Bosque County six-man squads dealt rough week as Iredell, Kopperl win, but Cranfills Gap, Morgan, Walnut Springs fall in Class 1A, DII action
While the 22nd-ranked Iredell Dragons and the surprising Kopperl Eagles soared to new heights, the three other Bosque County six-man football teams tumbled to non-district losses. And with homecoming weeks approaching for most of the area schools, Bosque County six-man squads hope to find their winning combination before opening district play in three weeks.
IREDELL 30, PENELOPE 22
Winning their third straight game, the Class 1A, Division II’s 22nd-ranked Iredell Dragons overcame adversity to not only survive but defeat the winless Class 1A, DI Penelope Wolverines, 30-22, on the road last Friday night.
“What a game,” Iredell head coach Luis Guereca said. “Our defense was huge tonight. While struggling on offense, the defense kept making big plays. Offensive mistakes kept putting us behind the chains and struggled to recover. We were able to manage enough to get the win in the end.”
Iredell (3-1) scored first when sophomore Cole Heutzenroeder raced to an electrifying 78-yard touchdown run to open the game. But Penelope (0-4) responded by scoring 16 unanswered points to enjoy a stunning 16-8 lead at halftime.
But in the second half, Dragon sophomore Caden Sweat scored twice on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Heutzenroeder and a 39-yard fumble return as Iredell put 22 unanswered points on the scoreboard. Penelope made it close with a 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but it proved to be too little, too late.
Heutzenroeder led Iredell with 104 yards rushing while completing five of seven passes for 107 yards. Sophomore Jordan Gutierrez added 63 yards rushing and a fourth quarter touchdown, while Sweat caught four passes for 106 yards.
Defensively, Heutzenroeder and sophomore Caleb Garland led the Dragons with 14 tackles each, followed by Gutierrez with 12.
“Even though the struggles were evident, it was a great game to learn from,” Guereca said. “Adversity was the key word for tonight. The team was able to overcome being down at half and rise up in the second. I’m proud of how the whole team handled the situation, and we were able to get the win.”
KOPPERL 49, EVANT 18
Bouncing back from a disappointing last-second loss last week, the young and surprising Kopperl Eagles took flight again to soar over the Evant Elks, 49-18, on Homecoming Night last Friday as senior Christian Falk ran for four touchdowns, threw for another and scored on a 55-yard kickoff return.
“It was a good bounce back win after losing a last minute heartbreaker the week before,” Kopperl head coach Ken Davis said. “The players were upbeat all week and looked forward to getting back on track in front of the homecoming crowd.”
Leading the way in the dominating victory over Evant (0-4), Falk rushed for 149 yards and connected with junior Kevin Eilers on a 22-yard scoring strike. Defensively, the Eagles (3-1) were led by Falk, as well as juniors Anthony Johnson and Isaac Payen.
“A lot of our success is due to the blocking of upbacks Anthony Johnson, Bearon Brinkley and Hunter Johnson,” Davis said. “The team is becoming more confident as the season goes on. All 12 of my players contribute every week, whether it is on kickoff, extra point block, giving starters a breather. Our depth has been a big factor in our success so far.”
RISING STAR 58, CRANFILLS GAP 6
With six players missing the game due to illness, the Cranfills Gap Lions saw their two-game winning streak snapped as Rising Star eased to a convincing 58-6 victory last Friday night.
Senior Adan Flores led the Lions (2-2) with 138 yards rushing in the losing effort against Rising Star (2-2), while senior Blake Allen threw for 72 yards and rushed for 64 more. Defensively, freshman Michael Green and Allen led Cranfills Gap with four tackles each.
“It was definitely a tough loss for us, because it was a game we were looking forward to at the beginning of the week,” Cranfills Gap head coach Adrian Benitez said. “Unfortunately, we had six guys out due to illness, and four of those being starters.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game with the guys we had left. But I’m proud of the fight our guys showed, and I’m glad we got out of there without any serious injuries. Hopefully, we’ll have everyone back next week, because we have a big one coming up for homecoming.”
GHOLSON 45, MORGAN 12
Despite scoring the first points allowed by undefeated Gholson this season, the Morgan Eagles could not produce enough scoring to overcome a 45-12 loss at home to the Class 1A, DI Wildcats last Friday night.
“This week was tough against an undefeated opponent who had yet to be scored on,” Morgan head coach Chuck Wilson said. “Overall, we just started slow and never really recovered.”
Junior Zach Mitchell completed six of eight passes for 65 yards while picking up 59 yards as a receiver as well. Senior Mark Anthony Garcia led the Eagles (2-2) by completing 11 of 23 passes for 140 yds and a scoring strike, but struggled in the running game struggled against Gholson (4-0). Defensively, Payton Braswell led Morgan with 6 1/2 tackles
“Defensively, we just could not tackle,” Wilson said. “But we did get more team tackles this week, meaning we are getting to the ball. Overall, we just need to find our motivation and fire. These kids work very hard every week, and I am super proud of them. We now need to get prepared for Mullin.”
WACO TEXAS WIND 62, WALNUT SPRINGS 14
With injuries already taking their toll, the Walnut Springs Hornets find themselves going back to square one to put together a unit to compete every Friday night. As a result, the Waco Texas Wind blew away the wounded Hornets, 62-14, last Friday night.
“It’s almost like two-a- days right now trying to find players to fill spots,” Walnut Springs head coach Lonnie Flippen said. “But we don’t have the luxury of two weeks before we play. And this is a short week as we play on Thursday against Covington.”
Junior Jesse Lamb threw for one score and caught a pass for another to lead Walnut Springs offensively, while coming up with team-high nine tackles defensively, followed by sophomore Justus Tyler with seven and senior Adrian Chavez with five.
After losing another player to a concussion against Texas Wind, the Hornets (1-3) will take on Covington with only three of their projected starters available.
“Our young kids will have to step up and fill those open spots in order for us to have any chance of being successful in future games,” Flippen said. “We still have three seniors available, and they will need to provide the leadership and encouragement to bring our young, inexperienced guys along.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS & WENDY OROZCO
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