By TOMMY WELLS
KNOX CITY – If there were any questions as to whether Strawn’s Cole Abbott and Gordon’s Michael Cherry were among the best six-man football athletes on the planet, all doubts were erased Saturday in front of a large crowd at the inaugural Brazos Bowl All-Star Game. And they were erased easily.
Abbott earned the defensive MVP honors while leading the Red all-stars to a wild 41-33 win over the Blue in the contest, which was played at Greyhound Stadium. Cherry earned the offensive MVP honors as the Blue all-stars’ top performer.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Abbott, who returned an interception for a touchdown and hauled in a 58-yard scoring reception late in the second half to help the Red team secure the victory. “We couldn’t have had a better time.”
The Red all-stars didn’t waste any time in taking the upper hand in the contest. The team scored twice in the first 3:18 and built a quick 14-0 lead.
After forcing the Blue all-stars to turn the ball over downs on their first possession, the Red all-stars untethered its offense. After three running plays had moved the ball to the Blue 28, Buchanan took a pitch from Woodson’s Brady Hibbitts, slipped a tackle in the backfield and raced into the end zone.
Buchanan run gave the Red an 8-0 lead with 9:21 remaining in the first.
The Red’s lead didn’t stay at 8 for long. Abbott made sure of that.
The Strawn standout picked off a Blue pass at his own 14 and raced 66 yards the other way for a 14-0 advantage with 7:42 left in the opening frame.
Cherry wouldn’t let the Blue all-stars struggle for long.
The Gordon spreadback carried the ball three times on the Blue team’s ensuing possession, including a key 6-yard scamper on a fourth down play that gave the Blue a first down at the Red 8.
Two plays later, Valley’s Carson Proctor crashed into the end zone to cut the Red lead to 14-8.
The Red all-stars regained the upper hand early in the second quarter. Aquilla High School’s Billy Parks hauled in a 12-yard scoring pass from Hedley’s Coltin Kingston on a fourth-down play. Paducah’s Cody Austin passed to Abbott for the two-point conversion, giving the Red with a 22-8 lead just three seconds into the second quarter.
The Blue all-stars rallied back, however. The team scored twice from there, scoring on a 30-yard pass to Hedley’s Nicco Bennett and a 2-yard run by Proctor and pulled to within 21-20 with 40 seconds left in the first half.
Buchanan gave the Red all-stars the momentum back from there.
After Austin had recovered an onside kickoff attempt, Buchanan took a pitch from Hibbitts and raced 50 yards for his second TD of the contest.
He finished the game with 132 yards on 13 carries, and earned the contest’s overall MVP honors.
Cherry, who rushed for 125 yards on 17 carries, brought the Blue all-stars back to within striking distance in the third quarter. He capped a 4-play, 53-yard drive by turning a handoff into a 10-yard scoring run.
Cherry’s TD pulled the Blue to within 29-27 with 5:46 left in the third.
Abbott took the wind out of the Blue’s sails just over four minutes later on a key fourth-down play.
With the Red all-stars leading by two, the SHS center caught a clutch 58-yard touchdown pass from Buchanan on a fourth-down play. His TD gave the Red team a 35-27 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Red all-stars all but cinched the game midway through the fourth quarter, taking a 41-27 lead on a 46-yard TD run by Buchanan.
The Blue team pulled close with 1:42 remaining on a four–yard touchdown run by Motley County’s Juan Flores.
By TOMMY WELLS
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
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.
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- Swimming to State