CENTERVILLE — Moments before kickoff between Centerville and Mart on Friday night, the Tiger Stadium public address announcer heralded, “Ladies and gentlemen, you’re in for a treat tonight.”
The man was right.
A showdown of two top 10 teams in Class 2A – the Tigers, ranked ninth in 2A-I, and Panthers, second in 2A-II – lived up to its billing with Mart managing to come away with a narrow 21-20 road win.
Coming into the game, Mart (4-0) had outscored its opponents 163-13. Centerville (2-2) gave the Panthers their stiffest test to date
Centerville drove 97 yards in 16 plays to pull within 21-20 on Lavodrick Phillips' two-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal with 6:00 left in the game. The Tigers went for two, but couldn’t take the lead as Phillips was stood up just short of the goal line.
People are also reading…
Mart ran the clock down to 38 seconds and was stopped on fourth-and-two at the Centerville 3-yard line, but there was too little time for the Tigers to try and mount a game-winning drive as they needed to go 97 yards and no timeouts.
The two teams traded punches in the third quarter with Mart holding a 21-14 headed to the fourth.
Mart extended its lead to 14-6 on the opening drive of the second half. The Panthers punched in the touchdown from two yards out on a quarterback keeper from Jonah Ross with 9:59 left in the quarter.
Centerville responded on the ensuing drive to tie the game at 14 with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter. Paxton Hancock hammered in a 1-yard touchdown run, a Lavodrick Phillips pushed his way over the goal line on a 2-point conversion.
Ross ran in his second score of the night with 2:25 left in the third, a 5-yarder that put the Panthers ahead by seven.
The Panthers depended on Ross in the run and passing game. The junior finished with 90 rushing yards on 22 carries and passed for 91 yards after completing 11 of 15 passes. Ja’Deriun Bell led the Panthers in rushing with 124 yards on 17 carries. Brandon Lundy was Mart’s leading receiver with five catches for 38 yards.
Centerville rolled the dice early to take the lead. The Tigers faced fourth-and-13 from the Mart 19-yard line, but went for it and scored on a 19-yard pass from Riley Winkler to Cameron Pate. A failed 2-point conversion put Centerville up 6-0.
Mart took the lead late in the first quarter. De'Montrel Medlock raced untouched down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Panthers’ second drive of the night as they took a 7-6 lead.
Both sides entered a stalemate for the remainder of the first half thanks to strong defensive play.
— Alex Miller, The Eagle
Copperas Cove 51, University 18
In Copperas Cove, Gabriel Rodriguez and Craig Brown burned University from the opening kickoff as Cove romped to a lopsided win.
Brown scored the game's first touchdown on a 1-yard run and then caught a 33-yard scoring pass from Rodriguez. Brown scored his third touchdown of the first half on a 31-yard run.
Rodriguez threw a 19-yard touchdown pass and scored on a one-yard run as the Bulldawgs (2-2) opened up a 33-0 lead before University (1-3) got on the board when JaShaun Manghane found Mekhi Sandolph for a 31-yard score with 16 seconds left in the second quarter.
The onslaught continued for the Bulldawgs in the third quarter as Rodriguez hit Trishstin Glass for a 21-yard score and Brown ran for a two-yard touchdown.
Abbott 60, Bynum 8
In Bynum, Riley Sustala exploded for five touchdowns as Abbott thrashed the Bulldogs.
Sustala opened the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown run before breaking loose for 40- and 23-yard scoring runs in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Sustala pulled away for touchdown runs of 45 and 43 yards. Mason Hejl also scored a touchdown for the Panthers (4-0) on a 32-yard run while Karsyn Johnson hit a 20-yard scoring pass to Hayden Pustejovsky.
Aaron Adcock finished off Abbott's scoring with a 32-yard run in the second quarter.
Gatesville 43, Mexia 14
In Mexia, the Hornets built a 36-0 halftime lead and never looked back to win their second straight game.
Gatesville (3-1) scored first as Tyler Shea caught a 27-yard touchdown pass before Rayshon Smith ran for the two-point conversion. Kyle Shafer followed with a pair of touchdown catches in the first half.
The Hornets stretched their lead to 43-0 before the Blackcats (0-4) scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Chilton 21, Hearne 0
In Chilton, the Pirates scored a pair of first-half touchdowns and their defense delivered a tremendous performance to shut out Hearne.
Marvion Huitt ran for the game's first score in the second quarter and the Pirates (4-0) added a final touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win against Hearne (2-2).
Bellville 49, Cameron Yoe 14
In Bellville, the Brahmas opened up a three-touchdown lead at halftime and powered to a lopsided win over Cameron Yoe.
Bellville (4-0) relied on some big plays to grab a 28-7 halftime lead and were never threatened in the second half by the Yoemen (2-2).