Category: Santo Wildcats

District 8-2A Div. II Week 9 Report: Cross Plains routs Meridian for first district win

Cross Plains 60, Meridian 12 — The Buffaloes snapped a two-game district losing streak and all but clinched the No. 4 playoff seed in this league with a lopsided win over the YellowJackets.

Needing a win to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 2014, coach Daniel Purvis’ squad raced out to a 35-6 lead by halftime and cruised from there to the blowout. Cross Plains outgained Meridian 520-225, rushing for 341 of those yards. 

Kade Purvis passed for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while Ryan Hopkins (3-113, 2 TDs rushing; 7-80, 2 TDs) had a huge day in both the running and passing game.The 60 points were a season-high for the Buffs, which had been limited to 13 points through its first two district contests. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Cisco to battle Coleman with top seed in the balance (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 35-11, .760
SEASON TOTAL: 322-74, .813

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will send me south to historic Hufford Field in Coleman, where the Bluecats (6-0) will play host to perennial power Cisco (6-1) in what is essentially the District 4-2A Division I championship.

Opened way back in 1934, Hufford is one of the Big Country’s oldest and most unique venues and if you are looking for a game to go to on Friday, this one will not only offer some good football, but some nostalgia as well.

The immense rock wall surrounding the field was built in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration or WPA as the nation battled its way out of The Great Depression.

Hope to see you there.

Here are this week’s picks:  

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned’s Wishert claims the top spot

It’s one thing to rush for more than 300 yards and three scores against a struggling program. We see that all the time from the area’s top running backs. 

But it’s an entirely different thing when those yards come against a solid team with a sturdy defense. That’s earning it the hard way.

Jim Ned’s Xavier Wishert, our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week, took that route on Friday night when he charted 313 yards rushing and three scores on just 20 carries in a 37-20 road win over the Wall Hawks. 

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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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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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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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FEATURE: Mann, Thornton join forces to help Santo to 6-0 start

Photos courtesy of Jim Taylor

rioAfter Santo knocked off Rio Vista in the first game this season, head coach Devon Mann had a gift to deliver.

Mann admittedly isn’t a big fan of delving out game balls, but he made an exception in Week 1, presenting the pigskin to someone he knows well – Santo’s all-time winningest coach Randy Thornton.

After four years away running Hico’s program, Thornton has returned to the small Palo Pinto County town and joined Mann’s staff as the offensive coordinator.

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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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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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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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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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