LAMPASAS — Two years ago, the Lampasas Badgers played in the state semifinals. This season, it may be the China Spring Cougars’ turn to go that deep (or even deeper).
Quarterback Major Bowden and fifth-ranked China Spring opened up an expansive lead on Lampasas in the second half on their way to a 47-7 win over the homestanding Badgers on Friday night.
The Badgers (1-3) gnawed on the heels of China Spring’s cleats and hung around for a half, as the Cougars led just 17-7 at the stoppage. But China Spring (4-0) pressed the accelerator to the floor in the second half and broke the game open with a trio of touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter.
Arguably, the highlight of the game came on a 77-yard pitch and catch from Bowden to Sebastian Trevino. Moments later, Lampasas tried to respond, but China Spring’s Isaiah Williams intercepted the Badgers’ pass and showed off some nifty moves on a 45-yard runback for the pick-six.
Mansfield 34, Waco High 28
It didn’t go down as a win, but the Lions found something in their District 11-6A opener at Waco ISD Stadium.
Waco High made things very interesting with a wild second half, including scoring on the final play of the game, a 5-yard run by Omarion Deleo. In the final two quarters, the young Lions definitely put a scare in Mansfield (3-1 overall, 1-0 in 11-6A), outscoring the Tigers, 28-20.
Mansfield dominated the first half, leading 21-0 after Sergio Kennedy’s 42-yard TD bomb to Jordan Strickland.
But Linden Heldt’s team, which has endured its share of injuries, kept scrapping. Braylen Martinez put Waco High with a short touchdown run with 10:05 to go. The Lions successfully executed an onside kick that led to another Martinez TD run, on a 31-yard saunter.
Waco High later pulled off yet another successful onside kick that led to two TD runs from Deleo in the final minute of the game.
Palestine 31, Connally 22
PALESTINE — Tre Wisner did all he could for the Cadets, but it wasn’t quite enough to take down the Wildcats.
Wisner scored in a variety of different ways for Connally (1-2), including intercepting a two-point conversion pass and running it back for two points and taking a kickoff 85 yards to the house. But Palestine (2-2) kept the pressure on Connally, displaying an aggressiveness from the start. The Wildcats tried a surprise onside kick after their first score of the game, and recovered it to keep the Cadet offense off the field.
Connally pulled to within 31-22 by the end of the third quarter following Germone Powell’s 6-yard touchdown run. That score was set up by an 88-yard scoot from Jelani McDonald on the first play of the drive.
Connally’s defense also came up with a big-time stop on 4th-and-1 with 2:22 to play. But the Cadets couldn’t score again, and lost by nine.
Connally will return home next week to face Stephenville.
No. 10 West 35, Rogers 28
ROGERS — In a fun, back-and-forth clash, the 10th-ranked Trojans picked up a clinching fumble recovery on Rogers’ final fourth-quarter drive to clinch another win.
Rogers (2-2) took over at its own 3-yard line with 2:13 to play and no timeouts. The Eagles marched all the way inside the West 20 before that aforementioned fumble thwarted Rogers’ attempt at a comeback.
Zane Meinen tossed a pair of first-half scores for West (4-0), as the Trojans shot out to a 21-13 lead. He hit Wyatt Wolf on a 32-yard strike and Kade Bing on a 9-yard connection.
But Rogers wouldn’t go away, and the Eagles took a 28-27 lead at the 6:48 mark of the third when Christian Riley took a pitch and cruised to a 66-yard TD run. West answered, though, scoring the go-ahead TD when Gage Gordon took a direct snap and scooted in from two yards out 52 seconds into the fourth. Gordon had two TD runs on the night.
No. 1 Mart 49, Whitney 13
WHITNEY — The No. 1-ranked Panthers came up with some big plays on both sides of the ball to cage up the Wildcats.
Among the heavy hitters for Mart (4-0) was senior Klyderion Campbell, who helped the Panthers build a 21-10 halftime lead with a 29-yard touchdown jaunt in the second quarter. Later, he swarmed in for a sack of Whitney’s Garrett Peacock, forcing the Wildcats to settle for a field goal.
The second half completely belonged to the Panthers, as they outscored Whitney, 28-3. Dominic Medlock had a rushing and receiving score after the break, and De’traevion Medlock had a 9-yard touchdown catch.
The Wildcats fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Lorena 49, Madisonville 16
MADISONVILLE — Reed Michna had three touchdown runs, and the Leopards made big plays on offense, defense and special teams in a romp over the Mustangs.
Michna finished with 76 yards rushing for well-oiled Lorena (2-2), and Jaylon Henry led the way with 95 yards on the ground.
Andrew Brittain made some nice plays for Lorena, including a 34-yard punt return that set up an 18-yard Rhett Hansen TD run. Brittain also had a 49-yard interception return that led to Michna’s third TD saunter of the night.
Madisonville didn’t score a touchdown until Blessing Ngene blessed the end zone with a 72-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Lexington 33, Marlin 21
LEXINGTON — The Bulldogs let a first-half lead slip away, as the Eagles exploded in the second half, outscoring Marlin, 19-0, to close the game to cap a run of 33 unanswered.
Marlin (2-2) appeared to be in great shape after one quarter, as the Bulldogs took a 21-0 lead following a 4-yard TD from Ty Harris. Little did the Bulldogs know that would be the final time they’d score. Meanwhile, Lexington came storming back, tying the game on Nolan Schneider’s 5-yard TD run in the third quarter. Then five minutes later Mason Schimank capped off a Lexington scoring drive with a 5-yard run of his own.
Marlin self-destructed a bit down the stretch, including losing a fumble in the final minute of the game.
No. 4 Crawford 31, Holland 6
HOLLAND — The fourth-ranked Pirates forged a sharp effort in all three phases in stuffing the Hornets to stay unbeaten.
Crawford (4-0) moved the ball effectively with its ground-and-pound game. Breck Chambers had a 1-yard TD run and Luke Torbert shook free for a 45-yard scoring scamper in the first half, as the Pirates staked themselves to a 17-6 halftime lead. The versatile Chambers also chipped in on special teams with a 37-yard field goal.
In the second half, Crawford’s Camron Walker flashed his wheels on a 55-yard scurry to the end zone. The Pirates picked up their final TD of the night on a 32-yard pass from Torbert to Trey Dobie in the fourth quarter.
Abbott 48, Bellville Faith 0
BRYAN — The efficient Panthers remained undefeated with a mercy-rule dispersal of Bellville Faith on Thursday night.
Robert Munoz maintained his steady pace rushing the ball for Abbott (4-0). He carried nine times for 135 yards and scored on forays of 38, 6 and 40 yards. Abbott’s running game averaged 14.5 yards per clip, but when the Panthers needed to air it out, that worked well. Karsyn Johnson went 2 for 3 with a pair of scores – 25 and 38-yard strikes to Kane Klaus.
Abbott limited Faith to just 20 yards of offense.