Month: August 2022

GAME STORY: Lady Eagles battle but fall in three to Wichita Falls Rider

For a match that only went three sets, Tuesday’s nondistrict competition between Abilene High and Wichita Falls Rider was a deceptively competitive one. But despite a resilient performance that saw the hosts put forth a game effort throughout, the Lady Eagles could never quite seize the momentum in a 27-25, 25-18, 25-21 loss at Eagle Gym.

Playing from behind for most of the match, AHS never let the visiting Lady Raiders run away with things — even when it looked as though Rider was poised to take control.

But ultimately, the Lady Eagles weren’t quite as crisp in their execution as the visitors, and that proved to be the difference in the sweep.

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GAME STORY: ACHS spikes Albany in nondistrict volleyball matchup

The Abilene Christian High School volleyball team started fast and dominated most of the night on Tuesday as the Lady Panthers swept Albany 25-11, 25-11, 25-22 at Panther Gym in nondistrict action.

Shea Bruntmyer led ACHS to the first six points of the match, highlighted by two aces, as the Lady Panthers improved to 15-9 on the season.

Albany, meanwhile, fell to 10-7 with the loss.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Saba senior has utility man game of the ages

We’re all accustomed to running backs, quarterbacks and receivers producing memorable nights. But it isn’t often that you see a utility man make the entire area do a doubletake. 

San Saba senior Tyler Johnson managed on Friday while helping the Armadillos to a season-opening 46-14 win over Florence. And his 77 rushing yards and three scores were only the tip of the iceberg. 

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District 2-5A Div. II Week 1 Report: Wylie among four league teams to open season with win

Wylie 30, Brownwood 24 — The Bulldogs used big offensive first half and a strong defensive second half to hold off the Lions in a season-opening thriller at Gordon Wood Stadium.

Wylie, which gained 292 of its 404 total yards in the first half, led 30-17 at halftime. And that was all the scoring the Bulldogs (1-0) needed thanks to a defensive effort that saw Brownwood limited to just one second-half touchdown.

Running back Landry Carlton led the Wylie offense, rushing for 124 yards on 16 carries, while quarterback KJ Long passed for 136 yards and one score and added 67 yards rushing. Receivers Harrison Heighten (2-81, 1 TD) and Braden Regala (8-55 receiving; 1-51, 1 TD rushing) also had big days. 

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District 2-5A Div. I Week 1 Report: AHS struggles to find offensive stride in opener; league mates go 4-2

Odessa Permian 17, Abilene High 3 — The Eagles managed just 49 yards of total offense and three first downs in a tough season-opening loss to their former Little Southwest Conference rival.

Despite Abilene High’s struggles on the offensive side of the ball, which included just 16 yards rushing on 18 attempts, coach Mike Fullen’s squad went to halftime trailing just 7-3 and was within a touchdown until the Panthers scored a TD late in the third quarter to go up by 14 points.

Permian finished with 285 yards of offense, most of which came in the second half against an exhausted AHS defense. For a full report on this game, see Brandon McAuliffe’s game story.

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District 7-2A Div. II Report: Haskell defense shuts down New Home as Indians take opener

Haskell 21, New Home 7 — The Indians used a sterling defensive effort to win its opener, limiting New Home to only 243 yards in total offense, including 54 on the ground. 

Haskell also forced three turnovers, which helped offset the 11 costly penalties the Indians were flagged for. 

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District 2-3A Div. II Report: Wall scores big win at Eastland

Wall 49, Eastland 20 — Wall rushed for 533 yards and gained 674 yards in total in handing Eastland a 29-point loss.

The Hawks, who led 28-6 at halftime, scored the first touchdown of the second half to go up four scores and eliminate any hope of an Eastland comeback.

Wall finished with 429 yards rushing, were led by Garrett Guy with 166 yards and two scores on 17 carries.

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 1 Report: Santo dominates Electra, scores shutout win in opener

rioSanto 49, Electra 0 — The Wildcats were dominant in their season opener, racing out to a 35-0 halftime lead on their way to the shutout victory over the Tigers.

Santo scored 21 points in the first quarter and 14 in the second, before taking their foot off the pedal after halftime.

The Wildcats (1-0) finished with 349 yards of total offense, 288 of that rushing. Kash Johnson rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries, while Hut Thornton (5-57 rushing, 4-5-0—61, 2 TDs passing), Billy Sandoval (2-58, 2 TDs rushing) and Jake Byrd (2-41, 2 TDs receiving) also had productive games.

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District 4-3A Div. II Report: Bulldogs fall to archrival Forsan in fourth-quarter rally by FHS

Forsan 21, Coahoma 13 — Kevin Kligora rushed for 96 yards and two scores and Huston Stockton added 19 yards rushing and another touchdown to help Forsan to defeat its archrival on Thursday.

Trailing 13-0 after three quarters, the Buffaloes rallied with three unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns to steal the win at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring. 

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District 3-2A Div. I Week 1 Report: Forsan rallies past rival Coahoma for thrilling win

Forsan 21, Coahoma 13 — Playing their annual rivalry game at Big Spring, the Buffaloes rallied past the Bulldogs on Thursday, scoring 21 fourth-quarter points to erase a 13-0 deficit.

Coahoma outgained Forsan 259-235, but the Buffs (1-0) made the plays they needed to down the stretch, getting a pair of touchdown runs from Kevin Kligora and a scoring run from Huston Stockton.

Kligora finished with 96 yards on 17 carries, while quarterback Cade Wallis rushed for 31 yards and passed for 59. Coahoma got 61 yards and a touchdown passing from Billy Bailey, while Jaidyn Vineyard led a balanced rushing attack with 56 yards and a score. 

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District 6-2A Div. II Report: Albany rallies twice to defeat Lubbock Trinity Christian

Albany 19, Lubbock Trinity Christian 15 — The Lions overcame two deficits — 7-0 and 15-13 — to overcome highly regarded Trinity Christian. 

Coy Lefevre rushed for 127 yards and one score and Cole Chapman threw for 94 yards and one touchdown to lead Albany, which finished with 364 yards in total offense. 

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District 4-3A Div. I Week 1 Report: Pleasant Grove too much for Brock in opener

Texarkana Pleasant Grove 28, Brock 7 — The Eagles had trouble slowing the Hawks running game and couldn’t get untracked themselves in a three-touchdown loss in Greenville.

Pleasant Grove attempted just two passes, both incompletions, but the Hawks amassed 345 yards on the ground, led by Spencer Danner with 159 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Jayden Stewart (8-60) and Jaylen Bourdley (7-50) also had rushing scores for Pleasant Grove, which rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit for the win.

Brock (0-1), which finished with just 178 total yards (81 passing, 97 rushing), got its points on a rushing touchdown by quarterback Tyler Moody, who finished 6-of-12 passing for 81 yards with an interception. Brett Tutter rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries, while Reid Watkins had a 62-yard reception.

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District 5-4A Div. I Report: ‘Jackets outlast Heritage in season-opening shootout

Stephenville 49, Midlothian Heritage 42 — Ryder Lambert hit 20 of 31 throws for 289 yards and five TDs to lead Stephenville to a thrilling win over Heritage. 

Leading 49-29 late in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets (1-0) held off a late Heritage rally that saw the Jaguars add a pair of late touchdowns. 

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District 3-4A Div. II Week 1 Report: Snyder opens season with home win over Slaton

Snyder 28, Slaton 14 — Snyder rode a big second quarter to a season-opening victory over Slaton in a clash of SHS Tigers.

Coach Wes Wood’s club was limited to 298 total yards (154 passing; 144 rushing), but that was enough thanks to a 21-point second quarter that staked the home team to a three-touchdown lead at halftime.

Snyder, which held Slaton to 222 total yards, was led offensively by quarterback Dyllan Angeley, who passed for 78 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 56 yards and added a 13-yard touchdown reception. Easton Stewart added 76 yards and two TDs passing, while Bug Arellano rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown and Dom Dominguez had 98 yards and one TD receiving. 

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District 4-2A Div. I Report: Cisco impressive in big win over Clyde

Cisco 41, Clyde 13 — Hunter Long rushed for 138 yards and three scores and rushed for 75 more and another touchdown to lead Cisco to a big win over Clyde. 

Cisco outgained the Bulldogs 464-311, with 389 yards of that coming on the ground. The Loboes led 20-7 at the break before putting the game away with a 21-6 second half. 

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District 2-4A Div. I Week 1 Report: Padron’s big passing day not enough for Big Spring against Pampa

Pampa 27, Big Spring 20 — Gavin Padron passed for 407 yards and three touchdowns for the Steers, but it wasn’t enough in a hard-fought loss to the Harvesters.

Big Spring (0-1) led 14-13 at halftime, but Pampa, which finished with 381 total yards (196 passing, 185 rushing) held the Steers to just one second-half touchdown in rallying for the victory.

In addition to Padron’s big day, Big Spring got a huge receiving performance from junior Zeyire Franklin, who hauled in seven passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Escovedo (5-63) and Kavien Ford (3-21) also had receiving scores, while Eli Cobos had a team-high nine catches for 84 yards.

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District 5-2A Div. I Week 1 Report: No. 9 Coleman edges Mason in slugfest

Coleman 7, Mason 6 — Leading by a point with just over a minute left, the Bluecats thwarted the Punchers’ two-point conversion attempt to escape this slugfest with a win Friday.

Coleman scored quickly to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter — an advantage it held until Mason answered with its only score with 1:03 remaining in the game. That set up the dramatic finish, which saw the Bluecats improve to 1-0.

CHS got its touchdown on a deep ball from quarterback Jadin Jackson to Braxton Smith, while Mason scored on a late bomb from Ivan Wofford to Hunter Goodwin.

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District 3-3A Div. I Report: Breckenridge dominates Jacksboro, former coach

Breckenridge 42, Jacksboro 13 Breckenridge spoiled the return of former coach Casey Hubble with 502 yards in total offense, including 308 yards rushing. 

Jerry Lawson rushed for 123 yards and one score on only 10 carries and Anson Rogers rushed for 90 yards on only nine carries to lead Breckenridge, which blew the game open with a 21-0 third quarter.

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District 5-3A Div. II Week 1 Report: Comanche runs past Brady in season opener

Comanche 49, Brady 7 — The Indians amassed 441 yards, 302 of those on the ground, in a lopsided win over Brady in the season opener for both teams Friday.

Led by sophomores Sawyer Wilkerson (12-103, 2 TDs) and Cayden Davis (7-94, 1 TD), Comanche (1-0) averaged 8.9 yards per carry, while quarterback Layden Welch (8-46 rushing) completed six of 10 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

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GAME STORY: Wylie outlasts Brownwood for thrilling 30-24 win in season opener

BROWNWOOD — The Wylie Bulldogs played one half of great offensive football and one half of clutch, shutdown defense Friday in their season opener against Brownwood. In the end, that was enough to add up to a thrilling 30-24 win over a scrappy Lions squad at Gordon Wood Stadium.

The Bulldogs put up 292 yards of offense over the first two quarters in building a 30-17 halftime lead, before hanging on for dear life in the second half.

Despite playing most of the final two quarters on its end of the field, the Wylie defense held Brownwood to just one second-half touchdown, forcing a fourth-quarter fumble at the 5-yard line to stymie a potential go-ahead drive before sealing the game with a three-and-out with under two minutes to play.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Hawley dominates shorthanded Jim Ned, 30-7 in season opener

HAWLEY — With nine players out of the lineup due to injuries, the Jim Ned Indians arrived at Hawley for the Big Country Preps Game of the Week with a lot of fresh faces seeing their first varsity playing time on Friday. 

They left with a 30-7 loss to a seasoned Hawley club that was executing from the outset. 

Rodey Hooper threw for 166 yards and two scores and Austin Cumpton rushed for 99 yards and two more TDs to lift Hawley (1-0), which had built a 24-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. 

“We feel good about how we executed, but we’ve got a lot of stuff we’ve got to fix,” said Hawley coach Mitch Ables, whose team overcame 12 penalties for 100 yards to get the win. “We had too many false starts and it seemed once we’d get going, we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. 

“Hopefully, the film sessions on Saturday will help out with that and we’ll get better.” 

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GAME STORY: Permian outlasts Abilene High in defensive slugfest

Coming off wins in 2020 and 2021 over Odessa Permian, the Abilene High football team was looking to extend its winning streak against its former Little Southwest Conference rival.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, the offense could never get on track in Friday’s season opener at Shotwell Stadium, where the Panthers grinded out a 17-3 win over AHS.

Permian’s defense held Abilene High to just 49 yards of offense and three first downs — a first-quarter Brelon Badon pass that Austin Wood ripped out of a Permian defensive back’s hands, a six-yard run by De’Zhon Magee in the second quarter and a third quarter pass interference penalty.

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GAME STORY: Miscues prove costly as Merkel drops season opener to Clifton

CISCO — Missed opportunities and missed assignments were the story of the game Thursday for Merkel — and ultimately the reason the Badgers finished on the losing end of a 20-12 score in their season opener against Clifton in a neutral-site matchup at Chesley Field.

Despite being outgained 311-107 and being held to negative rushing yardage, MHS  had chances to take control early and fight back into the game late. But on too many of those occasions, the Badgers saw an ill-timed miscue turn a promising opportunity into a missed one, resulting in a frustrating night for coach Will Kates and his players.

Including a pair of errant snaps that ended potential scoring chances, Merkel went backwards on 13 of its 40 plays, making sustaining drives difficult. And the Badgers’ inability to get Clifton’s run-based offense off the field in a timely manner — the Cubs rushed for 276 yards and had 15 first downs — put Kates’ squad in a tough spot once their counterparts recovered from a slow offensive start.

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GAME STORY: Special teams mistakes doom Cooper in season-opening loss to Keller

Chris Warren threw for 287 yards and the Cooper defense held Keller to 200 yards, but it was a pair of special teams mistakes that nullified those efforts as the Indians took a 34-16 win at Shotwell Stadium in the season opener on Thursday night.

Keller’s Ryan Ventura had a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown with 2:50 to play in the third quarter to give the Indians a 20-16 lead before following it up with a 35-yard touchdown run on a fake punt on fourth-and-13 with 2:03 left to ice the game.

Despite the special teams mistakes, Cooper coach Aaron Roan saw a lot of good things out of his squad to start the year.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 1)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games and select six-man games, in addition to the results of Evan Ren’s Twitter polls for each matchup.

For those interested in voting, polls go up on Monday night each week.

Disagree with our picks or the Twitter consensus? Let us know in the comments section below.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 1)”

Big Country Preps Preseason Football Position Rankings: Quarterbacks

After a week of highlighting area playmakers, we wrap up our eight-part preseason position rankings series with the Big Country’s best signal callers.

To complete our look at the area’s top players, we’ve ranked our top 10 quarterbacks with a list of others to watch in 2022.

We hope you enjoy this list and that you’ve enjoyed our position rankings as we get set to kick off a new season.

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BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned, Hawley square off in clash of area powers (w/ Evan Ren’s Week 1 picks)

LAST WEEK: 0-0, .000
SEASON TOTAL: 0-0, .000

It’s difficult to believe, but we’re here already. The season opener of 2022 has arrived and before you blink, you’ll be Christmas shopping.

As always, we will provide this weekly forecast for games around the area, from our BCP Game of the Week, all the way down to the most obscure matchups the Big Country can provide.

So without further delay, let’s dive in with both feet.

Here’s this week’s area football forecast.

I’ll see you on the road.

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Big Country Preps Preseason Football Position Rankings: Running Backs

As we wind down our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we arrive finally at the Big Country’s top ball-carriers.

After breaking down this year’s crop of receivers and tight ends earlier today, we move now to the area’s top backs, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch in 2022. Don’t forget to check in Thursday when we conclude our series with the top 10 area quarterbacks.

We hope you enjoy tonight’s list and encourage you to check out the other position groups, which are linked below.

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Big Country Preps Preseason Football Position Rankings: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

We’re approaching the final stretch of our eight-part preseason position rankings series, and it’s time to look at the Big Country’s top receivers.

After starting the offensive portion of our series Tuesday with the linemen, we now shift our attention to the playmakers on the perimeter, ranking our top 10 wideouts/tight ends with a list of others to watch in 2022.

We hope you enjoy our list and encourage you to check out the other position groups, which are linked below.   

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Big Country Preps Preseason Football Position Rankings: Offensive Linemen

With the defensive and special teams rankings behind us, it’s time to look at the area’s top offensive players. And we’ll start with the foundation of any productive offense: the offensive line.

For the fifth installment of our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we turn our attention to the trenches, ranking the Big Country’s top 10 offensive linemen with a list of others to watch in 2022.

We hope you enjoy reading through our rankings.

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EVAN REN: Is Haskell witnessing a genuine miracle on the gridiron?

HASKELL — Is there such a thing as a genuine, God-produced miracle?

The answer you receive to that question will largely depend upon who’s answering. But the fact that unexplainable events associated with the term “miracle” do occur is undeniable.

Such a circumstance is currently taking place in Haskell, where second-year football coach Mitch McLemore is in remission from Stage 4 esophageal cancer — a case so bad that he was given a five percent chance of defeating it. 

Are we witnessing divine intervention? One can offer any opinion they wish on this case, but if you fail to credit God for it in front of McLemore, it’s going to fall on deaf ears. 

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