Tag: Local football

Birdville ends Cooper’s season with 49-14 win

MINERAL WELLS — The combination of Laderrious Mixon and Stone Earle proved too much for Cooper on Friday, as the North Richland Hills Birdville running back-quarterback duo combined for more than 450 total yards in a 49-14 victory in a Region I-5A Division I area-round game at Ram Stadium.

Mixon ran for 200 yards and a touchdown while also catching a 30-yard TD pass on a trick play, and Earle passed for 233 yards and four scores while adding a fifth score on the ground.

Those two propelled the Hawks (11-1) to a 28-0 halftime lead and helped grab the momentum back after it appeared as though Cooper might work its way back into the game in the third quarter.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 13)

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.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 13)”

Evan Ren’s Area Round Forecast (released early for Thanksgiving)

LAST WEEK: 31-6, .837   

SEASON TOTAL: 415-91, .820 

Normally our playoff forecast is released on Thursdays. But, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re pushing it out a day early. 

I don’t mind saying, it has been a good year for the column, picking at nearly 84 percent in Week 12 and holding at 82 percent on the year.

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Garcia’s big night, takeaways fuel Cooper past Eastwood

Sophomore running back Noah Garcia made a triumphant return to the Cooper lineup Friday, rushing for three touchdowns to propel the Cougars to a 49-41 win over El Paso Eastwood in a Region I-5A Division I bi-district matchup at Trooper Stadium.

Garcia, who was taken off the field on a stretcher during his team’s regular season-ending loss to Amarillo High, scored on runs of 48, 3 and 8 yards, while Daelin Campos added TD scampers of 53 and 35 yards to help the Coogs overcome a six-touchdown game by Eastwood quarterback Christian Castaneda.

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Cooper’s ball-hawking secondary a strength entering playoffs

With the players he had back from last year’s team, Cooper coach Aaron Roan knew coming into this season that he had a good secondary.

So when his team allowed 351 passing yards in a season-opening loss to Keller — and saw standout safety and captain LaDainian Diaz lost for the year to a torn ACL in the process — he didn’t panic. He simply made a couple of personnel adjustments and continued the course as planned.

That confidence has proven well-placed as the Cougars finished the regular season allowing just 180.5 passing yards per game with 12 interceptions. And entering Friday’s bi-district playoff against an explosive El Paso Eastwood team, Roan remains confident in his ball-hawking secondary to make the plays it must to help the team win.

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Cooper looks to get back on track in playoff opener

COOPER (5-5) AT EL PASO EASTWOOD (7-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Trooper Stadium, El Paso

What it means: This is the playoff opener for both teams, so only one of these squads will still be playing next week.  Eastwood, the District 1-5A Division I champion, comes into this matchup on a six-game winning streak, while Cooper must regroup from a 58-27 home loss to Amarillo High that dropped the Cougars from second to fourth in the District 3 standings. The Coogs have won nine of their last 10 bi-district playoff games and are 14-0 all-time against El Paso schools. That record includes an 81-26 win over Eastwood in the 1994 area round in the only previous meeting between these schools.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 12)

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.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 12)”

BCP Podcast No. 22: Evan, Daniel look ahead to football playoffs

The Regular season is over, and the high school football playoffs are here. In this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood take a look back at the most important games of Week 11 and ahead to the postseason, focusing on the Big Country’s biggest threats.

Wylie catcher Munton makes commitment to Texas State official

Playing college baseball has been a dream for Wylie catcher Caleb Munton since he was a child. On Wednesday, he took a major step toward making that dream a reality.

At a ceremony in Bulldog Gym in front of family, friends and members of the local media, Munton signed his letter of intent to play for Texas State, making official a commitment to the Bobcats that dates back to October of 2017.

“It just makes it feel real,” said Munton, a standout catcher for the Bulldogs. “When I first verbally committed, that was so long ago and it just felt like Texas State was a distant thing in the future. But now that I’ve signed, it really feels real, and I’m just ready to be there now.”

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District 3-6A: Week 11 Report

Abilene High (idle) — With their bye week scheduled for Week 11, the Eagles (5-5, 2-4) could do nothing but watch as their playoff hopes were officially dashed with a 28-15 Weatherford win over Hurst Bell.

Abilene High, which closed its season with four consecutive losses, would have made the playoffs as 3-6A’s fourth-place team if the Blue Raiders had knocked off the Kangaroos on Friday, but it couldn’t get the help it needed to extend its season.

AHS, which won five straight games from Week 2 to Week 6, had that streak snapped by a 17-15 loss to San Angelo Central that saw the Bobcats force a late fumble inside their own 5-yard line and drive for a game-winning field goal as time expired. That game was followed by consecutive losses to Haltom City Haltom (28-14), Weatherford (42-23) and Euless Trinity (34-16).

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 11 Report

Amarillo High 58, Cooper 27 — The Cougars (5-5, 4-2) raced out to a 20-0 lead just over two minutes into the game, but the Sandies roared back, outscoring Cooper 58-7 the rest of the way to spoil Senior Night at Shotwell Stadium.

The loss dropped Cooper from second in the district to fourth, forcing coach Aaron Roan’s squad to travel to El Paso for its bi-district playoff matchup against El Paso Eastwood, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Coogs turned the ball over six times in their regular season finale, allowing Amarillo High to pull ahead by the end of the first quarter and pull away in the second half, during which the Sandies (6-4, 4-2) outscored Cooper 27-0.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 11 Report

Plainview 22, Wylie 19 — Wylie (0-10, 0-5) couldn’t hold onto a 19-7 third-quarter lead, falling at home to Plainview to wrap up its first winless season since 1982.

The visitors (2-8, 1-4) got a touchdown pass from Jarren Isaguirre to Logan Patrick to cut the deficit to five with 41 seconds left in the third quarter before pulling ahead on Andrew Villa’s 1-yard scoring plunge with 7:28 left in the game.

Coach Hugh Sandifer’s Bulldogs had a chance to win the game late, using an 18-play drive to push into Plainview territory, but an incompletion through the end zone on fourth-and-9 ended their hopes of a comeback.

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Fast start not enough as Cooper drops Senior Day game to Sandies

Up 20-0 just over two minutes into Friday’s regular-season finale against Amarillo High, it appeared the Cooper Cougars were headed for a blowout win over the Sandies and the No. 2 playoff seed out of District 2-5A Division I.

But AHS rallied to take a 21-20 lead by the end of the first quarter and outscored Cooper 37-7 the rest of the way to hand the Coogs a 58-27 loss on Senior Night and bump coach Aaron Roan’s team to fourth in the district pecking order.

Six turnovers, including four second-half interceptions, proved deadly for Cooper, which could never regain the momentum after Amarillo’s first counter punch.

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Wylie ends winless season with three-point loss

A disappointing campaign came to an end Friday night at Bulldog Stadium, where Wylie saw Plainview rally for a 22-19 win in the season finale for both teams.

Wylie finished its first season in Class 5A at 0-10 — missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and finishing winless for the first time since 1982.

Wylie’s 24-year streak of making the playoffs included a state championship in 2004 and three other appearances in the state championship game. The streak started with a state semifinal run in 1994.

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Officiating is more than just a job — it’s a family affair

At the start of the season, I wrote a column on how football is family, and last week’s 47-0 Hamlin win over Cross Plains provided yet another example of that.

The officiating crew for the game featured not one, but two father-son combinations wearing the black-and-white stripes.

Darrin Cox, the head of the Abilene chapter of the Texas Association of Sports Officials, was the referee and joined on the crew by his son Garrett, who served as the linesman along the Cross Plains sideline.

Jeff Posey was the umpire for the game and his son, Joe, worked the Hamlin sideline as the line judge.

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Cooper looks to finish district play strong against Sandies

AMARILLO HIGH (6-3, 3-2) AT COOPER (5-4, 4-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

What it means: This is a big game for playoff seeding in District 2-5A Division I as Cooper can still finish anywhere from first to fourth in the league’s postseason pecking order. And given that a No. 3 or 4 seed comes with a road trip to El Paso for the first round, you can bet the the Cougars will be motivated to take care of business in this one. The simplest scenario for the Coogs would be to win Friday and have league leader Lubbock Coronado defeat Amarillo Caprock, which would leave Cooper alone in second. But a couple of upsets could throw this district race into chaos.

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Wylie seeks to close tough season on high note against Plainview

PLAINVIEW (1-8, 0-4) AT WYLIE (0-9, 0-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium, Abilene

What it means: This battle of Bulldogs is the last chance for either team to suit up this season, and in Wylie’s case, the final opportunity to avoid a winless campaign. Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, so they’ll be playing to send their seniors out on a high note and take some positive momentum into the offseason. Wylie is coming off two of its better efforts of the season, falling 24-20 at Canyon Randall on Oct. 26 and 31-12 to state-ranked Lubbock Cooper last week. If it can perform at a similar level this week, coach Hugh Sandifer’s squad could snap an 11-game losing streak dating back to last season.

Continue reading “Wylie seeks to close tough season on high note against Plainview”

Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 11)

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.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 11)”

Cooper QB Thompson making strides, mark as sophomore

Like most players who are forced into action as sophomores, Cooper quarterback Aidan Thompson has had his ups and downs this season. 

But as is often the case with talented young players, the ratio of ups to downs has risen with his experience level.

Thompson, who won the right to replace 3,500-yard passer Ender Freeman behind center with his work during the spring and fall, has led Cooper to a 5-4 record this year, including a 4-1 start to District 2-5A Division I play. And as with his team, which has won five of its last six games, the 6-foot-4, 170-pound sophomore has done his best work of late, packing the two best performances of his career into the Cougars’ last three contests.

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District 3-6A: Week 10 Report

Euless Trinity 34, Abilene High 16 — The Trojans’ defense and running game proved too much for the Eagles to handle Friday at Pennington Field, where Trinity outgained AHS 406-153, including a 281-65 advantage on the ground.

Running back Brandon Theus was especially potent, rushing for 184 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries for the Trojans (7-1, 4-1). Despite this, the Eagles (5-5, 2-4) only trailed 21-9 at halftime and 27-16 heading into the final quarter.

While AHS missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot with an upset, the Eagles remain in the playoff picture thanks to North Richland Hills Richland’s 36-33 win over Weatherford on Friday. If Hurst Bell can knock off Weatherford this week and Trinity can take care of Richland, the Eagles, who are idle in Week 11, will make the playoffs as the district’s fourth seed.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 10 Report

Cooper (idle) — The Cougars, who have won four of five games to start district play, got an extra week to prepare for their regular-season finale against Amarillo High.

Cooper, which improved to 5-4 overall with a 49-7 win over Lubbock High on Oct. 26, can lock up second place in 2-5A DI with a win Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 10 Report

Lubbock Cooper 31, Wylie 12 — The Bulldogs (0-9, 0-4) trailed the unbeaten Pirates by just eight points (14-6) late in the first half, but Cooper kicked a field goal in the final minute of the second quarter and outscored Wylie 14-0 in the third to pull away.

The Pirates (9-0, 4-0) outgained Wylie 443-124, limiting the Bulldogs to just eight rushing yards on 27 carries. Bailey Hicks led Wylie with 77 total yards and a touchdown, while Jaxon Hansen hit five of seven passes for 89 yards and a score.

Cooper was led by Jacob Dennis, who rushed for 100 yards and a TD on 16 carries, and Brenden Mehl, who rushed for 57 yards, passed for 173 and accounted for two total TDs.

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District 13-3A Division II: Week 10 Report

Brady 35, Comfort 20 — The Bulldogs (2-7, 1-3) snapped a six-game losing streak and got right back into the 13-3A DII playoff picture with a strong effort against the Bobcats (3-6, 1-3).

Brady, which closes the regular season next week at Sonora, outgained Comfort 454-322, pounding out 399 yards on the ground. Marshall Schmitz led the way with 135 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, while Jack Marshall (8-91, 1 TD rushing; 1-16 receiving) and Ryan Decker (3-5-1—55, 1 TD passing; 13-69, 1 TD rushing) also had productive games. 

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Trinity drops Abilene High 34-16, leaves Eagles in playoff limbo

BEDFORD — Abilene High lost its district finale to Trinity to close out the regular season at 5-5, but the news wasn’t all bad for the Eagles  on Friday.

Waiting on the field after their 34-16 loss to the Trojans, the AHS coaches and players learned that North Richland Hills Richland had held off Weatherford 36-33, keeping the Eagles’ narrow playoff hopes alive entering their Week 11 bye week.

AHS, which wrapped up District 3-6A play at 2-4, now needs Weatherford to lose to Hurst Bell and Richland to lose to Trinity next week lock up the district’s fourth playoff spot.

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Eagles head east for regular-season finale at Trinity

ABILENE HIGH (5-4, 2-3) AT EULESS TRINITY (6-1, 3-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Pennington Field, Bedford

What it means: The Eagles can’t clinch a playoff berth with a win and they’re not technically eliminated with a loss, but their path to the postseason gets much easier if they can find a way to pull off the upset. AHS, which is idle in Week 11, would only need Weatherford to lose one of its remaining games against Hurst Bell and North Richland Hills Richland to get in with a victory. With a loss, the Eagles would need Weatherford to lose both of its remaining games and for Richland to drop its regular-season finale to Trinity. 

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Road trip to Lubbock Cooper up next for Bulldogs

WYLIE (0-8, 0-3) AT LUBBOCK COOPER (8-0, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium, Woodrow

What it means: The Bulldogs can still technically make the playoffs with wins in their final two games and losses by Wichita Falls High to Plainview and Wichita Falls Rider. But those odds are awfully long, particularly for a team that has yet to win a game and is playing the No. 6 team in Class 5A Division II according to Texas Football magazine. Wylie had perhaps its best performance of the year last week in a 24-20 loss at Canyon Randall, but this Cooper team is a whole different animal. The undefeated Pirates have outscored their opponents 322-140 this season, including  107-7 in their three district wins.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 10)

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.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 10)”

Eagles enter regular-season finale at Trinity on a mission

Entering their regular-season finale at Euless Trinity on Friday, the Abilene High football team’s path to the postseason is a murky one.

Consecutive losses to San Angelo Central, Haltom City Haltom and Weatherford have the Eagles needing some help from their district mates to extend their season to Week 12, as no outcome this week at Pennington Field will — on its own — ensure that AHS (5-4 overall, 2-3 District 3-6A) will make or miss the playoffs. 

With so much beyond their control, Coach Del Van Cox and his Eagles are focusing on the one thing they can influence: their own play. And they’re treating Friday’s matchup against the Trojans with all the must-win urgency of a playoff game.

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BCP Podcast No. 20: Evan, Daniel chat with Comanche’s Stephen Hermesmeyer

Comanche football coach Stephen Hermesmeyer has turned a struggling Indian program into a perennial playoff contender during his seven seasons at the school. And though he experienced significant graduation losses from last year’s 12-2 squad, his Indians can clinch their second straight district title with a win over Dublin on Friday.

Hermesmeyer recently took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this year’s team, his wing-T offensive scheme and the status of his program for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the area’s top games from Week 9 and how those outcomes are shaping the Big Country district races.

District 3-6A: Week 9 Report

Weatherford 42, Abilene High 23 — The Kangaroos (3-5, 1-3) scored 35 consecutive points to turn a 14-7 second-quarter deficit into a comfortable road win Friday at Shotwell Stadium. 

Quarterback Ken seals hit 16 of 28 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns to lead Weatherford, which outgained the Eagles 478-172 in the victory. AHS (5-4, 2-3) had just 41 yards on the ground, putting extra pressure on sophomore quarterback Matthew Ezzell, who was making his first career start in relief of injured senior Kallin Sipe.

The loss, the Eagles’ third in a row, forces coach Del Van Cox’s squad into a must-win situation this week at Trinity. AHS is still fourth in the District 3-6A standings, but Weatherford now holds the tiebreaker over the Eagles with games remaining against North Richland Hills Richland (3-5, 1-3) and Hurst Bell (1-7, 0-4).

NOTE — Photos may be purchased for $7 each by pushing the small shopping cart emblem below the lower-right corner of the gallery.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 9 Report

Canyon Randall 24, Wylie 20 — The Bulldogs (0-8 overall, 0-3 3-5A DII) nearly upset the Raiders for their first win of the season, but Jakobe Norman hit Cayden Eason with a 28-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to lift Randall to the narrow win at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Wylie fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying to tie the game with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. Randall (4-4, 3-0) countered with a field goal on the final play of the first half, but Harrison Atwood and Bailey Hicks hooked up for their second touchdown pass with 3:15 left in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a lead they’d hold until Eason’s TD put the Raiders on top for good.

Hicks had a big game for Wylie, rushing 18 times for 75 yards and catching six passes for 106 yards and the two TDs. Atwood, meanwhile, went 10 for 17 for 120 yards and two scores while running for another touchdown. 

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Weatherford hands AHS costly loss in Eagles’ final home game

Missed opportunities, struggles in the running game and an inability to slow Weatherford’s passing attack all cost the Abilene High football team dearly Friday in a 42-23 loss to the Kangaroos on Parent Night at Shotwell Stadium.

The Eagles, who failed on several occasions in the first half to capitalize on excellent field position, finished with just 41 yards rushing while surrendering 349 yards through the air, allowing Weatherford to score 35 consecutive points over the final three quarters and turn a game that was tied at halftime into a rout.

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Wylie rally not enough in hard-fought loss to Randall

Wylie overcame another slow start to put a scare in Canyon Randall on Friday, but a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Jakobe Norman to Cayden Eason lifted the Raiders to a 24-20 win over the still winless Bulldogs at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Randall scored its first touchdown less than two minutes into the game and held a 14-0 lead one quarter in, but after going three and out on each of their first three possessions, the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game in the second quarter and took a lead in the third.

Norman’s TD toss to Eason was the only score of the fourth quarter, however, serving as the game winner for the Raiders (4-4 overall, 3-0 in District 3-5A Division II).

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Abilene High welcomes Weatherford for big district game

WEATHERFORD (2-5, 0-3) AT ABILENE HIGH (5-3, 2-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

What it means: After dropping their last two District 3-6A games to San Angelo Central (17-15) and Haltom City Haltom (28-14), the Eagles need a win Friday to solidify their hold on the league’s fourth playoff spot. AHS will have a chance to improve its standing regardless next week at Euless Trinity, but coach Del Van Cox’s team doesn’t want to go into that game needing a win to lock up a postseason berth. This is the 11th meeting between the Eagles and Kangaroos. AHS has won all 10 previous meetings, including last year’s game by a 30-7 margin.

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