Gladiators of the Gridiron

Week 5
By Stephen R. Farris
Special to The NavCo Chronicle
stephen@navcochronicle.com


Short schedule for Week 5 locally, as several teams had a bye Friday night. Jumping right to it, in Class 1A, 6-Man action, the Avalon Eagles (3-2, 0-0) were shutout by the No. 2 ranked Abbott Panthers, 46-0. Coolidge (1-4, 0-0) fell to the Richland Springs Coyotes, 74-30; Milford (3-2, 0-0) got back on the winning track as they crushed the Gorman Panthers, 62-28. The Mount Calm Panthers-Apple Springs game was canceled, and the Trinidad Trojans (0-4, 0-0) took Friday night off.
In Class 2A, the Kerens Bobcats (1-4, 1-0) handed previously unbeaten Itasca Wampus Cats their first loss of the season, while starting off district play with the 48-42 win – their first of the year – at home. Kerens trailed 13-0 in the first quarter, when Bobcat quarterback Lane Lynch connected with receiver Muziq Gunnell for a 39-yard touchdown pass to put give the team their first score of the night.
Kerens kept close all game long. With the score tied at 21-21, Lynch hit Gunnell for another passing touchdown, this time from 27 yards out to put the Bobcats ahead. Gunnell blew passed the Itasca defender and was wide-open by a dozen yards, and trotted into the end zone untouched for the score. With Kerens ahead 28-21, running back Nehemiah Massey got in on the action, taking the ball 80 yards from the Bobcats end of the field and into the end zone for the touchdown to make it a 35-21 ball game.
Massey slipped several tackles on the play before turning on the speed. Lynch went back to the air, this time to running back Mykel Lattimore for a 40-yard touchdown strike, making the score 42-28, still in favor of the Bobcats. Lynch found Lattimore one more time for a 52-yard passing touchdown to end the scoring for Kerens. Lattimore took the swing pass down the far sideline, but the two Wampus Cat defenders could not catch up to him as he blew across the end zone for the score.
Lynch finished the game with 304 yards passing, and four touchdowns. Gunnell caught four passes for 136 yards and scored twice, and Massey carried 26 times for 158 yards and two TDs. Itasca managed to out gain the Bobcats in total offense, 521-490. Kerens will be on the road this coming Friday night, Sept. 30, as they travel to Axtell to face the Longhorns.
The Wortham Bulldogs (4-1, 1-0) opened up district play on the road with a huge win over the Hubbard Jaguars (0-5, 0-1), 69-6. The Bulldogs defense held the Jaguars to only 93 total yards of offense on the night. Meanwhile, Tanner Bean literally saw light duty in the game, carrying the ball nine times for 115 yards, while scoring five touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Ryken Lewis was perfect in the air, going 6-6 for 173 yards and a passing touchdown. Wortham finished the game with 496 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs will host the Meridian Yellowjackets this coming Friday night.
The Frost Polar Bears (1-4, 0-1) traveled to Hico to play the Tigers. Hico ended up on top to claim the district win, 51-20. Mario Porter was the bright spot of the Polar Bear offense, carrying the ball 18 times for 103 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. Despite giving up 51 points on the night, Frost had some outstanding defensive performances from their defensive line and linebackers.
Porter had seven tackles, two for losses, and a fumble recovery. D-lineman Gabe Martinez made 12 total tackles, two of them for losses, picked up a sack and put pressure on the Tigers QB twice. Fellow D-line teammate, Jacen Stanford, had eight total tackles, two sacks, and pressured the Hico QB three times. The Polar Bears managed 202 yards total offense, with 184 of those yards coming on the ground. Frost will take off this Friday as they regroup to prepare for the visiting Mart Panthers on Oct. 7. Mart is currently ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, DII.
The Dawson Bulldogs had the bye this past Friday. The Bulldogs will host their longtime rival, Hubbard, this Friday night, which will also be their homecoming game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
In Class 3A, the Fairfield Eagles (2-3, 1-0) were the only area team that saw action Friday night, as Blooming Grove, Mildred, and Rice took the night off before they all begin district play this weekend. The Eagles visited the Eustace Bulldogs in their district opener, coming away with a 40-6 victory. Fairfield trailed the Bulldogs at the end of the first quarter, 6-0, bouncing back in the second to take a 14-6 lead at the half.
The Eagles continued scoring in the third quarter, adding 19 points to make it a 33-6 advantage at the close of the third quarter. Fairfield added another touchdown in the final frame to give them the 34-point district win. QB Cameron Cockerell had another good outing as the junior completed 18 of 26 passes for 321 yards and six touchdowns to five different receivers. Senior wide receiver Rex Bean was tops in his department, finishing with five catches for 109 yards and a TD. Teammate Jacorey Daniels caught five passes for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Receivers Jake White, Kyler Schick, and Camron Daniels all caught touchdown passes in the win. Braiden Barrett was the top rusher for Fairfield in the game, finishing with seven carries for 78 yards. Evan Chavers had a big night on defense, finishing up with 16 total tackles (5 solo, 11 assists) and a fumble recovery. The Eagles will host the No. 6 ranked Malakoff Tigers this Friday night.
In Class 5A, the Corsicana Tigers (1-4, 0-2) traveled to Arlington to take on the Seguin Cougars. The Cougars handed the visiting Tigers their second district loss, winning by the score of 15-10. This game was a defensive struggle from start to finish, with all of the scoring coming in the second half. Corsicana will get some much needed time off this Friday, as they prepare to host the Burleson Elks for their annual homecoming game on Oct. 7, at Community National Bank & Trust Tiger Field Stadium.
6-Man Schedule for Week 6 (Friday, Sept. 30)
Avalon Eagles – Bye
Blum Bobcats at Coolidge Yellowjackets 7:30 p.m.
Burkeville Mustangs at Milford Bulldogs 7:30 p.m.
Mount Calm Panthers at Buckholts Badgers 7:30 p.m.
Campbell Indians at Trinidad Trojans 7:30 p.m.

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