Here’s a quick look at the scores and highlights from Friday’s Big Country regional semifinal games:
MANSFIELD – Maybe it’s not so bad to have a slow start — as long as you play as well as the San Saba Armadillos did in the second quarter Friday night.
San Saba scored 30 second-quarter points despite the wet weather conditions at Vernon Newsom Stadium and rallied for a dominating 57-14 win over the Bogata Rivercrest Rebels in a Class 2A Division I regional-round playoff game.
The No. 3-ranked Armadillos (13-0) advanced to play Valley View in next week’s state quarterfinals. San Saba beat Valley View in last year’s football playoffs, when the Armadillos advanced to the state semifinals.
DENTON — The Cooper Cougars got off to about as strong a start as they could have hoped for Friday in their Region I-5A Division I semifinal matchup against Denton Ryan. But once the Raiders got going, they never let up in a 58-20 win on a mist-soaked field at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
After intercepting Ryan quarterback Seth Henigan on the second play of the game and scoring on a 24-yard run by Noah Garcia to go up 7-0, Cooper surrendered 44 unanswered points — 30 of those before halftime — to close their season at 11-2.
The game was tied at 7-all at the end of the first quarter, but a 23-0 Raider run through the second quarter put the Coogs in a hole they couldn’t dig out of.
VERNON — The Cisco Loboes season — and possible Class 3A Division II era — came to an end on Friday in a sloppy 55-28 loss to top-ranked Canadian in a Region I semifinal at Lion Stadium.
The No. 6-ranked Loboes, who saw their season end at 11-2, had three first-half turnovers — and four overall — en route to falling into a 41-0 halftime hole.
Cisco, which is projected to drop to Class 2A Division I during the UIL’s biennial realignment in February, was outgained 514-413 by the Wildcats. The Loboes put up 319 yards in the second half on 33 plays after being shut down offensively in the first half.
IOWA PARK — It may not have been the prettiest performance in Brock history. But when Cash Jones crossed the goal line of Friday’s 20-17 regional semifinal win over Bushland, nobody wearing blue seemed to mind.
Trailing 17-14 following a 41-yard field goal by Baylor Gillispie in Bushland’s half of the overtime, the Eagles closed deal by pushing 25 yards in four plays, capped by Jones’ run to the right corner of the end zone.
LAST WEEK: 12-3, .800
SEASON TOTAL: 475-90, .841
Entering Thanksgiving weekend with 12 football teams that are still alive, the Big Country has a solid opportunity to push multiple clubs into December.
As one would expect, everything at this point will be a difficult hurdle and it will only get tougher from this point forward.
Before I dive into this week’s playoff forecast, we at BigCountryPreps.com would like to extend our wishes to you for the happiest of Thanksgivings.
That said, let’s have a look at this week’s games.
During his time at Hawley, Mitch Ables has steadily built the long-suffering Bearcat football program into an area contender. This year, he has the ‘Cats on their deepest run ever after the first area-round playoff victory in program history over defending state runner-up New Deal last Friday.
Earlier this week, Ables took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this year’s team, which is unbeaten heading into Friday’s Region I-2A Division I semifinal matchup against Sundown (8-4), for the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.
Also in this episode Evan and Daniel discuss their takeaways from the second round of the high school football playoffs and preview this week’s third round.
Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.
You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures.
Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.
If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us!
HAWLEY — After devising an extra-large version of the wildcat formation for two-point conversions and short-yardage situations, Hawley football coach Mitch Ables did what most people in his profession would do: He gave the set the generic name of “Jumbo.”
For the Hawley players, however, “Jumbo” was just too boring. And besides, it seemed to undersell the actual size of the formation.
They may have had a point, considering Ables’ creation features seven true offensive linemen (no tight ends) in a double-tight set up front and three additional offensive linemen in the backfield, usually with 200-pound running back Colton Marshall running behind them.
Trailing Lubbock Cooper 41-29 after three quarters, the Abilene Cooper boys basketball team rallied in the fourth to make a game of it. But a barrage of late 3-pointers wasn’t quite enough in a 56-54 loss Tuesday at Cougar Gym.
Kaden Davis banked in a 3 with just a couple of seconds left to trim the deficit to two. But with no timeouts remaining, the Cougars were helpless to stop the clock, allowing the Pirates to win without inbounding the ball.
Leading 31-21 entering the fourth quarter and 40-33 with 2½ minutes left to play, the Wylie Lady Bulldogs seemed to have firm control of their nondistrict game against area rival Jim Ned on Tuesday at Bulldog Gym. But a furious rally by the Lady Indians left them needing a bucket in the final seconds to avoid a heartbreaking loss.
Enter senior post Bailey Roberts.
With her trailing 41-40 after an 11-0 Jim Ned run, Roberts took the ball in the post, calmly split a double team and finished strong at the rim for her 13th and 14th points of the game. That bucket, which left the Lady Indians just four seconds to answer, proved to be the game-winning shot in a thrilling 42-41 victory as Brooke Galvin’s desperation heave at the buzzer bounced off the back rim and out.
Throughout the season, the Six-Man Spotlight has focused on different teams across the area.
We have taken a look at Gordon coach Mike Reed, Blackwell kicker Mickey Toasaksiri, two-time defending state champion Strawn taking everyone’s best shot and the bond between Jayton coach Josh Stanaland and standout Tye Scogin.
Now, those are the last four teams standing and chasing a state championship. Continue reading “BCP SIX-MAN SPOTLIGHT: And then there were four”
The Wylie girls basketball team followed a third-place finish at the Polk-Key City Classic over the weekend with a solid win over Class 6A Weatherford on Monday, using a big second quarter to build a lead and a strong fourth period to pull away for a 48-37 victory.
Leading 8-7 after eight minutes, the Lady Bulldogs outpaced the Lady Kangaroos 15-9 over the second quarter to take a 23-16 lead into the halftime break. Weatherford (4-3) trimmed the deficit to six heading into the final quarter, but coach Amy Powell’s squad closed the game on a 17-12 run to improve to 7-5 on the year.
Heading into Monday night’s crosstown matchup, no Cooper player had ever won a varsity girls basketball game against Abilene High. But all it takes is one victory to reverse a trend like that, and the Lady Cougars picked up a dominating one in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Cougar Gym.
Leading 16-8 after a quarter, CHS added 18 more points to its advantage over the middle two periods before cruising to an impressive 62-37 win over the Lady Eagles.
The victory, which snapped a four-game losing streak in the crosstown series, was the Lady Coogs’ first over AHS since December 2015. It avenged a pair of losses to the Lady Eagles last season, the first by a near identical score (61-38) at the same site just a little more than a year ago.
With 257 yards rushing and five touchdowns that averaged 48.4 yards in duration, Noah Garcia’s performance in Cooper’s 35-28 area-round win over Azle likely would have earned him our Big Country Preps Player of the Week award without any special circumstances.
Add in the fact that the junior running back missed a half of the second quarter and all of the third after suffering an asthma attack, and it only bolsters his case.
Behind Garcia, Cooper built a 28-7 halftime lead that might have been larger had he not had to leave the game at the midway point of the second quarter. And then, after the Hornets had cut the Cougars’ lead to seven with a dominating third-quarter performance, the Cougar standout came back to bust a 49-yard scoring run early in the fourth for what proved to be the game-winning score.
If not for his shaved head, Tri Danley might have a few gray hairs he could attribute to Peyton Little.
But whatever grief the former Wylie star gave him during his four-year stretch as the Lady Bulldogs girls basketball coach is outweighed in spades by the positives she brought both to her team and Danley personally during her storied four-year career. In fact, he credits Little and the two state championships she helped him win for his subsequent opportunities as a coach.
Danley, in his first season at Seminole after a seven-year stint at Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill, got to catch up with Little and former teammate Megan Rausch, who both serve as assistants to Amy Powell at Wylie, over the weekend at the Polk-Key City Classic girls basketball tournament in Abilene. And though it’s been many years now since Danley and Little teamed up to lead the Lady Bulldogs to their most successful run in program history, he and his former players had plenty of shared memories to reminisce about.
Trailing Dallas Bishop Lynch 24-17 at the end of three quarters Saturday at Hardin-Simmons University’s Mabee Complex, the Jim Ned Lady Indians needed a spark to keep the Friars from claiming their second Polk-Key City Classic title in as many years.
And as so many Jim Ned teams have done in the past, they found it on the defensive end of the floor.
Stifling Bishop Lynch’s halfcourt sets with their effort and aggression, the Lady Indians turned several steals into a game-tying 7-0 run and they outlasted the Friars from there for a hard-fought 28-26 win.
The victory capped a strong day for local and area teams as Wylie topped Seminole 49-35 in the third-place game, Cooper claimed fifth place with a 45-35 win over Burleson and Abilene High narrowly missed a win in the consolation championship, falling 48-45 to Lubbock Coronado.