By TOMMY WELLS
STRAWN – Anthony Garcia rushed for 179 yards and John Thomas recovered two fumbles on Friday and powered the ninth-ranked Strawn Greyhounds to a resounding 50-0 shutout of the Moran Bulldogs in District 12-A six-man football play.
The game was halted at the 3:40 mark of the third quarter due to the 45-point mercy rule.
With the victory, Strawn closed out the regular season at 9-1 record, and put the finishing touches on the team’s fifth district championship in seven seasons. Moran finished at 1-9.
“A lot of kids got to play (Thursday),” Strawn head coach Dewayne Lee said. “We may need them in the playoffs, and a lot of players got in some snaps.”
Just how dominant was Strawn? Consider this: the Greyhounds rushed for 305 yards of offense, scored on eight of their nine possessions, forced four turnovers on defense and limited Moran to two first downs and a total of 80 yards.
Strawn flexed its muscle early in the game. The Greyhounds opened the game with a quick three-play, 45-yard drive that lasted just 52 seconds.
Gerardo Hernandez capped the series with a 23-yard scoring run.
The news only got worse for Moran from there. On the second play of their ensuing series, SHS senior John Thomas pounced on an MHS fumble, giving the Greyhounds the ball at the Bulldog 30.
Five plays later, Nic Miller took a handoff from Justin Little and raced around the left end for five yards and a 12-0 advantage.
Strawn didn’t let up from there. The Greyhounds picked up a one-yard scoring run by Dempsey Dorris at the 4:18 mark of the first quarter and ballooned its lead to 20-0.
Garcia had set up Dorris’ TD two plays earlier by reeling off a 40-yard run to the MHS 15 on a first-down play.
Strawn’s final score of the first quarter came with 11 seconds left in the frame on an eight-yard end-around by Miller.
The Greyhounds held a 26-0 advantage at the end of the first 10 minutes of play.
Strawn added to its lead later in the second when Garcia capped an eight-play, 67-yard drive with a four-yard scoring run.
Garcia’s TD pinned Strawn to a 32-0 advantage.
Hernandez, who rushed for 112 yards on just 11 attempts, added a 15-yard TD run less than two minutes later to send the game into the half with the Greyhounds holding a 40-0 cushion.
Cole Abbott notched a piece of SHS history in the third quarter, becoming the first Greyhound kicker in several seasons to boot a field goal. His 18-yarder staked Strawn to a 44-0 lead with 6:07 to play in the third.
The Greyhounds closed out the game later in the third when Little hit Hernandez with a 13-yard scoring toss.
Strawn will begin its playoff quest this week against either Woodson or Newcastle.
Gordon wins big
LINGLEVILLE – Gordon scored early and often, running past Lingleville, 81-34, here Friday night as the Longhorns captured the District 10 championship.
Gordon finishes the regular season with a 7-3 record and 3-0 in league play.
“It feels good to win district,” Gordon head coach Shane Mallory said. “It has been a crazy year, but it is nice to win a district championship. Now we will go back to work to get ready for a tough playoff game.”
The Longhorns will play Zephyr, a state-ranked team that, by virtue of a three-way tie for the District 9, ended up in second place after a series of coin flips (just two teams from each district in six man qualify for the playoffs). The date, time and place of the bi-district game will be announced Monday (check www.mineralwellsindex.com for the information).
Michael Cherry scored three touchdowns to lead the ‘Horns, Johnathon Jennings added a pair of TD runs and Jake Wigington scored on two touchdown receptions.
Also, Tristen Garmon returned a kickoff for a touchdown, Seth Wheeler had a TD reception and the game was called on the 45-point mercy rule after a TD by Ewodio “Rodeo” Rodea.
San Saba stops Santo, 49-21
SAN SABA – San Saba scored four unanswered touchdowns in the first half on its way to a 49-21 win over the Santo Wildcats here Friday night in a District 5-A contest.
The loss leaves Santo with an overall record of 4-6, and 0-4 in district play.
Santo got on the board first on a 53-yard sprint to the end zone by quarterback Zane Mauney on the game’s opening drive. Grant Gilbert booted the extra point to give the ‘Cats a 7-0 lead.
But San Saba came back with a pair of short TD runs to take a 14-7 lead after the first period.
San Saba added two scores in the second quarter – the first on a one-yard run and the second on a 15-yard pass, to take a 28-7 lead at the break.
San Saba increased its lead to 35-7 after a 10-yard TD pass.
The ‘Cats came back and cut the lead to 35-13 when Mauney raced in from 65 yards out with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
But San Saba quickly got the score back on a two-yard blast to extend its lead to 42-13.
San Saba added another score, and Santo closed the scoring when Mauney scored his third TD – this one from a yard out – and ran in the conversion.
Mauney led all rushers with 233 yards on 24 carries. He also passed for 26 yards.
Petrolia downs Perrin, 28-15
PETROLIA – Petrolia running back Will Morath rushed for 310 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead his team to a 28-15 win over the Perrin Pirates here Friday night in a District 8-A game.
Perrin finishes the season with a 4-6 overall mark and 1-5 in league play.
Petrolia led 19-0 – on TD runs of 34, 9 and 19 by Morath – before Perrin quarterback Josiah Cansler threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Forest Francis. The PAT kick failed as Perrin trailed 19-7.
Petrolia closed the first-half scoring with a 42-yard field goal by Adam Sandoval to lead 22-6 at the break.
Morath scored his fourth touchdown of the contest on a 78-yard sprint as Petrolia led 28-6.
Perrin closed the scoring on Cansler’s second TD pass, a 45-yard strike to Cooper Young.
Millsap falls in finale
MILLSAP – Blooming Grove ended Millsap’s season on a sour note, defeating the Bulldogs, 56-7, here Friday night.
The loss leaves Millsap with an 0-10 overall mark and 0-7 in District 6-2A.
BGHS’ Jay Kirby and Tyler Morris each scored three TDs.
Michael Rogers connected with Dylan Burton for a 43-yard score for Millsap’s lone score.