With the first week jitters out, teams across Texas set out on the gridiron this past weekend, looking to continue to build chemistry and momentum in week two.
As always, there were plenty of star-studded performances and thrilling encounters across Conferences 1A through 4A this past weekend. Here is the best of the best from across the state from week two.
T-10 Motley County holds off Knox City in thriller
Last season, Knox City beat Motley County in their regular season matchup 116-94. This season, proceedings appeared to be a bit tamer as Motley County headed into halftime up 62-35 and looked to be cruising towards their first win of the season. Knox City had other ideas. The Greyhounds outscored the Matadors 32-6 in the second half, including a 30-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Martinez to Tres Frausto with just over a minute left that cut the deficit to 68-67. However, it was not enough as Motley County held on for the one point victory. Motley County and their star running back Jake Richards, 265 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the night, will look to keep the momentum going from their first win of the season when they square off against Spur next week.
T-10. Ropes notches first win in 11-man football in over 20 years in dominating fashion
Ropes returned to 11-man football this season for the first time since the 1998-99 school year. Its first home game since the transition could not have gone any better as it throttled 3A Compass Academy 61-0 on Thursday night. It was a team effort as the Ropes defense came up with five interceptions, including a pick-six by Brady McCombs, while offensively, R.J. Medrano rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Tyler Gilliam added three touchdowns and 153 passing yards. Ropes will hope this is a sign of things to come as it looks to make a mark in its first 11-man season in over 20 years.
- Jeremiah Earls’ big night leads Calallen to victory
Calallen, the #7 team in 4A Division I, and Jourdanton, the #8 team in 3A Division I, was a game to watch heading into the weekend and it didn’t disappoint. Cole Andrus threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns for Jourdanton, but he couldn’t outduel Calallen running back Jeremiah Earls. After Jourdanton tied up proceedings at 35, Earls promptly broke off an 85-yard touchdown run, putting Calallen ahead for good as they went on to win 56-35. Earls ended the night with 310 yards and three touchdowns and added two receptions for 28 yards. All in all, it was a pretty good day at the office for Earls and the Wildcats.
- Westbrook makes another statement with an upset victory over Borden County
Westbrook is flying high after two impressive victories to start the season. A week after knocking off Motley County 58-36, the Wildcats knocked off #3 Borden County 44-30, their first win over Borden County since 2004. “What impressed me most during Friday night’s game was the team’s determination to never back down from the challenge of high-level competition,” Westbrook head coach Homer Matlock said. “We knew Borden County would be a strong and solid team. There were times in the game that Borden County took the lead. Our kids didn’t let that [faze] them and went back out and did their jobs.” The Wildcats went 4-6 a year ago, and Matlock believes the lessons learned from last year have played a key role in this year’s fast start. “The Wildcats faced an extremely difficult season last year. This allowed the players to gain experience and adjust to a faster pace and a more physical type of play,” Matlock said. “We were successful last basketball season [a 29-6 record], which built confidence, and pairing the two helped prepare us to try and compete at a higher level.” The Wildcats certainly will not be flying under the radar anymore after their lightning-quick start to the season and will be a team to watch at the 1A Division I level moving forward.
- Zach Hrbacek’s racks up seven touchdowns as Troy defeats Mexia
With both teams coming off of opening weekend losses, Troy and Mexia were desperate not to fall to 0-2 on the season. The game quickly turned into a battle of rushing attacks. Jarrell Wiley had three rushing touchdowns in the first half for Mexia as it jumped out to a 31-22 lead at the half. However, the second half was the Zach Hrbacek show as he scored all four touchdowns for Troy after the interval as the Trojans went on to a 55-37 victory. Hrbacek finished with 42 carries for 296 yards and six touchdowns and also added a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Keep an eye on Hrbacek, a Sam Houston State commit, as he will be a key player in the Trojans’ backfield all season long.
- Refugio pulls away from George West, notching another impressive victory
Defending 2A Division I state champs Refugio headed into their matchup against George West, the #7 team in 3A Division II, with plenty of momentum after knocking off 4A Devine 36-7 to open its season. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Hesseltine, 344 passing yards and two touchdowns, and receiver Jordan Kelley, 152 receiving yards and 38 rushing yards with three total touchdowns, had big nights for the Bobcats as they dominated proceedings en route to a 41-12 victory. With two wins over opponents in higher classifications under their belt, Refugio has certainly sent a message that it deserves to be regarded as a top 2A team in the state yet again.
- Lampasas sends a statement with a blowout victory over Stephenville
Lampasas just keeps on rolling. A week after knocking off a talented Brownwood side 55-23, it shut down Stephenville 41-0 on Friday night, the first time Stephenville had been shutout since 2011. Ace Whitehead threw for 151 yards and added 95 yards on the ground with four total touchdowns, while running back Jack Jerome led the way in the run game with 128 rushing yards on 28 carries. Lampasas was highly touted heading into the season and, two convincing victories later, the Badgers have certainly proven that they will be a force to be reckoned with all season long.
- Pottsboro takes down Gunter in a battle of 3A heavyweights
This was a mouthwatering clash heading into the weekend as last year’s 3A Division I runner-up, Pottsboro, took on 2019 3A Division II state champs Gunter. Pottsboro got off to a quick start as Landon Dunaway caught a four yard pass for a touchdown just over four minutes in to the game to put Pottsboro in front, and it never looked back from there. Even when Gunter cut the lead to 20-14 with a 14-yard touchdown run by Ashton Bennett just two minutes into the second half, Pottsboro promptly embarked on a nine-minute drive, which was finished off by a one yard touchdown run by quarterback Braden Plyler. Plyler was the key player on the night for Pottsboro, throwing for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 17 for 24 passing, while adding 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground as Pottsboro went on to win 34-21. Despite the result for Gunter, both of these schools should still be regarded as the cream of the crop in their respective 3A divisions, and they will certainly be two teams favored for deep runs in the playoffs when they roll around in November.
- La Vega edges Connally 13-10 in a slugfest
La Vega certainly does not believe in easing itself into the start of a season. The Pirates have now faced two top ten opponents in their opening two games and emerged unscathed after a tight victory over Waco Connally on Friday night. Waco La Vega has found success employing their ground-and-pound philosophy, and it worked to perfection on Friday as Jar’Que Walton led the way with 154 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Jesse Majors-Sterling added 62 more yards and another touchdown on the ground. Look for La Vega’s stingy defense and dominant run game continue to be a force as they look for a trifecta of top ten victories when they square off against #7 Corpus Christi Calallen next week.
- Richard Reese sets school records in Bellville win
Richard Reese had himself a night to remember as Bellville outgunned a talented Cameron Yoe side 54-41. Reese rushed for 345 yards and six touchdowns on 27 carries, while also adding a forty-yard touchdown reception as well as a 39-yard kickoff return. “Richard had a huge night for us. He did a little bit of everything on Friday and his performance obviously helped us to a big win,” Bellville head coach Grady Rowe said. “He ran the ball, caught the ball out of the backfield, returned kicks for us and even played one play on defense for us. He also blocked well for his quarterback and the other running backs.” When the dust had settled, Reese set two school records: one for the most rushing yards in a single game in school history and another for points scored in a single game with 42 on the night. “Richard showed that he is one of the top backs in the state and any classification,” Rowe said. “He had one of the best single performances that I have been a part of. He deserves it; he is such a hard worker and a great kid.” With a performance like this one, Reese and his Brahmas have definitely put other teams on notice moving forward.
- Argyle takes down Pleasant Grove in a showdown between 4A powerhouses
Argyle’s offense has proven itself to be a downright terrifying proposition for opposing teams to try and stop. A week after dismantling Decatur 56-9, the Eagles followed up that feat with an impressive 52-41 victory over defending 4A Division II champs Texarkana Pleasant Grove. They were successful in both facets offensively as C.J. Rogers threw for 280 yards and five touchdowns, Braden Baker led the way in the run game with 104 rushing yards and a touchdown, and Cole Kirkpatrick had a big night with seven catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns. For Pleasant Grove, Logan Johnson rushed for 163 yards and Nick Martin added 104 more on the ground, but they could not keep up with the explosive Argyle offense. Argyle has certainly proven its mettle in its opening two games, and, with its offense firing on all cylinders, it has established itself as a state title contender at the 4A Division I level.