The defending district champion Lorena Leopards are riding high after going three rounds deep in the playoffs last season. They're returning big-time players on both sides of the ball.
LITTLE RIVER — Coming into the game, Academy had the unblemished record. But it was the Leopards who left spotless, as a perfect 1-0 in District 11-3A action.
Rhett Hanson powered for four touchdown runs for Lorena (3-2, 1-0), finishing with 80 yards on the ground. And while he never crossed into the end zone, Reed Michna had another big night rushing the ball, picking up 187 yards for the Leopards.
Lorena built a 14-3 halftime lead. Academy (4-1, 0-1) pulled to within 28-17 on a pair of Kasey Mraz touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, before Hanson tacked on a 12-yard TD run to ice it for the visitors.
Photos: High school football Week 5 around Waco, Central Texas
LaDainian Tomlinson, right, hugs Leroy Coleman, left, during a halftime ceremony in his honor as Coleman was inducted in the Waco ISD Athletics Hall of Fame. Coleman coached the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back at University High School in the 1990s.
University's Mekhi Sandolph breaks free from Cleburne defenders during early action Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium.
University's Jaylon Marshall runs past Cleburne's Logan Schroyer during first-quarter action at Waco ISD Stadium Friday night. Cleburne jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead over the Trojans and won, 48-0.
University's Mekhi Sandolph tries to break the tackle of Cleburne's James Reynolds during first-half action Friday night. The Trojans saw two long drives end on downs, falling behind 21-0 at halftime.
University's Kwame Cooper catches a pass in front of Cleburne's Jay'Veon Kelly during first-half action Friday night. The Trojans saw two promising drives end by turnovers on downs.
University's Damarion Chambers runs past a Cleburne defender early in their game Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium. The Trojans saw a promising opening drive end on a 75-yard interception returned for a touchdown.
Bosqueville’s Hunter Henexson hurdles his way past the Rio Vista defense to score in the first quarter. The Bulldogs breezed to a 55-27 win in district-opening action Friday night.
Bosqueville’s Noah Pena scores on a pass from Newt Schornack in the first quarter against Rio Vista Friday night. The Bulldogs won their district opener easily, 55-27.
Connally's Jelani McDonald runs to the outside while being pressured by Stephenville defensive tackle Malachi Arredondo in the first half.
Connally's Jelani McDonald is pulled down by Stephenville's Jack Barkley, left, and defensive end Camden McKinney, right, in the first half of Friday's game.
Stephenville quarterback Ryder Lambert jumps past Connally’s defense in the first half. The No. 5 Yellow Jackets raced to a 31-0 halftime lead over the Cadets on Friday, and rolled to a 44-12 win.
Connally's Tre Wisner has his jersey pulled on by Stephenville cornerback Ben Kirbo while trying to gain yardage in the first half.
Stephenville's Coy Eakin pulls down a touchdown pass over Connally's Azure Rose in the first half. Stephenville ran to a 31-0 halftime lead and never looked back Friday night, winning 44-12.