Category: Albany Lions

District 8-2A Div. II Week 8 Report: Santo blasts Cross Plains to remain undefeated

rioSanto 42, Cross Plains 7 — The Wildcats scored early and often in a big district win over the Buffaloes, piling up 367 rushing yards in the victory.

Quarterback Case Procter (13-137, 1 TD) and running back Sam Henderson (10-100, 3 TDs) both went over the century mark for rushing yards, while Procter also threw a touchdown pass to Billy Sandoval. Elijah Pennington had Santo’s other score.

The Wildcats (7-0, 1-0) built a 28-0 lead by halftime and increased that advantage to 42-0 before Cross Plains (4-3, 0-2) finally got on the board. Santo outgained the Buffs 394-163, limiting CPHS to just 57 yards rushing.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Roscoe travels to Ralls for crucial district game (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 40-7, .851
SEASON TOTAL: 287-63, .820

Week 8? Are you kidding?

I ask the same question, or some variant of it virtually every year. We just finished with two-a-days. How can we possibly be this deep in the season so quickly?

Yet hear we are. A cold weather snap approaching. Thanksgiving right around the corner —as are the playoffs.

This week’s Game of the Week will see me traveling north to Ralls where the surprising Roscoe Plowboys, off to their best start in years, will be in a showdown for the district lead.

The column hit at 85 percent accuracy last week and is now up to 82 percent on the year. So we’ll see if we can keep the momentum going through the home stretch.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks: 

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 8)

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 morning.

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

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 12)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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FEATURE: Albany’s Chapman making move to quarterback look easy

Albany’s Denney Faith had high expectations before the 2021 season regarding Cole Chapman taking over the reins of the Lions’ attack.  

Faith had seen Chapman excel at the position at lower levels. He’d seen Chapman thrive on varsity last season at receiver and cornerback.  

Faith also knew the supporting cast Albany had would be able to put Chapman in the best position possible to succeed.  

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 7 Report: Hico gets defensive in big district win over Cross Plains

Hico 14, Cross Plains 6 — The Tigers scored a huge victory for their playoff hopes, intercepting the Buffaloes four times to overcome a 231-173 deficit in total offense.

Hico (4-3, 1-0), which went to halftime up 8-6, capped the scoring with a pick-six when Cooper Roach stepped in front of a third-quarter pass from Kade Purvis and returned it for a touchdown.

Angel Gonzalez added two interceptions and Jayden Crouch had one for the Tigers, who were led offensively by Reese Polk with 94 yards and a touchdown passing. Cross Plains (4-2, 0-1), which held Hico to just 87 rushing yards on 34 carries, was led on offense by Ryan Hopkins, who rushed for 40 yards and the Buffs’ only touchdown and hauled in six passes for a game-high 71 yards.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF WEEK: Unbeaten Early, Jim Ned clash in huge district opener (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 39-4, .906
SEASON TOTAL: 247-56, .815

Gramps Ren is back in the groove, hitting over 90 percent of his picks a week ago, to push this column’s season percentage to .815 as we head into district play across the area.

Whether or not I can keep the momentum remains to be seen, entering what might be the toughest week of area picks I’ve seen this year, with multiple games that I would rate as near-tossups.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see us heading to Tuscola where Jim Ned will begin its District 3-3A DI title defense against a red-hot, unbeaten team from Early.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks …

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FEATURE: Cotter’s arrival in Albany gives Lady Lions one of the area’s most versatile players

Albany’s Sarah Beth Cotter is still relatively new to volleyball.  

Those who’ve been the victim of her thunderous kills lately would be slightly surprised to find out Cotter didn’t begin playing the sport until the eighth grade.  

That’s when she enrolled in Albany ISD after previously having been home-schooled.  

“I begged my mom to let me go to public school so I could play multiple sports,” Cotter said. “I had only played tennis my whole life but wanted to try something new. The switch wasn’t too hard because I already knew most of the girls at my school and on my sports teams.”  

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 5)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sweetwater QB Holsey takes the spotlight

A quick look at the box score from Sweetwater’s 70-54 win over Eastland and one just knew that the Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week was located somewhere in that massive pile of numbers. 

SHS quarterback Leo Holsey emerged as the top man, hitting 17 of 19 throws for 434 yards and six touchdowns.

Add his 101 yards rushing on 15 carries with three more scores and the choice was made easy — even on a night with 1,277 yards in combined total offense between the two teams. 

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 6 Report: Albany crushes Olney to stay perfect at 5-0

Albany 55, Olney 6 — The Lions rushed for 294 yards, getting touchdowns from five players in a blowout win over the Cubs.

Jaheim Newton rushed for 127 yards and two TDs, while quarterback Cole Chapman rushed for 63 yards and two scores and passed for another to help Albany improve to 5-0.

Robert Bailey (2-73) and Samuel Rosas (1-18) also had rushing touchdowns for the Lions, who got a touchdown catch from Adam Hill.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Steers plays host to Littlefield, Gramps Ren rebounds (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 45-6, .882
SEASON TOTAL: 208-52, .800

After a disastrous night of picking football games on Sept. 19 that saw his season percentage dip below .800, Gramps Ren has rebounded. Thank you, thank you. 

Last Friday saw this column hit with more than 88 percent accuracy on games throughout the Big Country, pulling its season percentage to an even .800 as we hit the season’s midpoint. 

This week I’ll be heading west — way West — to the very edge of our coverage area to get a first-hand look at the Big Spring Steers in their matchup with Littlefield in our Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks, shall we? 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Snyder’s Benitez takes the top spot

Defensive specialists seldom get the attention they deserve in volleyball. Not unlike offensive linemen in football, who do the dirty work behind the scenes that enables the glamour positions to shine. 

That isn’t the case at Big Country Preps, where we take pride in giving credit to those willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. 

Snyder libero Abby Benitez, perhaps the best defender in the entire Big Country, fits that mold and has captured our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the week ending Sept. 25. 

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 5 Report: Santo rallies to knock off 3A Millsap 36-33

rioSanto 36, Millsap 33 — Moving up a division to take on the Bulldogs, the Wildcats stayed unbeaten with a come-from-behind victory. 

Trailing 20-13 at halftime, Santo (5-0) outscored Millsap 16-6 in the third quarter to take the lead and held on down the stretch to escape with the victory.

The Wildcats overcame a 457-409 deficit in total yardage, getting big offensive days from quarterback Case Procter (4-6-0—80 passing; 21-115, 2 TDs rushing) and running back Sam Henderson (13-125, 2 TDs rushing). Jake Bryan (6-54 rushing) also had a touchdown for Santo, which allowed 395 passing yards but came up with two big interceptions.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned, Snyder clash in battle of unbeatens (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country picks)

LAST WEEK: 36-16, .692
OVERALL: 163-46, .779

After four straight weeks of picking 80 percent or better, the USS Ren ran aground last Friday, bottoming out with a season-low .692 percentage and dropping my season tally to .779.

I generally like to be above 80 percent by midseason, so last Friday served as a wakeup call. Actually, it was more of a gut punch. But I’ll get over it.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see me traveling to Snyder, where the unbeaten Class 4A Tigers will play host to 3A DI state champion Jim Ned in what should be an absolutely electric atmosphere. 

You all set? Let’s dive in to this week’s picks. 

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 21)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville QB takes the top spot

When you combine our two key factors in selecting our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week — quality of numbers and level of difficulty — nobody outperformed Stephenville quarterback Ryder Lambert last week in SHS’ 37-7 rout of Class 5A Abilene Wylie. 

Lambert connected on 22 of 28 throws for 458 yards and five scores to help push the Yellow Jackets to 4-0. 

Just four weeks in and the ‘Jackets are looking like they could win Texas’ most difficult 4A district (5-4A DI), despite having road dates with Waco La Vega and Midlothian Heritage. 

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 4 Report: Hico gets defensive in win over Junction

Hico 24, Junction 7 — The Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a three-score win over a previously unbeaten Eagles team in Bangs.

Hico (2-2) only had 190 yards of total offense, but the Tigers held Junction to 59 yards on 41 snaps and forced a pair of turnovers.

Angel Gonzalez led HHS with 85 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Jaydon Qualls rushed for 43 yards on three attempts.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 14)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 3 Report: Santo blasts Itasca to stay perfect at 3-0

rioSanto 46, Itasca 6 — The Wildcats got out to a fast start, scoring 21 first-quarter points, and never looked back in routing the Wampus Cats. 

Coach Devon Mann’s Santo squad (3-0) outgained Itasca 356-145, rushing for all but three of its yards while holding the Wampus Cats to minus-15 rushing yards.

Up 21-0 at halftime, the Wildcats put the game out of reach with three third-quarter touchdowns. Itasca scored late in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Brady cancels, Ren goes scrambling (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 42-9, .823
SEASON TOTAL: 85-21, .801

I was very much looking forward to our Big Country Preps Game of the Week – Coleman (2-0) at Brady (2-0). Unfortunately, COVID intervened by midweek, forcing a cancellation of the contest.

On a positive note, there are several other quality games throughout the area for us to focus on, and (taking a bow) the column is already hitting over 80 percent on picks and we’re only in Week 3.

Numbers of that sort are generally reserved for Weeks 7-10, so I’m feeling pressure to keep the early momentum going.

In the absence of our Game of the Week, I’ll be heading to Cross Plains on Friday, where Haskell will be paying a visit to the Buffaloes (COVID allowing, of course).

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks:

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Big Spring QB Baeza takes top spot

Much of the Big Country remains unaware of him. But Big Spring senior Gabriel Baeza has begun to post numbers that demand attention, and he’s starting to get it. 

His latest effort: 374 yards passing for three touchdowns in a 49-10 win over Lubbock High School to push Big Spring to a 2-0 start.

This week’s Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week also rushed 12 times for 56 yards and three additional scores, giving him a direct hand in six TDs. 

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District 8-2A Div. II Week 2 Report: Albany finds stride in lopsided win over Dublin

Albany 48, Dublin 21 — After having their opener against Colorado City canceled, coach Denney Faith’s Lions pushed through a sluggish start to blow out Dublin in their first game of the year.

AHS didn’t get on the board until the 4:48 mark of the second quarter and led just 14-7 at halftime. But Faith’s squad got going after halftime, outscoring DHS 21-0 in the third quarter to turn a one-score game into a runaway.

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