By TOMMY WELLS | Special to the Index
BRYSON – Harrison Nowak passed for eight touchdowns on Thursday night and powered the ninth-ranked Strawn Greyhounds to an 84-58 victory over the Woodson Cowboys in the bi-district round of the Texas six-man football state playoffs.
With the win, Strawn improved its season record to 10-1 and, more importantly, advanced to the area round and will face Jayton at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Seymour.
Woodson finished its season at 7-4.
Woodson didn’t make Strawn’s first playoff win in two seasons easy. The Cowboys stood toe-to-toe with Strawn in the first two quarters. As a team, the Cowboys rolled up nearly 500 yards in total offense.
Woodson drew first blood in the showdown. After recovering an onside kick to open the game, the Cowboys marched 26 yards in six plays before sophomore running back Bobby Aguero plowed in from the 1.
Woodson’s celebration lasted just six seconds, however. Ross Alison fielded the Cowboys’ ensuing onside try at his own 33 and sprinted down the sideline for 47 yards and a 6-6 tie.
After the two teams traded touchdowns, Strawn managed to gain the upper hand. Sophomore end Abram Jaramillo broke a 12-12 tie late in the first quarter when he capped a quick one-play score by catching a 36-yard TD pass from Nowak. Cole Abbott’s PAT staked Strawn to a 20-12 lead.
Alison had set up the Greyhounds’ third TD of the frame one play earlier by picking off a Woodson pass on a fourth-and-12 play from the SHS 26.
Nowak After Woodson had rallied to within 20-18, Nowak found the end zone for a second time, hooking up with Abbott for the first of their five touchdown combinations – a 2-yard pass that pushed the Greyhounds’ lead to 26-18.
The Greyhounds’ offense was far from through.
After the Strawn defense had stopped Woodson on a fourth-and-goal play at the SHS 1, Strawn showed just how explosive it could be.
On first down, senior Bobby Wells raced 33 yards for a first down at the Greyhound 34. Then, following a series of short runs by Jacob Trujillo, Alison and Abbott, Nowak completed a 10-yard strike to Alison that took the ball to the Woodson 29.
One play later, the sophomore quarterback hit Jaramillo for a 29-yard touchdown strike.
Jaramillo finished the game with four receptions – three of which went for TDs – for 78 yards.
Nowak gave the WHS defense fits all night. He finished the game by completing 15 of his 17 passing attempts for a season-high 305 yards.
Woodson managed to right its ship from there. Cowboys’ quarterback Brady Hibbitts capped the Cowboys’ next drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Brandon Arellano and cut Strawn’s lead to 34-25.
Hibbitts finished the game with 194 yards passing and six TDs.
Again, the Cowboys’ celebration didn’t last long.
Alison put Woodson on its heels on the ensuing kick, taking the onside kick try and returning it to the WHS 9. A personal foul penalty moved the ball to the Cowboys’ 5 and set up a 4-yard scoring run by Wells two plays later.
Wells finished the game with a team-high 11 carries for 113 yards.
Strawn outscored Woodson by a 16-14 clip in the second quarter and took a 42-32 lead into the half.
Woodson stormed back on the opening possession of the third. Keyed by a 9-yard run on a fourth-down play, the Cowboys opened the third quarter by driving 53-yards in nine plays, pulling to within four at 42-39.
Strawn answered right back. The Greyhounds reeled off back-to-back touchdowns receptions of 7 yards from Jaramillo and 52 yards from Abbott on their next two possessions to push the lead to 56-39.
Abbott’s TD was set up one play earlier when senior defensive back Louis Berumen halted a WHS drive deep in Strawn territory by scooping up a Woodson fumble at the SHS 28.
The Cowboys added a touchdown with 1:02 left in the third and cut Strawn’s lead to 56-46.
The ‘Hounds amassed 485 total yards on just 41 offensive plays, salted away the win with an explosive effort in the fourth quarter. Strawn outscored Woodson by a 28-12 clip in the closing 10 minutes.
Abbott, who finished with five receptions for a game-high 157 yards, caught TD passes of 19 and 42 yards in the final frame. Trujillo and Nic Miller posted scoring runs of one and 11 yards, respectively.
By TOMMY WELLS | Special to the Index
- Local Sports
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals