After UIL realignment split up a league of their own, Bosque County six-man football teams open 2022 season strong as Cranfills Gap, Walnut Springs & Iredell post impressive wins
Opening the 2022 Texas high school football season with a slate of impressive showings, three of the five Bosque County six-man squads posted dominating victories.
With the 2022-24 University Interscholastic League realignment last February, the all-Bosque County six-man football district became a thing of the past. And while the five six-man football schools will be facing some new opponents in district when the Texas high school football season began Aug. 25, two county teams did so with new head coaches leading the way.
Instead of placing all five county six-man squads – Cranfills Gap, Iredell, Kopperl, Morgan and Walnut Springs – back into the same district they had competed in over the last two seasons, the UIL split them up across two different districts. Defending district champion Cranfills Gap will remain in District 12-1A, Division II along with Walnut Springs and Iredell, while Bluff Dale moves in to complete the four-team league.
District runner-up Morgan has moved to District 10-1A, DII along with Kopperl, joining pre-season favorite Bynum and Mount Calm.
CRANFILLS GAP 66, BYNUM 21
BYNUM – Junior Adan Flores rushed for six touchdowns and junior Blake Allen added three more scores as the Class 1A, Division II’s 21st-ranked Cranfills Gap Lions roared past the favored Bynum Bulldogs, 66-21, on the road last Friday night.
“I thought overall we played well,” Cranfills Gap’s new head coach Rodie Johnston said. “Coming into this matchup, we were picked as a one-point underdog. And I think that gave us a chip on our shoulder as we practiced throughout the week.”
Flores finished with a game-high 166 yards rushing, followed closely by Allen with 154 yards on the ground while completing five of six passes for 45 yards. Freshman Diego Rodriguez led the Lion air attack by completing five of seven passes for 81 yards, while senior Case Koehler made four catches for 60 yards.
Defensively, sophomore Logan Viss led Cranfills Gap with 13 tackles and an interception, followed by Allen and Koehler with 11 takedowns each.
“It was important for us to get off to a hot start early in the game,” Johnston said. “And defensively, we had to make early adjustments after giving up two scores in the first quarter. It always feels good to get that first win of the season, but there is still plenty of work to do to continue to get better as we prepare for next week.”
WALNUT SPRINGS 64, THREE WAY 19
THREE WAY – Sophomore Jesse Lamb and junior Diego Muniz rushed for two touchdowns apiece, sophomore Josue Ontiveros tossed two scoring strikes, and junior Brenden Shuemake hauled in two touchdown passes as the Class 1A, Division II Walnut Springs Hornets posted a convincing 64-19 season-opening road victory over the Three Way Warriors last Thursday night.
“We only have two seniors, and our sophomores and juniors played well last night,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “Even though we have very little depth, we could be pretty good if we can stay healthy.”
Lamb led the Hornet rushing attack with 186 yards on eight carries, followed by Muniz with 151 yards on 20 attempts, while completing two of two passes for 32 yards and a score. Shuemake caught five passes for 73 yards.
Defensively, Lamb led Walnut Springs with nine tackles, followed by Shuemake with six, as well as junior Luis Fraire, Muniz and Ontiveros with four takedowns each.
IREDELL 55, GUSTINE 8
GUSTINE – Freshman Jordan Guiterrez ran for three touchdowns, sophomore Westen Chandler rushed for two more to lead the young and talented Class 1A, DII Iredell Dragons to a dominating 55-8 road victory over the Class 1A, DII Gustine Tigers last Friday night.
“It was a great start to our season,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “It was one of our goals to win the first game. The team came to play and executed well. Several guys stepped up and were able to contribute to winning the game.”
Highlighted by an interception return for a touchdown by senior Preston Robinson, the Dragon defense was led by freshman Cole Heutzenroeder with 14 tackles, followed by Robinson with 11 and sophomore Walker Johnson with eight.
“It was great to see that it was a solid team win,” Guereca said. “Offense and defense were consistent and really turned it up in the second half to push away and finish the game. I’m proud of our team on our first win and the commitment they are putting in to get better each week.”
LINGLEVILLE 75, MORGAN 30
MORGAN – Senior Adrian Vera-Rico caught three touchdown passes while sophomore EJ Aviles threw two scoring strikes and ran for another in a losing effort as the Class 1A, DII Morgan Eagles fell to the Class 1A, DI Lingleville Cardinals, 75-30, by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule late in the fourth quarter last Friday night.
“The Eagles had a rough start, but were able to get their offense going,” Morgan head coach Eduardo Aviles said. “Several of the Eagles had some injuries early on that just seem to hamper their production. But after some timeouts to clear their heads, they seem to refocus and put several scoring drives together.”
Defensively, the Eagles were led by Aviles with 11 tackles, followed by sophomore Zack Mitchell with nine and junior Mark Anthony Garcia with six.
“Defense was able to make a few stops, but not enough to keep the Cardinals out of the endzone,” Aviles said. “The Eagles fought hard during the second half, but several miscues failed to produce some points. The Eagles did finish strong and look to improve in the next few weeks.”
GHOLSON 58, KOPPERL 8
KOPPERL – Despite opening the season at home, the Class 1A, DII Kopperl Eagles suffered an overwhelming 58-8 loss to the Class 1A, DI Gholson Wildcats last Friday night as sophomore Anthony Johnson produced the Eagles’ only score on a 65-yard touchdown run.
“We are a very young team,” Kopperl first-year head coach Darrell Wallace said. “We’re going to go through some growing pains. The kids are hungry and working hard. We’ve just got to be patient. We’re looking forward to playing a young Brookesmith team this week.
Photos by WENDY OROZCO
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