Monthly archive

October 2022

RISING TO THE TOP: WEEK 11

in Scores/Standings/Stats

West Trojans vault into state rankings, joining Lorena in Class 3A, DI poll, Crawford & Tolar hold steady in Class 2A, DI top 10, while Class 2A, DII Mart & Class 1A, DI Abbott remain undefeated at the top spots

Moving into the final weekend of the 2022 Texas high school football regular season, some playoff berths still remain up for grabs. As other teams battle for seeding positions, nine Heart of Texas squads own spots among the state’s Top 10 teams in Class 3A, 2A and 1A with two holding the top spot in their respective state poll.

Previously unranked, the West Trojans (8-1) rose into the Class 3A, DI’s state rankings at No. 10, joining the eighth-ranked Lorena Leopards (7-3), who moved up two spots.

Other Heart of Texas state ranked teams include Class 2A, DI’s Crawford Pirates (9-0) holding at No. 3 while the Tolar Rattlers (9-0) remain at No. 7. Class 2A, DII’s top-ranked Mart Panthers (9-0) and Class 1A, DI’s top-ranked Abbott Panthers (9-0) held firm at the top of their respective polls, while the Jonesboro Eagles (8-1) upset the May Tigers to move up to No. 3. In the Class 1A, DII poll, Oglesby Tigers (8-0) remain at No. 4 while the Bluff Dale Bobcats (8-1) held at No.10.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has published the state’s most respected Texas high school football rankings for decades, and became the official rankings provider for the Associated Press starting in 2019. The rankings are compiled by the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football staff, and weekly rankings are revealed live on “Texas Football Today” every Monday at 12:15 p.m. at TexasFootball.com/Live.

Check out the complete Week 6 state rankings in all classifications on the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football website: Dave Campbell’s Texas Football – Texas High School Football State Rankings

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GRIDIRON GRADES: WEEK 10

in Scores/Standings/Stats

As many district playoff berths remain in play, West & Lorena rank in Class 3A; Crawford, Tolar & Mart dominate in 2A; Abbott, Blum & Jonesboro rule in Class 1A, DI; Oglesby, Bluff Dale & Morgan climb in Class 1A, DII

As district races across the Heart of Texas head into the final two weeks in the Texas high school regular season for Class 3A, 2A and 1A playoff hopefuls, the cream of the crop hold onto top spots in each classification.  

On location for the Game of the Week in Florence this weekend, THE SPORTS BUZZ provides award-winning coverage of the 2022 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.

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GRIDIRON SCOREBOARD: WEEK 10

in Scores/Standings/Stats

Class 3A, 2A & 1A high school football scores from the Heart of Texas region for Week 10 of the 2022 Texas high school football season

LATEST UPDATE: 10:25 a.m., Saturday, October 29, 2022

Here are Thursday’s and Friday’s final scores with Saturday’s scores pending for the Class 3A, 2A and 1A Texas high school football games from around the Heart of Texas region during Week 10.

Be sure to check back with THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute updates throughout the weekend for scores from the 2022 Texas high school football season.

On location for the Game of the Week in Clifton this weekend, THE SPORTS BUZZ provides award-winning coverage of the 2022 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.

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GRIDIRON GURUS: WEEK 10

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: As district races reach crucial point in Texas high school football, college football rankings begin to solidify & the Cowboys look to win two-in-a-row with Dak against the Bears

As Texas high school football district races head down the home stretch across Class 3A, 2A & 1A six-man football in district races during Week 10, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel selects all of the key area games, while picking NCAA DI, DII and DIII winners in our expanded slate of Texas college football games as well as Week 8 of the NFL season featuring the Dallas Cowboys playing host to the Chicago Bears while the Tennessee Titans visit the Houston Texans.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Jeff Boutwell, a Recreation Business Line Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Steve Cook, a long-time professional sports photographer, while Toney Rogers, a local business owner in the Heart of Texas, Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

Cook, who started dabbling in photography in 1969 with a Polaroid Swinger camera, joins the THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season. He began focusing on sports photography in 2001 when a friend asked him if he’d be willing to photograph the Crawford Pirates for a local newspaper. As a result, Cook’s been photographing the Pirates for 21 years.

Having work published in Texas Football magazineFOX SportsESPN and numerous newspapers, Cook covers Crawford for the school, and Baylor for Yahoo Sports. He has also covered Mary Hardin-Baylor and McLennan Community College.

Also new to the pick’ems panel, Boutwell is a longtime “resident” of Laguna Park and an unapologetic Aggie. Born and raised in Cameron, Boutwell played on Cameron’s 3A State Football Championship team before graduating in the Class of 86 at Texas A&M where he was a member of Company S-2 of the Corps of Cadets. Boutwell also played Aggie football as a member of the famous 12th Man Kickoff Team from 1984-86 as a part of two Southwest Conference Championship teams, playing in the 1986 Cotton Bowl against Auburn and Bo Jackson, as well as the 1987 Cotton Bowl against Ohio State with Chris Carter and Chris Spielman.

Boutwell has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1986 where he started his career as a Park Ranger at Lake Whitney, and he has also served overseas supporting the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2007 and 2009 and again in Afghanistan in 2011.

During the Texas high school football season, Boutwell works as a crew chief in the Waco Chapter of the Texas Association of Sports Official, so he will not be selecting high school games due to a conflict of interest.

Rogers, owner at Daddy T Entertainment and entertainment agent at Netex Productions, returns to the pick’ems panel for this second season and has served as an announcer for various high school to professional sporting events for several years, such as being the Voice of Crawford Lady Pirate Softball and announcing for UBU Bodybuilding Expos, while serving as Marketing Director for the Waco Tornado indoor football team and Marketing Director for North Texas Falcons Pro Football Team.

In addition to being involved in the entertainment industry for more than 40 years as a professional musician and a booking agent, Rogers has also been involved in several community organizations such as Clifton Park Board President, Legacy Park Board, Entertainment Director for Fallfest, CISD Advisory Board and a member of Lions Club.

Entering his third season on the THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel, Nicholas grew up in North Dakota  in the north central part of the state about 20 miles from the Canadian border, attended high school in a small town of about 175 people, played football, ran track and was very active in FFA before graduating in a class of 14.

With bachelors degree in Ag Econ and Communications from North Dakota State and a MBA in Human Resources from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, Nicholas joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 1971 and was activated to the Army in 1978, where he served through 2003. After working as a government contractor, Nicholas worked as the district director for Texas State Rep. Ralph Sheffield from Temple before being hired by Congressman Williams in 2014.

Last but certainly not least, Nicholas loves hunting, other outdoor activities, rodeo and North Dakota State football.

As the long-time veteran of pick’em panels, Voss established THE SPORTS BUZZ website in 2019 delivering award-winning sports coverage with daily posts in the Heart of Texas focusing on Class 3A, 2A and 1A high school athletics while including insights into college and professional sports.

With over 40 years of experience as a professional newspaper sports writer and columnist that includes a stint at the Dallas Morning News, Voss’ numerous awards include the Texas Press Association’s prestigious Fred Hartman Award for Excellence in Sports Writing presented the best sports writer in Texas in 2017.

At 11 years old, Voss knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. When Roger “The Dodger” Staubach arrived and finally led his beloved Cowboys to their first Super Bowl championship in 1971, a family friend sent Brett a copy of the Dallas Morning News covering the Cowboy Super Bowl win. While reading Bob St John’s account of the game, Brett thought to himself, “Someone actually gets paid to do this as a job?”

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2022 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!

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GRIDIRON MATCHUPS: WEEK 10

in Scores/Standings/Stats

As the 2022 Texas high school football season heads into Week 10 under the Friday night lights, check out the complete schedule for Heart of Texas 3A, 2A & 1A teams

Here’s the complete Class 3A, 2A & 1A schedule for a full slate of district games in all classifications in the Heart of Texas region on Week 10 of the 2022 Texas high school football season. Be sure to check back for up-to-the-minute scores throughout Friday night.

THE SPORTS BUZZ On The Air will be on location in Clifton for the District 13-3A, Division II do-or-die showdown between the Clifton Cubs (0-3 in district, 1-7 overall) and the Elkhart Elks (1-2, 2-6) at 7 p.m. Friday in Cub Stadium as both teams hope to stay alive in the battle for the district’s final postseason berth. Check out THE SPORTS BUZZ On The Air interviews from the 2022 Texas high school football and volleyball seasons, then watch for the complete game highlights of THE SPORTS BUZZ Game Of The Week every week throughout the Texas high school football and volleyball seasons.

Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ continues to provide award-winning coverage of the 2022 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. And don’t forget to sign up for a FREE subscription on THE SPORTS BUZZ website at: www.bvsportsbuzz.com to catch all the action.

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UNTIMELY UPSET

in Football

After two and half-hour delay, Walnut Springs Hornets shock defending champion Cranfills Gap Lions in District 12-1A, DII opener; Morgan opens District 10-1A, DII with convincing win over Bynum

With five Bosque County six-man teams opening their respective 2022 Texas high school football district competitions in two leagues last Friday night, the Walnut Springs Hornets produced the biggest surprise with a shocking 56-52 upset of defending district champion Cranfills Gap in District 12-1A, Division II.

On the other hand, the Morgan Eagles drew first blood in District 10-1A, DII with a convincing 49-22 victory over pre-season favorite Bynum, while the young Kopperl Eagles came up short, 54-40, at home against Mount Calm.

WALNUT SPRINGS 56, CRANFILLS GAP 52

In a game that started two and a half hours later than originally scheduled, the wait proved to be well worth it as the Walnut Springs Hornets shocked the Cranfills Gap Hornets, 56-52, in a wild and hard-fought District 12-1A, DII opener last Friday night.

Junior Diego Muniz ran for four touchdowns and sophomore Josue Ontiveros tossed three scoring passes to lead the dramatic win for the Hornets (1-0 in district, 4-4 overall).

“In what was one of the most unusual games we’ve ever played, our young Hornets played what was undoubtedly their best game of the year as a team against a great team from the Gap,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “We may have gelled as a team at the right time with only two district games left on our schedule. The game was one of the most physical games that the Hornets had played the entire season.”

Scheduled to start at 7 p.m., teams arrived in Walnut Springs, but officials had not been assigned. After contacting the UIL and the officials, both teams mutually agreed upon to play the game following the Iredell-Bluff Dale game with the officials from that game. The district opening showdown finally kicked off at 9:30 p.m.

After jumping out to an early lead and holding a 30-28 advantage at half, the Hornets trailed 38-36 at the end of the third quarter. But Walnut Springs scored 20 fourth quarter points and held off the late efforts from Cranfills Gap (0-1, 5-3) for the win. Defensively for Walnut Springs, Lamb led with 13 tackles followed by junior Adrian Chavez and Muniz with nine each.

Leading the Hornet offensive attack, Ontiveros completed 14 of 19 passes for 171 yards, connecting with sophomore Jesse Lamb five times for 86 yards and a score, while Muniz led the Hornets with 133 yards rushing.

“Overall, it was a tough loss for us,” Cranfills Gap head coach Rodie Johnston said. “I was very proud of the way the boys fought all night. They gave us a chance to win it at the end, but we fell short. I thought both teams showed up to play despite having to sit at the field for nearly three hours before the game could start.”

Senior Aiden Doty tossed two touchdown passes and sophomore Logan Viss ran for two scores in the losing effort. Junior Blake Allen rushed for a game-high 160 yards and a touchdown, Viss finished with 101 rushing yards, and Doty completed seven of 15 passes for 117 yards, connecting with senior Haydn Kirby three times for 32 yards and a score. Allen and Viss led the Lions defensively with 10 tackles each.

Hoping to secure a playoff berth for the first time in two years, Walnut Springs will host the Iredell Dragons at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Our guys are well aware of what the Iredell game means as a win puts us in the playoffs,” Flippen said. “We certainly are not looking past the Dragons. They have a great young team with a ton of speed and quickness. We will have to play together as a team to be able to stop the Dragons.”

MORGAN 49, BYNUM 22

Sophomore EJ Aviles ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more scores as the Morgan Eagles opened District 10-1A, DII play with an impressive 49-22 road victory over the pre-season favorite Bynum Bulldogs last Friday night.

“Overall, it was great to get the job done against a tough running team like Bynum,” Morgan head coach Eduardo Aviles said. “They came right at us, and we were able to be in position to slow them down and eventually make some stops throughout the game.”

After grabbing an early 6-0 lead, the Eagles (1-0 in district, 5-3 overall) scored 19 second quarter points against Bynum (0-1, 2-6) as senior Adrian Vera-Rico scored on a 24-yard run before Aviles tossed touchdown passes to senior Kason Sims and junior Mark Garcia. Garcia also threw touchdown passes to Vera-Rico and senior Keylan Watts.

Aviles completed eight of 16 passes for 131 yards and rushed for 176 yards on 14 carries, and Vera-Rico added 69 rushing yards while catching four passes for 41 yards.

“Offensively, we dropped a couple of touchdowns in the endzones and on fourth down situations that left about three touchdowns on the field,” Aviles said. “We had a very tough wind that was either with you, against you, or blowing across the field. This made it really tough for our throwers and receivers to get our timing down.

“We depended on the run to keep the sticks moving. Overall, we made adjustments and cleaned up some of our issues to start taking over the game.”

Defensively, Aviles and Vera-Rico led the Eagles with 10 tackles each, followed by Sims with nine and Garcia with seven tackles and an interception. Morgan also recovered five fumbles, led by Vera-Rico with two while Aviles, Watts and freshman Adrian Alonzo with one each.

“The defense really stepped up and made some great plays throughout the game,” Aviles said. “We forced three fumbles, recovered five fumbles and intercepted the ball right before the half to stop them from scoring. We will stress our special teams this week since we didn’t make one kick.”

BLUFF DALE 50, IREDELL 12

In what began as an unprecedented defensive struggle for six-man football, the Bluff Dale Bobcats went wild in the second half and ran away with a convincing 50-12 victory over the Iredell Dragons in a District 12-1A, DII opener last Friday night.

Although Bluff Dale only managed to take a 6-0 before halftime, the Bobcats (1-0 in district, 7-1 overall) came out and scored two quick touchdowns to build a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter. Iredell responded when freshman Jordan Gutierrez broke off a 23-yard touchdown run, but Bluff Dale answered with 22 unanswered points to take control of the game.

Senior Preston Robinson connected with freshman Cole Heutzenroeder on a 27-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter for Iredell (0-1, 3-5), but it was too little, too late.

“Definitely not the scoring output we were looking for,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “The defense kept us in there into the third quarter. But unfortunately, we couldn’t keep up in scoring. Effort was great by our team, but we are just going to need to get back to the basics and prepare for a tough Walnut Springs team.”

MOUNT CALM 54, KOPPERL 40

Sophomore Christian Falk tossed four touchdown passes and sophomore Anthony Johnson scored three times, but it wasn’t enough as the young Kopperl Eagles fell to the Mount Calm Panthers, 54-40, in a District 10-1A, DII opener last Friday night.

“Our boys are learning on the fly,” Kopperl first-year head coach Darrell Wallace said. “They have come really far this season, but we just let this one slip away from us. It was a tough loss, but we will recover and get ready to play Morgan.”

Falk passed for 212 yards while Johnson rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns along with four receptions for 29 yards and a score. Sophomore Aerean Patterson led the Eagles with five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns, sophomore Hunter Johnson caught another scoring strike, and sophomore Isaac Payen rushed for a score as the Eagles rolled up 438 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Johnson led Kopperl with 12 tackles, followed by Falk with 10 and freshman Noah Hobbs with seven.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS & WENDY OROZCO

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TWO FOR THE MONEY

in Football

With District 13-3A, DII’s final playoff berth up for grabs, Clifton Cubs face must-win scenario in home finale against Elkhart to keep postseason hopes alive

CLIFTON – Despite the growing pains experienced along the way during the 2022 Texas high school football season, the Clifton Cubs enter the final two games in control of their own postseason destiny. Coming off a 40-7 loss to District 13-3A, Division II leading and ninth-ranked Lexington, the Cubs find themselves in a must-win scenario in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

This week, the Cubs (0-3 in district, 1-7 overall) play their regular season home finale by hosting the Elkhart Elks at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cub Stadium. Snapping a six-game losing streak, the Elks (1-2, 2-6) posted an impressive 64-22 victory over the Florence Eagles last Friday night. 

“Elkhart plays a very aggressive, attacking defense,” Clifton first-year head coach Brent Finney said. “On offense, they have a very dynamic running back and some really quick receivers.”

Last Friday night in Lexington, the Eagles (3-0, 8-0) struck early to take a 14-0 first quarter lead, leaving the Cubs will the difficult task of playing catchup with one of the top 10 teams in the state.

After scoring a second quarter touchdown when sophomore quarterback Joaquin De La Hoya pitched the ball to junior Andres Devora, who connected with junior running back Parker Tunnell for an 66-yard scoring strike, turnovers proved costly. Parker Tunnell led the Cubs with 103 rushing yards on 17 carries, but Clifton turned the ball over six times on four interceptions and two fumbles.

“We were able to move the ball,” Finney said. “But turnovers plagued us, killing many drives.”

In the meantime, Lexington clearly hurt the Cubs with the passing game as freshman quarterback Kase Evans completed 16 of 24 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns, but suffered two interceptions. Senior running back Daylon Washington rushed for 103 yards and two scores as the Eagles rolled up 391 yards of total offense.

“The defense played well, getting sacks and the interceptions,” Finney said. “But we gave them too many extra possessions with the turnovers.”

Junior Riley Finney led the Cubs with 10 tackles, followed by junior Larrett Thomas with six along with senior Carter Tunnell, junior Andres Devora and junior Levi Knox with five each. Junior Ervin Rodriguez and Devora pull down interceptions, while Knox and senior AJ Lingo collected two sacks apiece.

“We did a lot of good things Friday night, but you can’t win many games with six turnovers, especially against a good team like Lexington,” Finney said. “We must build on the positives from the last two games, try to eliminate the mistakes and play our best game of the year Friday night.”

With a clear understanding and vast experience being a part of where the Clifton Cub football program has been in the past, Finney tokok over as athletic director and head coach with his eyes firmly on the future and well as looking to get back into the Class 3A, Division II playoffs for the first time since 2019.

In his 27th year as a high school coach, Finney embraced his first football head coaching and athletic director opportunity at his high school alma mater as he graduated from Clifton High School in 1991 before graduating from Tarleton in 1996.

“Clifton is a very important part of our lives and the lives of our families,” Finney said. “This was a great opportunity to continue to serve the kids of our community and give back to the community that has done so much for us.”

Finney spent eight years at Cameron Yoe before coming back home to Clifton 18 years ago in 2004. And during the last eight seasons under former head coach Chuck Caniford, the Cubs advanced to the playoffs six times, winning three district championships.

In 2020, Clifton stayed home during the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons and watched as all four playoff qualifiers from the district – Franklin, Buffalo, Rogers and Lexington – advanced to Region IV semifinals. Then the Cubs basically experienced a repeat last season facing the same district lineup. In fact, after losing in the 2020 state championship game, Franklin ranked No. 1 from start to finish before claiming the Class 3A, Division II state title in 2021.

Even though the UIL realignment last February produced the departure of Franklin, plenty of familiar and competitive opponents remained in the revamped District 13-3A, DII as Clifton joins a tough lineup of district opponents – Buffalo, Elkhart, Florence, Rogers and Lexington in the six-team league.

“Our district will again be very competitive, but we believe we will be right in the playoff mix,” Finney said before the 2022 season began. “Many of our returners gained valuable experience last year as we had to play many younger guys last season. Lexington and Rogers are going to be the favorites, and they’re perennial playoff teams. But I see us right in the mix of the playoff race.”

Clearly, the season has not played out exactly the way they had hoped. But with a win this week, the Cubs right back into the middle of it.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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STRIVING TO FINISH STRONG

in Football

Coming off an open week, Class 2A, DII Meridian Yellow Jackets host Hico Tigers on Senior Night in District 10-2A, DII clash still looking for their first win of the season

MERIDIAN — Refusing to give up and accept moving down to play six-man football in 2022, the proud Meridian Yellow Jacket football program chose to opt up and stay on the 11-man gridiron despite diminishing enrollment numbers. Consequently, the Jackets have assumed the role of David taking on a host of Goliaths all season long.

After getting a much-needed break in the action with an open date in the middle of District 10-2A, Division II play last week, the Jackets will head into the home stretch of the 2022 Texas high school football season still in search of their first win.

“We focused heavily on our fundamentals,” Meridian head coach Jim Kerbow said. “It was a great benefit because it allowed us to slow practice down and focus on one side of the ball each day. We were also able to get some players rest that had some minor lingering injuries.”

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Jackets (0-4 in district, 0-8 overall) will host the Hico Tigers on Senior Night at 7 p.m. Friday at Jacket Stadium. The Tigers (2-3, 3-6) snapped a three-game losing streak with a strong 56-12 victory over the Hubbard Jaguars (1-3, 1-7) last week.

“We are very similar to Hico physically,” said Kerbow as the Jackets will wrap up the regular season on the road at Frost Nov. 4. “We are also very similar scheme-wise, which plays to our favor offensively and defensively. We believe that Friday night will be a great football game, and if we play fundamentally sound, then we can come out on top.”

Despite battling the numbers disadvantage, the Jackets have taken strides in the right direction while growing up on the gridiron over the last three seasons. Although Meridian has not qualified for the postseason since 2017, the Jackets have a rich Texas high school football tradition dating back to 1916 – four seasons before the University Interscholastic League even existed.

While posting an impressive all-time 537-401-36 win-loss-tie record for a .570 winning percentage, the Jackets have qualified for the postseason 26 times and won 16 district titles.

Inheriting a football program that has posted a dismal 5-34 win-loss record over the last four seasons with a 2-17 district mark, Kerbow knew coming in that his coaching staff would have its work cut out for them. But that did not prevent the new Jacket head coach from setting the bar high.

Following the bi-annual UIL realignment last February, Meridian moved to District 10-2A, Division II to compete against the likes of perennial powerhouse and top-ranked Mart (4-0, 8-0) along with Dawson (4-0, 8-0), Wortham (4-1, 7-2), Hico, Hubbard and Frost.

On the road Oct. 14, the Jackets battled the Hubbard Jaguars in the first half, but saw the game slip away after intermission as Hubbard claimed a convincing 37-10 district victory. Senior running back Brady Taylor ran for a season-high 168 yards in the losing effort as the Jackets rolled up 242 yards rushing on 37 carries, a solid 5.2 yards per attempt average. Junior quarterback Brayden Wehmeyer added 52 yards rushing on six carries while senior Dustan Bowers provided Meridian’s only touchdown on an 18-yard run.

After putting up 10 points in the first half, the Jackets were shut out in the second half. But Meridian repeatedly threatened to score only to be turned back.

Going into the final two games of the season, Taylor leads the Jackets with 433 yards rushing and two touchdowns, followed by Bowers with 195 yards and a score. Senior Daunte Crawford leads Meridian with five receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns.

“We thought our kids gave great effort against Hubbard,” Kerbow said. “The score did not reflect how we played. Hubbard scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. Offensively, we moved the ball effectively, but we struggled in the red zone which stalled out several drives. Brady Taylor had a great night rushing, and Brayden Wehmeyer did a great job directing the offense.”

Throughout the game, the Jacket defense played well enough to keep the Jackets in the game. Senior Alejandro Rodriguez led Meridian with 13 tackles and a forced fumble, followed by junior Noah Alvizo with 12 tackles, senior Gauge Chandler with 11, Taylor with 10 and junior John Wyatt with eight takedowns and an interception. On the season, Alvizo leads the Jackets with 63 tackles, followed by Taylor with 53, freshman Jesse Scott with 47 and Rodriguez with 41.

“The Yellow Jacket defense played very well Friday night,” Kerbow said. “But we had some breakdowns late in the fourth quarter which allowed Hubbard to pull away.”

Photos by WENDY OROZCO

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NFL INSTANT REPLAYS: Week 7

in Pro/College

Dak Prescott returns to lead Cowboys over Detroit to spoil Texas homecoming for Lion head coach Dan Campbell, Raiders run past Texans in second half

Trying to keep pace with the frontrunners in the highly-competitive NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys welcomed back their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott at home in winning fashion. But the Houston Texans struggled in their search to find the right winning combinations.

As the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles drew an open week in the schedule as the surprising New York Giants continue to find ways to win, while the Washington Commanders upset the reeling Green Bay Packers.

at DALLAS Cowboys 24, DETROIT Lions 6

After a five-game absence due to a fractured right thumb, quarterback Dak Prescott returned to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a solid total-team effort win over the Detroit Lions, 24-6, Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran two touchdowns and Prescott threw for another as the vaunted Dallas defense forced five turnovers to ruin the homecoming for Lion head coach Dan Campbell, a native Texan who was born in Clifton, went to high school in Glen Rose and played for the Cowboys.

Despite completing 21 of 26 passes for 228 yards, Detroit quarterback Jared Goff turned the ball over four times with two interceptions and two fumbles.

Prescott finished with a workman-like 207 yards passing, completing 19 of 25 passes, including a two-yard scoring strike to rookie tight end Peyton Hendershot. Running back Tony Pollard led the Cowboys in rushing with 83 yards on 12 carries, while Elliott finished with 57 yards on 15 attempts.

Goff’s first three turnovers led to Dallas touchdowns beginning with an interception by Trevon Diggs, his third of the season. Now with  17 career interceptions, Diggs tied for most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2020. Those picks have come in his first 35 games, giving him the second-most for a player in the Super Bowl era behind. Diggs tied club record of 11 set by former Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls last season.

With Detroit suffering its fourth consecutive loss, Campbell fell to 0-11-1 on the road with the Lions.

This Sunday, the Cowboys (5-2) will host the Chicago Bears in the second of four consecutive matchups with NFC North teams.

Watch the NFL highlights here: DETROIT Lions at DALLAS Cowboys

at LAS VEGAS Raiders 38, HOUSTON Texans 20

Running back Josh Jacobs ran for 143 yards and three second-half touchdowns as  the Las Vegas Raiders stormed past the Houston Texans, 38-20, Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

After battling to a 10-10 tie in the first half, the Raiders (2-4) dominated the Texans on the ground and through the air. Raider quarterback Derek Carr completed 21 of 27 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown, connecting with Davante Adams eight times for 95 yards as Las Vegas rolled up a season-high 400 yards of offense

Becoming the first Raider to rush for more than 100 yards in three straight games since Napoleon Kaufman in 1997, Jacobs has rushed for 441 yards in his last three games — only the sixth player in the past six seasons with three 100-plus-yard rushing games in a row.

In the losing effort for the Texans, quarterback Davis Mills completed 28 of 40 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but uncorked a 73-yard pick-six interception to safety Duron Harmon that sealed Houston’s fate, while running back Dameon Pierce led the Texan ground game with 92 yards on 20 carries. The Texans (1-4-1) will host the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.

Watch the NFL highlights here: HOUSTON Texans at DALLAS Cowboys

NFL SCOREBOARD – WEEK 7

Thursday, October 20

at ARIZONA Cardinals 42, NEW ORLEANS Saints 34

Sunday, October 23

at CINCINNATI Bengals 35, ATLANTA Falcons 17

at TENNESSEE Titans 19, INDIANAPOLIS Colts 10

at WASHINGTON Commanders 23, GREEN BAY Packers 21

at CAROLINA Panthers 21, TAMPA BAY Buccaneers 3

NEW YORK Giants 23, at JACKSONVILLE Jaguars 17

at BALTIMORE Ravens 23, CLEVELAND Browns 20

NEW YORK Jets 16, DENVER Broncos 9

SEATTLE Seahawks 37, LOS ANGELES Chargers 23

KANSAS CITY Chiefs 44, SAN FRANCISCO 49ers 23

at MIAMI Dolphins 16, PITTSBURGH Steelers 10

Monday, October 24

CHICAGO Bears 33, at NEW ENGLAND Patriots 14

Open Week

BUFFALO Bills, LOS ANGELES Rams, MINNESOTA Vikings, PHILADELPHIA Eagles

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GRIDIRON GRADES: WEEK 9

in Scores/Standings/Stats

With shuffling in the district standings, West surges in Class 3A; Crawford, Tolar & Mart dominate in 2A; Abbott, Blum & Jonesboro rule in Class 1A, DI; Oglesby, Bluff Dale & Morgan climb in Class 1A, DII

As district races across the Heart of Texas began to take shape in Class 3A and 2A last week in the Texas high school football regular season, Class 1A six-man produced some surprise as district competition opened in Week 9.  

In the upset of the week, the unranked West Trojans (6-0 in District 7-3A, DI, 7-1 overall) shocked the third-ranked Grandview Zebras (5-1 in 7-3A, DI, 6-2 overall), 38-21, and the top-ranked defending state champion Franklin Lions (4-0 in 11-3A, DI, 8-0 overall) held off the 10th-ranked Lorena Leopards (3-2 in 11-3A, DI, 6-3 overall), 49-35, in two huge showdowns for district supremacy.

In other key Class 3A matchups, the Comanche Indians (3-0, 7-1) held on to sole possession of their District 5-3A, DII by thrashing the Dublin Lions (0-3, 2-6), 77-7, on the road, while the Clifton Cubs (0-3, 1-7) fell to the ninth-ranked Lexington Eagles (2-0, 7-0), 40-7, in District 13-3A, DII.

Showcase matchups in Class 2A feature the third-ranked Crawford Pirates (5-0, 8-0) bushwhacking the Bosqueville Bulldogs (2-3, 3-5), 59-6, in District 8-2A, DI, and the No. 7 Tolar Rattlers (4-0, 8-0) took over sole possession of first in District 5-2A, DI by whipping the Bangs Dragons (3-1, 5-3), 57-0. In a battle between undefeated teams, the Wortham Bulldogs (4-1, 7-2) fell short in challenging the top-ranked and perennial powerhouse Mart Panthers (4-0, 8-0), 47-22, for District 10-2A, DII supremacy.

In Class 1A, DI six-man football, the top-ranked Abbott Panthers (2-0, 8-0) blanked the visiting Coolidge Yellow Jackets (1-2, 3-6), 48-0, in District 12-1A, DI, while the Blum Bobcats (3-0, 4-4) buried the winless Three Way Braves (0-1, 0-5), 78-26.

As the class of the region’s representatives in Division II, the fourth-ranked and undefeated Oglesby Tigers (8-0) remained idle last week as District 11-1A, DII opened. But in the battle of two Bosque County arch-rivals, the Walnut Springs Hornets (1-0, 4-4) shocked the defending District 12-1A, DII champion and favorite Cranfills Gap Lions (0-1, 5-3) in a wild thriller, 56-52, in THE SPORTS BUZZ Game of the Week, while the Morgan Eagles (1-0, 5-3) soared past the pre-season favorite Bynum Bulldogs (0-1, 2-6), 49-22, in the District 10-1A, DII opener.

On location for the Game of the Week in Clifton this weekend, THE SPORTS BUZZ provides award-winning coverage of the 2022 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.

©2022 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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