Author: Daniel Youngblood

District 13-3A Division I: Week 4 Report

Dublin 21, Brady 12 — The Lions built a 21-0 lead before hanging on for a win at home. DHS absorbed a late fourth-quarter rally from Brady that saw failed two-point conversion and onside kick attempts in the final minute.

For more details, please read Evan Ren’s full report on our Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

The Lions will host Breckenridge (0-4) for their homecoming next Friday. Brady (1-3) will host Jim Ned (4-0) on the same evening. 

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District 4-3A Division I: Week 4 Report

Brock 26, Breckenridge 7 — The Eagles overcame four turnovers Friday with a stellar defensive performance and did enough offensively to earn a convincing road win over Breckenridge at Buckaroo Stadium.

Brock outgained the Buckaroos 354-217, forcing three turnovers and pounding out 273 rushing yards to help counteract the effect of four lost fumbles. Cash Jones was the Eagles’ leading rusher, going for 133 yards on 19 carries, while Kutter Wilson (8-73), Myles Semas (8-27) and Logan Lightfoot (4-6) all had rushing scores.

Brock, which also got a 60-yard TD pass from Jones to Jack Fuchs, improved to 3-1 with the victory. The Eagles will open district play next week at Pilot Point.

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District 7-2A Division I: Week 4 Report

Salinas

San Saba 70, Snook 0 — The Armadillos scored their third shutout in a row Friday, thrashing the Bluejays to improve to 4-0 on the season.

San Saba, which has outscored its first four opponents 247-3, led Snook 50-0 by halftime before pulling back on the reins in the second half. Quarterback Sean O’Keefe led the Armadillos, rushing for three touchdowns and passing for two, while Eli Salinas had scoring runs of 52 and 18 yards and Logan Glover added a pick-six.

San Saba will wrap up nondistrict play next week at Ingram Moore before opening District 7-2A Division I action Oct. 11 at home against Goldthwaite.

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District 1-4A Division II: Week 4 Report

Iowa Park 46, Sweetwater 0 — After averaging 38.7 points through their first three games, the Mustangs were stymied Friday by a tough Iowa Park team.

The Hawks outgained Sweetwater 430-128, intercepting Sweetwater quarterback Leo Holsey twice in building a 46-0 halftime lead. Trent Green led Iowa Park, passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 64 yards and a score and catching a 29-yard TD pass.

Now 1-3, the Mustangs will have to regroup quickly as they open District 1-4A Division II play next week with a home game against league-favorite Midland Greenwood.

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District 7-2A Division II: Week 4 Report

Hawley 22, Albany 20 — The Bearcats raced out to a 22-7 first-quarter lead Friday and held on over the final three periods to remain unbeaten on the season at 4-0.

Hawley, which got a touchdown run and pass from quarterback Xavier Rodela, appeared to be in control early. But the Lions shut out the Bearcats after the 13-second mark of the first quarter. Ben West pulled AHS within two points with TD passes to Dillon Hindman in the third quarter and Blaine Kayga in the fourth, but a failed two-point conversion after the final score proved to be the difference in the game.

Hawley will put its unbeaten record back on the line next week when it hosts Windthorst, while Albany (2-2) will will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it welcomes Peaster to Robert Nail Stadium.

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GAME RECAP: Abbe, defense lead Eagles to first win at Midland High

MIDLAND — Eric Abbe rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns, and the Abilene High defense bottled up a strong Midland High running game Friday to pick up a 28-7 road win and give Mike Fullen his first victory as a head coach.

AHS scored one touchdown in each quarter and shut out the Bulldogs until the 2:52 mark of the final period to head into their District 3-6A opener next week at North Richland Hills Richland on a high note.

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GAME STORY: Cooper shuts out Wylie for second straight year

It wasn’t one of Cooper’s cleaner games offensively, but as well as the Cougar defense played, that really didn’t matter.

Coach Aaron Roan’s squad shut out Wylie for the second consecutive year, taking the second Southtown Showdown by a 30-0 margin at Shotwell Stadium.

The Coogs outgained the Bulldogs 318-179, grabbing the momentum early with a couple of big interceptions and cruised from that point to their fourth consecutive win to open the season.

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Big Country Preps Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 4)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-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 and close Thursday night.

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

Continue reading “Big Country Preps Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 4)”

FEATURE: Wylie Bulldogs seek to reverse slow-starting trend

Sitting at 0-3 and sporting a 15-game losing streak dating back 2017, the Wylie Bulldogs are off to another rocky start. 

Fighting through a brutal nondistrict schedule — Wylie’s first five opponents have combined to go 13-2 so far — the ‘Dogs have yet to hold a lead at any point this season, having been outscored by an 85-13 margin in the first halves of three lopsided losses.

Stumbling out of the blocks in each of those ballgames, coach Hugh Sandifer’s squad has effectively spent its entire season playing catch-up. That’s a trend the veteran coach wants to see end this week against crosstown rival Cooper, and it must, he said, if the Bulldogs hope to get their season back on track in time for district.

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FEATURE: AHS’ Wright making most of senior season

Playing behind a pair of all-district picks a year ago, Abilene High defensive end Dylan Wright saw his action limited to one game as a junior, playing only in the Eagles’ season finale at Euless Trinity.

So if you weren’t familiar with that name when this season began, you weren’t alone.

But through his first three games as a full-time starter, the rangy senior has forced people to take note of him this year — particularly opposing coaches and quarterbacks.

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FEATURE: Chemistry, maturity fuel Cooper’s defensive rise

Last year, a young Cooper defense showed flashes of brilliance, but bouts of inconsistency led to wild fluctuations in performance from week to week and, ultimately, a 6-6 campaign.

With most of the talent back from that unit this year, the Cougar defense is starting to find some of the consistency it lacked in 2018. And the results have been quite impressive thus far.

The Coogs have yet to allow more than two offensive touchdowns in a game during their 3-0 start, while forcing eight total turnovers (three fumbles, five interceptions) and limiting opponents to 4.8 yards per play.

But talking to some of the players most responsible for that unit’s growth, you might not realize the Cooper defense has been as successful as it has. For those guys, it’s not about what the Coogs have done to this point, but what they need to do to get better in the future.

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BCP Podcast No. 62: Stephenville’s Sterling Doty visits with Evan, Daniel

After a successful five-year run at Magnolia High School, following a stint as an assistant and offensive coordinator at Cooper, Sterling Doty has returned home to lead the Stephenville program he helped to two state titles in the late 1990s.

This week, Doty took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about his team, the pressure he faces as Stephenville’s coach and some of his influences for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast. 

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss some of their takeaways from the third week of the Big Country football season and take a look at the top matchups in Week 4.

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! 

BCP PODAST ARCHIVE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS FACEBOOK PAGE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

District 3-6A: Week 3 Report

Cooper 23, Abilene High 14 — Down 16-0 midway through the second quarter, the Eagles mounted a comeback that had them in position to take the lead early in the fourth. But a failed fourth-down conversion try at the Cooper 23 swung momentum back the Cougars’ way and left AHS with its third straight loss to open the season.

Junior quarterback Matthew Ezzell sparked the Eagle offense, replacing senior Eric Abbe and leading both of AHS’ scoring drives. Ezzell, who finished the game 13 of 22 for 172 yards and a touchdown, helped the Warbirds to two other scoring chances while leading the offense — the first ending in a blocked field goal and the second with the Coogs’ fourth-down stop.

AHS will try again for its first win under first-year head coach Mike Fullen on Friday, when it travels west for a matchup with former district rival Midland High.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 3 Report

Cooper 23, Abilene High 14 — The Cougars rushed out to a 16-0 lead and held off an Abilene High rally, using a fourth-down stop on the first play of the fourth quarter to regain momentum after the Eagles had pulled within two points with a pair of touchdown drives.

Cooper, which improved to 3-0 with the victory, outgained AHS 296-278, passing for 147 yards and rushing for 149 in a balanced effort. Quarterback Aidan Thompson had an efficient night passing, hitting 10 of 16 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, while Noah Garcia paced the running game with 154 yards and the game-sealing touchdown with 4:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Cougars will go from one crosstown rivalry to another this week when they take on Wylie at Shotwell Stadium. A win in that one would give the Coogs’ their third 4-0 start since 2010, with the others coming in 2010 and 2017. 

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 3 Report

Stephenville 34, Wylie 0 — A disastrous start put Wylie down 21-0 by the end of the first quarter Friday, and the Bulldogs never recovered in a shutout loss at Tarleton Memorial Stadium.

A bad snap on the game’s first play from scrimmage led to a three and out on Wylie’s first possession, and the next two ended on fumbles deep in Bulldog territory. Stephenville capitalized on all three mistakes, scoring on its first three possessions to take a three-touchdown lead it would add to after halftime.

For the game, the Yellow Jackets outgained Wylie  390-93, getting 199 yards and two touchdowns passing from Kade Renfro and 128 yards and two scores rushing from Kason Philips.

The Bulldogs (0-3), who rushed for just six yards in the loss, will have another tough game this week, when they take on Cooper on Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

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District 13-3A Division II: Week 3 Report

Llano 49, Brady 24 — The Bulldogs hung with Class 4A Llano for three quarters Friday, but the undefeated Yellowjackets scored 28 fourth-quarter points to turn a nine-point game after three quarters into a 25-point win. 

Llano outgained Brady 498-222, but the Yellowjackets had three turnovers, keeping the game close early. LHS led 14-0 at halftime, but the Bulldogs outscored the Yellowjackets 12-7 in the third to pull within 21-12 heading into the fourth quarter.

Brady, which was led in the loss by Walker Bauer (12-31-1—122 passing; 16-64, 1 TD rushing), will return to the field Friday with a nondistrict game at Dublin.

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District 4-3A Division I: Week 3 Report

Lightfoot

Brock 28, Argyle Liberty Christian 21 — The Eagles outscored the Warriors 21-7 over the middle two quarters and made a goal line stand in the waning seconds Friday to edge Liberty Christian and improve to 2-1 on the season.

Brock, which was outgained 406-386, trailed 14-7 after a quarter and 21-14 at the nine-minute mark of the second period. But coach Chad Worrell’s team scored the final 14 points of the game, getting touchdown runs Nos. 3 and 4 from Cash Jones to take a 28-21 lead that it would protect the rest of the way.

Jones had 202 rushing yards on 28 carries to lead Brock, while quarterback Logan Lightfoot hit five of seven throws for 90 yards. The Eagles will close out nondistrict play next week at Breckenridge.

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District 7-2A Division I: Week 3 Report

Salinas

San Saba 63, Junction 0 — The Armadillos followed a 28-point first quarter with a 35-point second, reaching a season-high scoring total by halftime of their third blowout win to open the season.

San Saba, which has outscored its opponents 177-3 so far, put up 509 yards in the victory — 339 rushing and 170 passing. Quarterback Sean O’Keefe led that effort, completing seven of nine passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns while adding 159 yards and two more scores rushing.

The Amardillos, who also got a 100-yard rushing effort from Eli Salinas (10-110, 2 TDs), will look to continue their dominant start to the season next week, when they travel to Georgetown for a neutral site game against Snook.

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District 1-4A Division II: Week 3 Report

Carr

Wichita Falls Hirschi 70, Sweetwater 41 — The Mustangs rallied from 20-point deficit to pull within five on two occasions in the third quarter Friday, but the Huskies simply had too much firepower, using a 30-point fourth fourth quarter to pull away late.

Leo Holsey threw five touchdown passes — three to Darian Carr and two to Kei-Arriyen Griffin — to lead a solid offensive showing for Sweetwater. But the Mustang defense struggled to contain and explosive Hirschi attack, despite recovering six fumbles. The Huskies, who led 20-6 at halftime, scored 50 second-half points.

Now 1-2 on the year, the Mustangs will try to get back on track next week when they travel to Iowa Park for their final nondistrict tune-up. They open league play the following week with a home game against district favorite Midland Greenwood.

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District 7-2A Division II: Week 3 Report

Burson

Haskell 14, Peaster 13 — The Indians only managed 192 yards of total offense Friday, but a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Cutter Medford to Logan Burson were enough to lift coach Brian Hodnett’s squad to a one-point win over the Class 3A Greyhounds.

Peaster struck first in the second quarter with a 63-yard touchdown run by Shawn Glover, and the score remained 7-0 into the fourth. Scoring passes of 26 and 34 yards put the Indians up 14-7, and a failed two-point conversion on a late Greyhound touchdown allowed Haskell to escape with the narrow victory.

Medford passed for 136 yards and Burson received for 110 for the Indians (2-1), who limited Peaster to 259 yards and forced five turnovers. Haskell will host Stamford next week.

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GAME STORY: Cooper comes through in clutch, holds off AHS in Crosstown Showdown

The Cooper Cougars weren’t perfect Friday night, but when it came down to it, they made the plays necessary to win in a 23-14 victory over Abilene High in the 59th annual Crosstown Showdown.

Two key special teams plays — a safety on a bad punt snap and a blocked field goal — helped the Coogs build a 16-0 second-quarter lead. And a big fourth-down stop in the third quarter with AHS threatening to steal the lead proved to be the play of the game, swinging the momentum back in Cooper’s favor and allowing coach Aaron Roan’s team to seal the win with a clutch touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

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FEATURE: Abilene High RB Dotson growing into go-to role for Eagles

Abilene High running back Phonzo Dotson flashed huge potential as a sophomore in 2018, but a pair of injuries limited the impact he could make for the 5-5 Eagles.

Now fully healthy as a junior, Dotson has assumed the featured role it was always believed he was destined for, and the early returns have been just what coach Mike Fullen expected.

Through the first two games of the season, home losses to Amarillo Tascosa (19-14) and Midland Lee (35-21), the AHS standout has rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown on just 33 carries. And if Dotson can avoid the injury bug that bit him so hard a year ago, Fullen feels he has even bigger things ahead of him.

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Big Country Preps Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 3)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-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 and close Thursday night.

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

Continue reading “Big Country Preps Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 3)”

FEATURE: Close-knit Cooper offensive line getting the job done

Ranked third among area rushers with 366 yards through the season’s first two weeks, running back Noah Garcia is widely considered the centerpiece of the Cooper offense. And coming off a sophomore season in which he rushed for 1,479 yards and 11 touchdowns, it’s not hard to see why.

But without the the six players in front of him with less recognizable names, Garcia’s production would not be possible.

Paving the way for more than 4,500 yards last season, including 2,607 on the ground, it’s the the offensive line that really makes the Cooper spread attack go. But as long as the chains are moving and the team is winning games, those guys at the front and center are content to fade into the background.

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FEATURE: Wylie views quarterback rotation as strength, not weakness

There’s a football axiom trumpeted by fans and some coaches that if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.

The idea there, essentially, is that if you’re playing two quarterbacks, it’s because one hasn’t risen above the other and earned the job outright with his performance. 

Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer is not among those who subscribe to this widely held theory. The longtime Bulldog coach is more than happy to utilize two signal callers if he thinks it will help his team.

And in the case of the 2019 Bulldogs, who have seen juniors Jaxon Hansen and Balin Valentine combine to pass for 287 yards per game through the first two weeks of the season, it’s hard to argue with his logic.

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BCP Podcast No. 61: Chris Joslin talks Coahoma football with Evan, Daniel

After a late arrival at Coahoma, Chris Joslin led the Bulldogs to a 4-7 record in his first season as a head football coach. This year, with most of that squad back, he has his team off to a 2-0 start, through which it has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 78-9 margin.

This week, Joslin took some time to talk to Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this year’s team and his transition to the head coaching role on the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the most interesting developments of Week 2 of the Big Country football season and take a look at the top matchups of Week 3.

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! 

BCP PODAST ARCHIVE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS FACEBOOK PAGE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

District 3-6A: Week 2 Report

Midland Lee 35, Abilene High 21 The Rebel passing game proved too much for the Eagles to handle, finishing with 319 yards through the air, including three touchdown strikes of 45 or more yards.

After AHS opened the scoring with a 99-yard touchdown drive late in the first quarter, Lee countered with four consecutive touchdowns — all passing — to take a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter. The Eagles, who got a team-leading 86 rushing yards from Phonzo Dotson, pulled within 14 later in the third, but the Rebels answered with the first score of the fourth to put the game away.

AHS, which was outgained 461-267, will go for its first win Friday at Shotwell Stadium, where it takes on rival Cooper in the annual Crosstown Showdown.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 2 Report

Cooper 42, Grapevine 14 The Cooper running game was overpowering and the defense opportunistic in a dominating Week 2 win over the Mustangs.

Led by Noah Garcia, who rushed for 259 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes for 53 yards and another score, the Cougars outgained Grapevine 418-299, pounding out 342 yards on the ground on 38 carries. On defense, meanwhile, the Coogs got interceptions from Dylon Davis and LaDainian Diaz and added two more takeaways on fumble recoveries.

Now 2-0 to start the season, Cooper will try to stay unbeaten this week when it takes on rival Abilene High in the annual Crosstown Showdown at Shotwell Stadium.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 2 Report

Lubbock Monterey 49, Wylie 26 Wylie had another solid day offensively, particularly through the air, but quarterback Coreon Bailey and the Plainsmen were just too much for the Bulldogs.

The Monterey signal caller hit 21 of 28 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 46 yards and another score to lead a 601-yard effort for the Plainsmen. Wylie, meanwhile, gained 341 yards, including 280 yards and three TDs passing.

QB Jaxon Hansen led the Bulldog effort, hitting 13 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two scores while rushing for a team-leading 44 yards on eight carries. Receiver Creed Cooper also had a big night, hauling in 10 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown.

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District 13-3A Division II: Week 2 Report

Brady 59, Haskell 24 — A field goal on Haskell’s first possession staked the Indians to an early 3-0 lead, but coach Shay Easterwood’s squad responded with 29 unanswered points over the remainder of the first quarter and never looked back from there.

Haskell pulled within 19 points at halftime (29-10), but Brady scored the first three touchdowns of the second half to push ahead 51-10 by the start of the fourth quarter and coasted from that point to the win.

With the victory, Brady will take a 1-1 record into its road game at Llano, while Haskell (1-1) is idle next week.

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District 7-2A Division I: Week 2 Report

Partin

Goldthwaite 36, Junction 27 — The Goldthwaite Eagles picked up their first win over the Keith Virdell era on Friday, outlasting a Junction team that had opened the season with a surprising win over Class 3A Ingram Moore.

Goldthwaite jumped out to an early 13-0 lead, but allowed 20 unanswered points to fall behind by a touchdown in the second quarter. Virdell’s Eagles answered, however, scoring to push ahead 21-20 at halftime before outscoring the home team 15-7 in the second half. 

Dusty Partin and Jackson Patrick led the way for GHS, rushing for 105 and 103 yards, respectively, with two touchdowns apiece. Now 1-1, Goldthwaite will try to build on its first victory on Friday, when they head to Coleman to take on the winless Bluecats.

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District 4-3A Division I: Week 2 Report

Brock 21, Iowa Park 7 — The Eagles bounced back from their season-opening loss to Brownwood with an impressive victory over the Class 4A  Hawks.

Brock, which pounded out 303 yards on the ground, opened the scoring with Cash Jones’ first of three touchdown runs in the first quarter and built on a 7-0 halftime lead with single scores in each of the final two quarters. Down 21-0 in the fourth quarter, Iowa Park finally got on the board with a long touchdown pass.

Jones finished with 181 yards on 25 carries to pace Brock (1-1), which will host Argyle Liberty Christian in Week 3.

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District 1-4A Division II: Week 2 Report

Sweetwater 48, Big Spring 27 — After breaking a 21-all tie late in the second quarter to take a seven-point lead into halftime, the Mustangs outscored the Steers by two touchdowns over the final two periods to secure their first victory of the 2019 season.

Quarterback Leo Holsey led the effort, completing 12 of 15 passes for 148 yard and two touchdowns, while adding 110 more yards and two additional scores on the ground. Cedrick Brown also had a big day running the ball for Sweetwater, finishing with 115 yards and two TDs on 23 carries.

The Mustangs (1-1) will look to double last season’s win total with a victory next week at home against Wichita Falls Hirschi, while Big Spring (0-2) will try to get into the win column when it hits the road to take on a struggling Monahans squad.

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District 7-2A Division II: Week 2 Report

Albany 28, Dublin 21 — Coach Denney Faith’s Lions raced out to a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter and held off a late Dublin rally in the fourth to earn the win at Robert Nail Stadium and open the season 2-0.

Albany quarterback Ben West threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the win, with 106 yards and one of those scores going to B.J. Morris, who also added a touchdown run.

Dublin meanwhile got 294 passing yards and three scores from Cy Wing and a 100-yard receiving game from Colten Couch (9-124, 2 TDs), scoring twice in the fourth quarter to trim AHS’ lead to one touchdown with just under six minutes remaining in the game.

Albany, which has now avenged two losses from last year, will try to increase that number to three next week when it travels to Eastland. Dublin (1-1), meanwhile, will play a road game at De Leon.

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