BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Eastland’s Behren Morton takes the top spot

Prior to the game, the numbers pointed to a track meet. But nobody was prepared for the more than 1,600 yards in combined total offense produced in last week’s 91-71 Eastland victory over Panhandle. 

It should come as no surprise that the Big Country Preps Player of the Week participated in this artillery barrage, disguised as a football game. 

Eastland senior Behren Morton earns the top spot, after hitting 22 of 32 throws for 405 yards and five touchdowns. The Texas Tech-bound QB also rushed nine times for 196 yards and three scores and was 12 of 13 on extra points. 

By night’s end, he had a direct hand in eight touchdowns and 60 points. And no, this was not a six-man football game. 

“It was kind of a crazy game,” Eastland coach James Morton said. “One of the big steps forward for us was (Behren’s) ability to run and become a bigger running threat than he had been.

“He’s got good vision and I tough he did a much better job of seeing the field.” 

BCP TOP 10

1. Kason Philips, RB, Sr., Stephenville Had a huge night in Stephenville’s 59-34 win over archrival Brownwood at Gordon Wood Stadium.

Aside from rushing for 276 yards on 25 carries, he also caught two passes for 74 yards and finished with six total touchdowns.

After a sluggish 1-3 start, the Yellow Jackets (3-3) have found some momentum.

2. Abbi Allen, MB, Sr, Coleman — Had a combined 35 digs, 21 kills, nine aces and three solo blocks in wins over Rochelle (3-1) and Mullin (3-0).

“Abbi continues to grow each week as a volleyball player and a leader on the court,” coach Stephanie Bledsoe said. “She has a desire to win and be the best she can be.”

3. Xavier Wishert, RB/LB, Jim Ned Wishert handed in yet another great effort on both sides of the ball in a 24-21 “upset” of fifth-ranked Hallettsville.

Aside from rushing for 230 yards and two scores on 28 carries, Wishert added 13 tackles from his linebacker spot, including a sack.

The Indians improved to 3-1 with their third straight victory.

4. Avery Wimberly, outside hitter, Sr., Wylie — Had a combined 30 kills in five-set wins over Midland Christian (25-23, 18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-12) and Granbury (25-20, 27-25, 21-25, 22-25, 15-8).

 With those victories, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 5-1 on the season heading into a tough nondistrict match at Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday.

5. Ayden Rosas, LB/WR, Sr., Sweetwater Had a huge game in Sweetwater’s 47-28 win over archrival Snyder.

Finishing with 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, Rosas was at the forefront of a rapidly

improving Mustang defense. He also had a catch for nine yards, and a key block that led to a 73-yard touchdown play. 

“He has been consistent for us all year long and continues to lead our defense each week,” coach Ben McGehee said.

6. Breanna Leathers, outside hitter/setter, Sr., Hawley Charted a combined 12 kills, 11 aces, 28 assists and 15 digs in wins over Strawn (3-0) and Ranger (3-0).

It was the fourth straight match win for the Lady Cats. 

7. Reece Gooding and Garrett Graham, linebackers, Sr./Jr., Wylie — Spearheaded an outstanding defensive effort that saw the Bulldogs hold Lubbock Monterey to 319 total yards in a 24-6 road win.

Gooding finished with three solo tackles, three assists, one sack, one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, while Graham had eight solos, three assists, one tackle for loss, one sack and two hurries. 

With the win, Wylie improved to 2-0 heading into this week’s Southtown Showdown against Cooper.

8. Liz Underwood, middle blocker, Jr., Clyde — Had 18 kills, seven blocks, four aces and 10 digs in two district sweeps of Jim Ned and Brady.

“Liz has been a dominant force at the net, as well as a consistent presence on the back row,” Coach Laura Carr said. “The passion that she plays with helps to set the tone for our team.”

Clyde is 14-6 overall and 4-0 in district. 

9. Carson Carter, LB, Sr., Brock Carter was all over the field in the Eagles’ 60-21 rout of Paradise, charting 14 tackles to help BHS improve to 5-0.

Seven of those stops were in the Paradise backfield, including a sack.

Are the Eagles the team to beat in Region I? It certainly looks that way. In fact, I’d be surprised not to see them in Jerry World in December.

10. Myia Braziel, outside hitter, Snyder – Had combined 14 kills, two blocks, and six digs to help Snyder to wins over Big Spring (3-1) and Sweetwater (3-0) last week.

“The notable thing about Myia this week is that in the two games we played she hit at .342 earning only one error in the last two district games,” Coach Mindi Bredemeyer said. “This hitting percentage is a team high for our season so far and Myia has worked very hard to hit that milestone.

“She is young and growing every single day; she will do great things for this program this season and in the future.”

10+. Jeshari Houston, WR, Sr., Abilene High — Caught four passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 30-20 loss to crosstown rival Cooper.

Houston’s effort included a 58-yard touchdown reception on a quick screen that saw him shake a defender and outrun the Cougar defense for the score.

HONORABLE MENTION

Abel Martinez, QB, Jr., Abilene High (Passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 26 yards vs. Cooper); Gentri Anderson, outside hitter, Jr., Abilene High (Had a combined 28 kills and 41 digs as the Lady Eagles opened District 2-6A play with a 3-1 loss at Odessa Permian and a 3-1 win win at Odessa High); Aidan Thompson, QB, Sr., Cooper (Hit 15 of 28 passes of 212 yards and a TD and rushed for another score vs. Abilene High); Alejandro Martinez, WR, Sr., Cooper (Caught seven passes for 95 yards vs. Abilene High); Balin Valentine, QB, Sr., Wylie (Passed for 188 yards and a TD and rushed for 64 yards and another score vs. Monterey); Reed Hughes, WR, Sr., Wylie (Caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD vs. Monterey); Abby Torrez, outside hitter, Brady (Had a combined seven kills and seven digs vs. Clyde and San Angelo TLCA); Bailey Mahalitc, middle blocker, Brady (Had a combined nine kills and six digs vs. Clyde and TLCA); Bo Richardson, outside hitter, Fr., Hawley (Had a combined 12 kills and two blocks vs. Strawn and Ranger); Shea Newton, libero, Sr., Hawley (Had a combined nine aces and 21 digs vs Strawn and Ranger); Karrigan Parrott, outside hitter, So., Hawley (Had a combined 11 kills, three aces and 11 digs vs. Strawn and Ranger); Peyton Warren, outside hitter, Sr., Clyde (Had a combined 11 kills, three aces and 11 digs in two district sweeps of Jim Ned and Brady); Lexi Burleson, middle blocker, Jr., Clyde (Had a combined 17 kills and four aces vs. Jim Ned and Brady).

For a player to be considered for Big Country Preps Player of the Week, he or she must be nominated by their coaching staff. Deadline for nominations is noon each Monday. Please include the player’s name, class, position, stats and opposition with your submission.

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