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Winning for the third straight time, 22nd-ranked Cranfills Gap Lions looks dominate in Bosque County six-man football; Iredell & Kopperl post wins

If the first three weeks of the 2022 Texas high school football season can serve as an indicator, Bosque County six-man football fans will be treated to some high-level shootouts between quality opponents.

For the third straight weekend, three of the five area squads walked off the field victorious – led by the 22nd-ranked and undefeated Cranfills Gap Lions. And even though the five Bosque six-man teams no longer play in a league of their own due to last February’s UIL realignment, some of the former district rivals will begin facing off in non-district clashes next week.


Despite a slow start playing on the road for the fourth consecutive week, the 22nd-ranked Cranfills Gap Lions shook it off to roar past the Gustine Tigers, 68-22, Friday night, closing out their third straight win with 2:25 left in the third quarter by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule.

“I think we came into the game a little sluggish on the defensive side of the ball and allowed Gustine to get their passing game going early,” Cranfills Gap head coach Rodie Johnston said. “We were able to make some adjustments and were more successful at stopping them.”

Junior Adan Flores scored five touchdowns, junior Blake Allen scored three more and threw for another, while freshman Diego Rodriguez tossed three scoring strikes to lead the Lions (3-0). Allen finished with a game-high 153 yards rushing, while Rodriguez completed four of four passes for 89 yards, and senior Hayden Kirby caught two passes for 45 yards and two scores.

“Offensively, we scored on every possession,” Johnston said. “I thought our offensive line blocked well, and our playmakers made plays at key times to keep drives alive. We have had a great start to the season, but still have a lot of work to do to be fundamentally where we need to be.”

Defensively, sophomore Logan Viss and Allen led the Lions with 10 tackles each, followed by sophomore Juan Berumen with six.


After jumping out to a commanding 38-0 first quarter lead, the Iredell Dragons burned through the Mullin Bulldogs, 50-0, Friday night, closing out the dominating win early in the third quarter by virtue of the 45-point mercy rule.

“It was definitely our best performance so far,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “The team played well on both sides of the ball. Proud of our guys on how they work hard to get better each week.”

Freshman Jordan Gutierrez ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns and freshman Cole Heutzenroeder rushed for two more to lead the Dragons (2-1). Senior Preston Robinson, freshman Adan Diaz-Aguilar and Heutzenroeder combined to complete six of eight passes for 143 yards, connecting for two scores to freshman Caleb Garland and sophomore Deuce Paul.

Defensively, Garland and Gutierrez led the Dragons with six tackles each, followed by Paul and sophomore Westen Chandler with four apiece.



Sophomore Isaac Payen ran for two touchdowns and caught a scoring strike, while freshman Cason Hammel tossed two touchdown passes as the Kopperl Eagles ripped the Lingleville Cardinals junior varsity, 52-0, last Thursday night.

“Our boys are continuing to grow into what we want them to be,” Kopperl head coach Darrell Wallace said. “There is still a lot of work to do, but the boys are working hard. They have bought into the program, and that will springboard us to where we want to be.”

Sophomore Anthony Johnson led the Eagles (2-1) with 85 yards rushing and a score, sophomore Christian Falk ran for a touchdown, and sophomore Hunter Johnson hauled in a scoring pass.

Defensively, freshman Bearon Brinkley and Falk led Kopperl with 6.5 tackles each, followed by Payen with 3.5, while Falk grabbed three interceptions, freshman Alex Garcia pulled down another, and the Eagles recovered four fumbles.



Despite getting off to a strong start, the Walnut Springs Hornets proved no match for Stephenville Faith Academy as the Knights stormed to a convincing 83-39 victory last Friday night.

After the Hornets scored with 31 seconds left in the first half to tie the game, 14-14, the Knight quickly recaptured the lead before halftime and never looked back.

The Hornets began the game with 13 relatively healthy players and ended the game with nine who were still able to play. Seniors Victor Favela and Eddie Davalos both went down with injuries and their availability for future games is unknown at this time. Several other Hornets are also expected to see limited playing time this week against the Waco Parkview.

Sophomore Josue Ontiveros completed 17 of 32 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns, connecting for three scores with junior Brenden Shoemake covering 60 yards, as the Hornets (1-2) spread the scoring around to four different players. Sophomore Jesse Lamb led Walnut Springs in rushing with 54 yards and a touchdown.

“Josue deserves a great deal of praise for attempting to place the Hornet team on his shoulders and carry them against the Knights,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “He had an outstanding game in a losing effort.”

Defensively, Ontiveros also led the Hornet defense with nine tackles and an interception, followed by Shuemake with five tackles and a fumble recovery.



Playing in their third straight home game, the Morgan Eagles opened strong before the Rising Star Wildcats took control of the game for a dominating 48-18 victory last Friday at John Bryant Field.

On Morgan’s first possession, sophomore EJ Aviles scored on a nine-yard touchdown run for the early lead. But Rising Star responded with 36 unanswered points on its way to victory.

“The Eagles seem to hit a slump for the rest of the first half with two other drives stalling out and not being able to score being within reach of the endzone,” Morgan head coach Eduardo Aviles said. “Some key mistakes on defensive duties allowed the Wildcat offense to put points on the board.

“The Eagles were able to clean up their efforts in the second half. We tightened up the defense allowing only two more touchdowns to the Wildcats.”

In the loss, senior Adrian Vera-Rico finished with 72 yards rushing with a touchdown, while catching five passes for 31 yards and collecting seven tackles. Aviles led the Eagles with 86 yards and caught three passes for 73 yards with a score while leading the team with 11 tackles.


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