Class 1A, DII Kopperl Eagles remain undefeated; Cranfills Gap, Iredell, Morgan bounce back from season-opening losses as Bosque County six-man teams enjoy winning weekend
Winning four of five games in the second week of the 2023 Texas high school football season, three Bosque County six-man squads bounced back from season-opening losses to post victories, while the surprising Kopperl Eagles remained undefeated.
KOPPERL 28, BROOKESMITH 27
Coming up with a defensive stop in the final moments of the game, the Kopperl Eagles held off the Brookesmith Mustangs for a dramatic 28-27 victory last Friday night to remain undefeated.
“It was a good win for us,” Kopperl first-year head coach Ken Davis said. “We did not play as well as the first week, but the guys got the job done. One of our players commented after the game saying, ‘I’ve never been 2-0 before,’ so I am proud of how they responded to a close one.”
Junior Christian Falk accounted for three touchdowns, running for one, throwing a touchdown pass and returning an interception 54 yards for a score the lead the Eagles (2-0). Freshman Jairo Vega scored twice, breaking off a 13-yard touchdown run and hauling in a 23-yard scoring strike from Falk, who finished with a team-high 80 yards rushing.
“Our offense sputtered a little in tight formation, but when we opened up it seemed to do the trick,” Davis said. “But it felt like we were on defense the entire game.”
Defensively, Falk led the Eagles with 20 total tackles along with his second interception return for a touchdown this season, while junior Anthony Johnson came up with 10 tackles and knocked down two passes late in the game.
“This game showed me the fellas mean business,” Davis said. “They could have given up several times when their backs were against the wall. But the tougher it was, the harder they fought.
“I told them during the last timeout when it was fourth down from inside our own 10-yard line that they would be either 2-0 or 1-1 after this play, and they responded with, ‘Let’s go get the job done.” And they did.”
No. 22 IREDELL 54, COVINGTON 35
Shaking off their season-opening loss to Class 1A, DI’s sixth-ranked May Tigers, the Class 1A, DII’s 22nd-ranked Iredell Dragons held off the never-say-die Covington Owls for a 54-35 victory on the road last Friday night.
After the Dragons (1-1) jumped out to an18-0 lead first quarter lead, Covington battled back to pull within one point in the third quarter. But Iredell scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
“It’s a great feeling to get in the win column against a solid team in Covington,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “This game was definitely a roller coaster. We started off well, struggled, and then finished strong. We will concentrate on using this momentum moving forward.”
Sophomore Cole Heutzenroder threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, while sophomore Jordan Gutierrez rushed 131 yards and two scores to lead the Dragons. Heutzenroder led Iredell with 159 yards rushing while passing for 97 more, connecting with junior Walker Johnson and sophomore Caleb Garland on scoring strikes.
Defensively, Gutierrez led the Dragons with 12 tackles, followed by sophomore Caden Sweat with 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery, Heutzenroder with eight tackles and an interception and Garland with seven takedowns.
“We saw some improvement on the offensive and defensive side this week,” Guereca said. “We also know that we have a long way to go to get where we want to be. It is early in the year, and we are still gaining some experience each week.
“Overall, we are still proud of the effort we are giving. More and more, we are committing to playing with great effort, and that showed in this week’s win.”
MORGAN 76, HILL COUNTY 58
Despite trailing by two points at halftime, the Morgan Eagles scored 50 second-half points to soar past the Hill County Knights, 76-58, last Friday night.
Senior quarterback Mark Anthony Garcia tossed six touchdown passes as the Eagles (1-1) amassed 593 yards of total offense.
“After a tough loss to Faustina, we went to work this week,” Morgan first-year head coach Chuck Wilson said. “And even though the win was tougher than we wanted it to be, my guys really showed up and played with a lot of heart against a team coming off of a 45-point loss and not wanting that to happen again.”
For Morgan, the offense proved to be the difference as Garcia completed 20 of 35 passers for 277 yards while rushing a team-high 118 yards on 16 carries. Sophomore running back Adrian Alonso ran for 105 and two touchdowns, followed by freshman Rolando Monroy with two rushing scores. Junior wide receiver Zach Mitchell finished with 150 yards receiving and three touchdowns, sophomore Payton Braswell hauled in two scoring strikes and sophomore Brayden Cook caught another score.
“Hill County came out looking like they had something to prove, and we just got another slow start,” Wilson said. “Our offense played very well. But for the second straight week, the big plays killed us. Our defense struggled especially in the first half, but picked up the pace in the second half.”
Defensively, Alonso led the Eagles with 11 tackles, followed by junior Zach Mitchell with 10 tackles, while Garcia came up with an interception and special teams recovered three onside kicks.
“We definitely improved this week,” Wilson said. “These young men get better each week, and I’m proud of their heart and work ethic. It is still early in the season, but we will be ready when district gets here.”
CRANFILLS GAP 43, MOUNT CALM 23
Bouncing back from a disappointing season-opening loss, the Cranfills Gap Lions battled to a hard-fought 43-23 victory over the Mount Calm Bobcats last Friday night as senior Blake Allen and freshman Gage Aaron led the way.
“It was a great bounce back game for us after a rough start to the season,” Cranfills Gap coach Josh Raulston said. “Our defense was spot on the entire game. In the first quarter, we had a lot to clean up. But we were able to adjust and move on one play at a time.”
Defensively, senior Jonathan Rodriquez led the Lions (1-1) in tackles while Blake came up with three interceptions.
“It was definitely a good feeling to get into the win column and have it lifted off our shoulders,” said Lion coach Adrian Benitez, who took over as head coach after Cranfills Gap lost their season-opener. “After I took over, I put in a lot of new stuff for them to learn on such short notice, and it definitely showed Friday night. We started off slow, but once we got settled in, we started rolling.
“I’m very proud of the guys battling it out to the end. But they know there’s a lot more work to do, and we’re going to strive to get better each week.”
No. 8 OGLESBY 46, WALNUT SPRINGS 0
Coming off their dramatic season-open victory, the Walnut Springs Hornets were dominated by the Class 1A, DII’s second-ranked Oglesby Tigers, 46-0, last Friday night.
“The Tigers are loaded with talented players and just dominated the Hornets from the start,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “We have to put the loss behind us and prepare for a good Stephenville Faith team that defeated the Hornets in the second half last year after playing them close in the first half.”
With Oglesby limiting the Hornets (1-1) to 85 yards of total offense, junior Josue Ontiveros led the Hornets with 33 yards rushing while completing five of nine passes for 28 yards. Defensively, seniors Luis Fraire and Adrian Chavez led Walnut Springs with two tackles each.
“We are relatively young experience-wise,” Flippen said. “And some of our young kids are going to have to step up for us to have a successful season.”
Photos by WENDY OROZCO
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