pass.

“There’s still more games to play,” Steele said. “But I know we beat a good team tonight, a quality team. And we’ll take that any time.”

But after losing in the 2020 state championship game, the Tiger offensive attack proved to be almost unstoppable in advancing to the state quarterfinals.

Featuring a balanced attack, May finished with 463 yards of total offense, grinding out 254 rushing yards and airing it out for 209 passing yards. Engineering the Tiger attack, Harrell completed six of nine passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 103 yards.

Halk added 87 rushing yards and two scores while leading the Tigers in receiving with two catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Williford scored two touchdowns and Salinas ran for a touchdown, caught a scoring pass and tossed a touchdown strike to McKenzie, while senior Brian Kunkel caught another scoring toss.

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting not getting it last year,” Steele said. “But it’s been a real motivating factor for the kids during the off season, through the season, paying attention to details, it’s really been important to them. But it’s a one-step-at-a-time thing. So, we’ll need to worry about next week, keep doing what we’re supposed to do. The state championship game will take care of itself.”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

POSTSEASON SCOREBOARD: WEEK 2

in Scores/Standings/Stats

Road To The State Title: Class 4A, 3A, 2A & 1A high school football playoff scores from across the Heart of Texas region

FINAL UPDATE: 10:35 p.m., Saturday, November 20, 2021

Here are Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s final scores for the Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A Texas high school football playoff games from around the Heart of Texas region.

Be sure to check back with THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute updates throughout the weekend for scores from the 2021 Texas high school football postseason.

On location for two editions of THE SPORTS BUZZ Games of the Week in Dublin and Comanche this weekend, THE SPORTS BUZZ provides award-winning coverage of the 2021 Texas high school football season every week, 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.

Don’t forget to check in with THE SPORTS BUZZ every Friday night for the complete scoreboard from games across the Heart of Texas region.

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

POSTSEASON MATCHUPS: WEEK 2

in Scores/Standings/Stats

Under the Friday night light: Heart of Texas Class 3A, 2A & 1A teams move into round two of the 2021 Texas high school football postseason with host of matchups this weekend

As the 2021 Texas high school football season moves into the second round of the playoffs, many of the Class 3A, 2A and 1A teams across the Heart of Texas will be hitting the road for long trips to a neutral location for their postseason matchups.

With THE SPORTS BUZZ Games of the Week featuring two six-man playoff games this week, the Class 1A, Division I’s second-ranked Jonesboro Eagles (11-0) will be taking on the top-ranked and 2020 state finalist May Tigers (11-0) in a Regional matchup at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bob & Norma Cervetto Stadium in Dublin, before the Class 1A, DII perennial powerhouse Richland Springs Hornets (8-1) will face the Oglesby Tigers (8-2) in a Regional playoff for the second straight season at 7 p.m. Friday in Comanche’s Indian Stadium.

Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ will provide award-winning coverage of the 2021 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.

Be sure to check in with THE SPORTS BUZZ every Thursday to find the complete schedule for teams from the Heart of Texas region. Then follow THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute final scores as they become available throughout the weekend.

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

GRIDIRON GURUS: WEEK 13

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Picking Heart of Texas high school football playoff games, NCAA college football games in Texas, as well as the Cowboys & the Texans

As we advance to the second round of the 2021 Texas high school football playoffs with a full slate of games scheduled at all levels of high school, college and professional football, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel must sort out the high school postseason brackets across the Heart of Texas, solve the puzzle of college teams bouncing up and down the national rankings, and figure out which NFL team will win on any given Sunday.

Throughout the rest of the 2021 football season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will test their luck picking a slate of high school football games across the Heart of Texas, a selection of Texas college football games, as well as matchups involving the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Toney Rogers, a local business owner in the Heart of Texas, while Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

Last week, the Gridiron Gurus picked a record 58 games, the most ever in a single week for The Sports Buzz. Don (44-14) continued to set the pace while Brett (44-14) managed to keep up with him. Toney (40-18) surged ahead of Wade (33-25) in the overall standings as the ole coach and defending pick’ems champion had a rough week in both high school and college games.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school 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! ©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

VALIANT EFFORT

in Football

With a key injury hitting early, Cranfills Gap falls to 12th-ranked Gordon in Class 1A, DII Bi-District matchup; top-ranked Strawn eliminates Morgan

DUBLIN – Riding high from capturing their second all-Bosque County District 12-1A, Division II title in three seasons, the 24th-ranked Cranfills Gap Lions hoped to catch the 12th-ranked Gordon Longhorns still suffering from their regular season finale loss to the top-ranked Strawn Greyhounds in the District 11-1A, DII championship game.

But the Longhorns were having none of that as Gordon stormed to a score on its opening possession and never looked back on the way to an impressive 68-20 victory over Cranfills Gap in a Bi-District playoff matchup last Thursday night at Bob & Norma Cervetto Field in Dublin.

“Having that game last week, and all of the energy and effort that were put into that, it’s always a nervous feeling coming out of that whether we’re going to have a letdown, or where our mindset is going to be,” said Gordon head coach Mike Reed after the Longhorns fell 83-38 to Strawn. “But our kids were extremely excited to get back on the field, move past that and take it game by game.”

Gordon senior Hoss Rouse scored four touchdowns, sophomore Whit Fuller passed for two scores, senior Drake Dickehut hauled in a touchdown pass and ran for another, while senior Morgan Mahan returned two kickoffs for scores to lead Gordon (9-2) in the rout that ended with 0:00 remaining in the third quarter by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule.

After losing senior running back Cruz Flores to a knee injury on the second possession of the game, the Lions (7-4) found their prolific running game bottled up even though sophomore Blake Allen ran for two touchdowns while senior Elias Marquez Peter finished with 62 rushing yards on 10 carries and returned a kickoff for a score.

“I was proud of the effort, even after one of our leaders in Flores went out,” Cranfill Gap head coach Adam Carroll said. “I believe it was a very successful season and look forward to next season with our underclassmen. But our seniors Trenton Roberson, Cruz Flores, Elias Marquez Peter and Barzu Latifov and the leadership they provided will be missed.”