FROM STAFF REPORTS
J.T. Luper ran for three touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass to help Sherman to a 27-14 victory over Greenville in the Lions’ football season finale on Friday night.
Luper, who ranks among the top Class 4A receivers in the state, caught eight passes for 151 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown connection with quarterback Dru Smith, and also ran for scores of 5, 1 and 3 yards while receiving the snap from center in Wildcat formation.
“He’s pretty good,” said Lions coach Marvin Sedberry.
Sherman, now 8-2, advances to the playoffs after finishing second in District 13-4A with a 6-1 record.
The Lions finished at 0-10 for the third straight season.
After an observed moment of silence in memory of Greenville student Alicia Moore, whose body was found Tuesday in Van Zandt County, Sherman took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards to score in eight plays. Luper picked up the final 54 yards with his reception on a post pattern. Austin Roan’s kick was low and wide into a stiff wind.
Greenville answered the 6-0 deficit with a 71-yard, six-play drive that featured the running of quarterback Marquist Davis. Davis kept for gains of 1, 6 and 41 yards before breaking loose on a 24-yard touchdown run up the middle. It was the senior quarterback’s third touchdown run of the season. Kellen Cox’s kick gave the Lions a 7-6 lead with 5:27 left in the opening quarter.
The Lion defense produced two turnovers, including a muffed Sherman lateral returned by Tyrik Anderson to the Greenville 45 and Jarius Dawson’s diving interception of a tipped Sherman pass at the Bearcat 49. But Greenville was unable to cash in on both turnovers.
“We got those two turnovers early and got nothing out of it,” said Sedberry.
Sherman would not be denied on its fourth possession, marching 71 yards in 12 plays. Smith fired completions of 19 yards to Josh Fleming, 21 to Luper and 11 to Treyson Jones before Luper capped the drive with a 2-yard run. Luper tried to run for two again in Wildcat formation but landed short of the goal line on a dive from inside the three.
Sherman got the ball back 10 seconds later on a fumbled kickoff return recovered by Sherman’s Fleming at the Lion 16. The Bearcats scored in four plays as Luper ran in from a yard on another play from Wildcat formation. Austin Roan’s kick gave the Bearcats a 19-7 halftime lead.
“They cashed in on that one (turnover) we had early,” said Sedberry. “I thought that was critical.”
Sherman marched 67 yards in seven plays on its first possession of the second half to score its final touchdown. Running back George Dawson, who finished with 105 yards on 10 carries, slashed his way for gains of 16, 11, 8 and 6 yards. Smith fired an 18-yard completion to Luper, who made a one-handed grab at the 3-yard line.
Luper then scored on the next play, tracking down an errant snap from center that sailed over his head in Wildcat formation, picked up the ball at about the Greenville 20 and then dipped and darted through the Lion defense for the touchdown. Smith passed to Kahlee Woods for the two-point conversion to up the count to 27-7.
Greenville answered with a 66-yard, 15-play drive. Davis ran for gains of 3, 2, 4 and 2 yards, Tyler Matthews ran for gains of 2, 11, 9, 1 and 7 yards and Davis connected with receivers Michael Hernandez and DaMarcus Bridges on completions of 5 and 4 yards. Wide receiver Eric Hughes also dashed 11 yards for a first down on a reverse before Davis raced seven yards on a quarterback keep for the touchdown with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. Cox converted.
Greenville got inside the Sherman 40 twice more in the fourth quarter but couldn’t cash in as the Lions finished with 191 total yards. Davis ran for 70 yards on 18 carries and was 4-of-11 passing for 25 yards. Matthews finished with 54 yards on 13 carries and Jalen Crockett added 26 yards on three carries.
Smith was 15-of-22 for 229 yards passing for Sherman, which finished with 367 yards of total offense.
Watauga Harvest 62,
Greenville Christian 38
Returning all-state running back A.J. McCort of Watauga Harvest accounted for 377 yards and seven touchdowns as the Saints handed Greenville Christian School a 62-38 loss in the Eagles’ six-man football season finale on Saturday.
McCort, who was a first-team selection last year in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, rushed for 278 yards and six touchdowns on 20 carries and was 7-of-8 passing for 99 yards and another score. McCort’s scoring dashes covered 42, 12, 59, 5, 67 and 37 yards. He also connected with receiver Stanton Cain on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
The Watauga Harvest senior had a very busy day at Eagle Field. He also intercepted a pass, forced a fumble and made some key stops on defense, plus was the holder on seven successful conversion kicks by Kaleb Schweitzer.
“I’m glad he’s graduating,” said GCS coach David Wombaker.
Justin Rogers scored the Saints’ other touchdown on a 5-yard run as McCort had a hand in 56 of their 62 points.
Watauga Harvest, now 5-5, heads to the playoffs while GCS finishes at 1-9.
David Chandler accounted for five of the Eagles’ six touchdowns. The GCS sophomore rushed for 138 yards on 19 carries, scoring on two 13-yard runs. Chandler also threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Will Martens and returned a Harvest fumble 40 yards for a touchdown.
Tristan Wooten scored the other Eagle touchdown on a 1-yard run and Pretei Lemo booted a conversion. Wooten finished with 36 yards on eight carries.
Brady Bowers also intercepted a pass for GCS and Morgan Henry and Martens recovered Watauga Harvest fumbles.
“For the last game they played hard,” said Wombaker. “They played well. Everybody improved this season.”
GCS practiced most of the week with only seven players due to injuries.
“They never quit,” said Wombaker. “Fought through some injuries.”
GCS will lose only one player to graduation, senior Chris Martin who was recognized in a pre-game ceremony.
Lone Oak 28,
EUSTACE — The Lone Oak Buffaloes were in charge of their own destiny on Friday night.
They had to defeat the Eustace Bulldogs by at least 14 points to secure a District 7-2A playoff spot. They got the win, 28-21, but came up short on the point-spread, ending their season, and missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
Eustace won the toss and deferred to the second half.
Both teams were forced to punt on their first drives.
Trent Sikes returned a Bulldog punt 42 yards to the Bulldogs 28-yard line. Two plays later, Buffalo quarterback Kyle Crow connected with Sikes for a 28-yard touchdown. Cody Hardin’s PAT split the uprights making the score 7-0 with 7:13 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs answered on their next drive going 73 yards to pay dirt. Jesus Barcenas scored on a 1-yard run, knotting the score at 7-7 with 10:01 left in the second.
The Buffaloes’ next drive started with Ty Tolleson taking a hook-and-ladder play 22 yards. Crow then threw a 20-yard strike to Sikes, setting up Tolleson for a 3-yard touchdown run. The PAT went wide left, making the halftime score Lone Oak 13, Eustace 7.
The second half was back and forth with both teams battling for field position. With 3:15 left in the third, Crow stretched the Lone Oak lead with a 10-yard keeper. He then found Chawn Cooper on the two-point conversion, making the score 21-7, and the 14-point spread they needed.
It took only one play for the Bulldogs to come storming back, scoring on a 58-yard run to make the score 21-14.
The Bulldogs tied it up with 5:14 left in the game after a 72-yard drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by Barcenas.
The Buffaloes were running out of time, but were determined. On their next series they scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Tolleson, making the score 28-21. The Buffs needed on more touchdown to secure a playoff berth.
They forced a Bulldog punt, and started their last drive, needing a touchdown to keep their season alive. With 2.3 seconds left in the game, one final play from their own 18-yard line came up short.
Crow was 14-of-26 passing for 216 yards and one TD. Tolleson had 64 yards rushing on 13 carries and two touchdowns. Colten Busby lead the defense with 10 tackles.
The Buffaloes finished their season with a record of 7-3.
Quinlan Ford 35,
QUINLAN — The Quinlan Ford Panthers outscored Crandall 35-31 behind the running of Taylor Sikorsky and James Silkey on Friday night in District 14-3A football action to secure a playoff berth.
The Panthers, now 7-3 for the season and 3-1 in district, locked up a share of the district championship and will advance to the bi-district round of the playoffs. Crandall dropped to 4-6 and 2-2.
Sikorksy rushed for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, while Silkey pounded out 101 yards and two scores on 19 rushes.
Silkey got the Panthers rolling with his 6-yard touchdown run with 8:12 left in the first quarter. Sikorksy drilled the PAT and it was 7-0 Quinlan Ford.
Andrew Newton recovered a Quinlan fumble on the Panthers’ next possession at the Quinlan 18-yard line, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Long to Brenden Gilbert with 5:11 left in the opening quarter. Trevor Dykma drilled the extra point and the game was tied.
Silkey scored his second touchdown of the evening from 10 yards out with 14 seconds left in the first quarter and Sikorksy, kicked the PAT putting Quinlan up 14-7 after one.
The Panthers increased their advantage as Sikorksy, Silkey and Jon Humphries all carried for big gains on the Panthers’ opening drive of the second quarter. Humphries’ 9-yard touchdown run increased the Quinlan lead to 21-7 with 7:28 left before halftime. The visiting Pirates struck with 3:29 left before halftime as Long completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Devante Williams and Dykma kicked the point.
The first half ended with Ford ahead 21-14.
Long threw his third touchdown of the night for Crandall, this time nine yards to Austin Pryor with 10:56 left in the third to tie up the game at 21-21.
Sikorksy’s 19-yard touchdown run with 7:01 left in the third put the Panthers up by seven.
Crandall, however, would not quit and with 3:23 left in the third, Jason Bryant’s 10-yard touchdown run would make it 28-28. Bryant finished with 102 yards rushing on 21 carries.
The Pirates with 58 seconds left in the third would grab their only lead of the evening as Trevor Dymka kicked a 35-yard field goal, putting Crandall up 31-28.
Sikorksy raced 54 yards for the game-clinching touchdown with 6:49 left giving the Panthers a 35-31 advantage they would hold on to.
The Panthers recovered a Crandall fumble on the Pirates’ final possession of the night.
S&S Consolidated 26
SADLER — Dylan Monck rushed for 134 yards to lead the Leonard Tigers to a 36-26 over S&S Consolidated Friday night, and secure a playoff spot with a 4-1 record.
Leonard opened the scoring when Ryan Nixon capped a 51-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Ty McKinney converted the point-after to give Tigers a 7-0 lead.
S&S answered with a 63-yard touchdown run by Willie Winborne. The point-after failed, and Leonard maintained the lead, 7-6.
The Rams’ Winborne next scored on a 1-yard run. The two-point conversion failed, and S&S led 12-7.
The Tigers then put together a 70-yard drive culminating with a 3-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run both by Blake Hicks. Leonard led 15-12 at intermission.
Monck then ground out yards on a Leonard 63-yard scoring drive. Hicks lofted a 6-yard touchdown pass to Tyler “Turbo” Turner to complete the drive. McKinney’s kick gave Leonard a 22-12 lead in the middle of the third period.
Two minutes later, the Rams’ Winborne sprinted in from 39 yards out. A successful kick narrowed the margin to three points.
Hicks connected with his brother Brent on a 9-yard scoring pass. McKinney’s kick gave Leonard a 29-19 lead.
Drew Dutton was on the receiving end of a 27-yard touchdown pass for the Rams. This brought the score to 29-26.
The Tigers finalized the scoring on a Nixon 12-yard run. McKinney’s extra-point made the score 36-26.
Leonard, now 7-2-1, will play Cooper in a bi-district playoff Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Commerce.
Leverett’s Chapel 62,
CAMPBELL — Leverett’s Chapel blanked Campbell 62-0 Friday night to close out the first year of six-man football for the Indians in District 15-A.
Shon Rios had two catches for 14 yards for Campbell, and the team’ only senior, Scotty Green, had a kickoff return for 69 yards.
Rios was credited with four tackles and Billy Rios with three.
Campbell went 2-8 on the season.
Leverett’s Chapel is 8-2 on the season.
“Overall it has been a great year,” said Campbell coach Colby Smith. “I am proud to say that I had the privilege to coach a great group of young men. We had some trials and tribulations along the way, but progression was made every week and that is the exact formula to follow to build a solid program. Our boys have laid the tracks in the right direction for our program to build upon in the years to come.”
Wills Point 47,
RAINS — Wills Point scored two touchdowns on the Tigers’ first three offensive plays of the game, and went on to beat Rains 47-12 Friday night, clinching a play-off spot in District 14-3A.
Rains got on the board in the first quarter with a 10-play drive that spanned 71 yards. Chris Wilson had two passes on the drive, one of 14 yards to Jared Barnett, and one for seven yards on a third-and-six play to Dustin Fry. Markell Spigner ran 27 yards to score and cap the drive. The try for two failed, and the score stood 12-6 in the first quarter, but it was all Wills Point after that.
Rains did not score again until the third, when Fry ran 75 yards for a touchdown, giving him his total 81 yards rushing on the night.
Caddo Mills 0
CADDO MILLS — With a playoff spot on the line, the Commerce Tigers came calling on the Caddo Mills Foxes Friday night in a District 6-2A matchup at Ed Locker Field.
The Tigers pulled out a hard-fought 20-0 victory and will move into the playoffs next week.
Caddo Mills opened play with a successful onsides kick and took possession at the Tigers 41-yard line. However, the Commerce defense, which held Caddo Mills to only 44 total yards in the first half, stopped the Foxes at the 37.
Thirteen plays later, the Tigers had moved 63 yards for their first score of the night, mainly behind the passing of quarterback Sam Wells. Big Cortez Crosby got the last yard by powering over the right side of the line. Cody Blanton added the PAT, and Commerce was up 7-0 at the 3:14 mark of the first quarter.
The teams traded punts but Commerce gained the advantage in field possession with a 63-yard punt by Buck Wilson that went out of bounds at the Caddo Mills 2-yard line. The Foxes picked up one first down before punting again.
Commerce took over at midfield and Wells moved the Tigers down the field via the airwaves. On fourth and four at the Caddo Mills 27-yard line, Wells hit Buck Wilson in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The try for PAT failed and Commerce was on top 13-0 with 4:19 to go in the first half.
Tyler Kirkpatrick took the kickoff at the 35 and returned it 18 yards to set the Foxes up at midfield. Several runs by Daxx Hill and a personal foul on the Tigers got the Foxes down to the Commerce 15-yard line before two motion penalties killed the drive as the half ended.
Caddo Mills fumbled the second half kickoff and the Tigers were in business at the Foxes’ 35-yard line. Wells hit Robert Jackson for 10 yards. Bran Kelley ran for 14 yards before Wells found Wilson for 14 yards to set the Tigers up first and goal at the three. Fox Jeremy Welch then sacked Wells for a 7-yard loss. On second down, Wells then hit Jackson on a slant pattern inside the five. Welch made a big hit and stripped the ball from Jackson and returned it out to the 25-yard line.
However, the officials called the pass incomplete and claimed that they had blown the play dead for the incompletion. But then the officials reset the down marker at second down, giving the Tigers another play. The Caddo Mills defense stiffened and took over on downs at their own 12-yard line.
Hill then took over for the Foxes on runs of 8, 1, 36 and 12 yards. Dakota Monroe added seven yards and the Foxes were inside the Tigers’ 25 before this drive stalled on downs at the 17.
Caddo Mills forced another Tiger punt and took over at its own 20. Monroe gained four yards, Hill broke for 23 yards and then five yards. A high snap over the head of quarterback Damian Newby was recovered by Commerce at the Caddo Mills 39-yard line.
It took the Tigers only five plays to find the end zone. Wilson got the last 19 yards when he broke a run straight up the middle, untouched, for the TD. Blanton’s PAT was good, and Commerce had the final score of 20-0 on the books. The two teams traded turnovers in the fourth quarter.
For the Foxes, junior Hill had 151 yards rushing on 18 carries to give him 1,311 yards for the season.
Commerce had seven different players rush for a total of 121 yards on 35 carries. Wells was 16-of-21 passing for 185 yards and one touchdown, going to six different receivers.
D’Lance Sharp caught four passes for 44 yards. Al Jackson had three receptions for 24 yards. Wilson had two catches for 54 yards and one touchdown.
Caddo Mills ended the season at 3-7 and 3-3 in District 6-2A.
Commerce goes to 6-4 and 4-2 in District and will meet the runner up in District 5 next week in the playoffs.
Royse City 28
ROYSE CITY — It came down to a field goal in the final 48 seconds — Wylie’s Shane Potts’ 32-yarder gave the Pirates a 31-28 victory over the Royse City Bulldogs on Friday night.
Wylie, now 4-3 in District 13-4A, will return to Royse City Friday night to play Mount Pleasant in a bi-district championship.
The Bulldogs, ending the season at 1-9, controlled much of the game offensively and defensively, but the second half saw the game see-saw back and forth with knotted scores.
Royse City got on board first, midway in period one, with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Watts to Bryce Wempa in the first quarter. Chase Selby’s extra-point made it 7-0, Royse City.
The Bulldogs doubled the lead when senior Michael Webb capped off a 70-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring plunge. Selby’s kick was good, and with 11:17 in the second quarter, Royse City was ahead 14-0.
The touchdown was set up by one of many converted fourth down plays by Royse City.
Wylie scored its first touchdown with 1:02 to play in the first half. Kameron Kelly passed to Kalen Winkler for 44 yards. Potts kicked the extra point, and the halftime score was 14-7.
Midway through the third, Wylie tied the score when Kelly and Winkler connected again, this time on a 20-yard pass.
But the Bulldogs recaptured the lead by converting a fourth and 10 at the Wylie 25-yard line, on a pass from Watts to Wempa. Selby’s PAT was good, and the Bulldogs led 21-14.
Wylie’s Kelly then completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Freddy Gibbs at the beginning of the fourth quarter and the PAT was good, tying it at 21-21.
With 8:38 in the game, Kelly scored on a 16-yard run, putting the Pirates ahead 28-21.
Royse City answered when Watts, after completing a fourth-and-nine pass of 24 yards to Jake Glisch, then completed a pass of 20 yards to Webb. This tied the score 28-28, with 2:18 in the game.
But with 48 seconds left, it was Wylie’s turn to convert a fourth-and three: Potts kicked the 32-yarder for the game-winner.
Junior Bulldog Jackson Watts was 16-of-32 for 218 yards and three touchdowns.
Bulldog Alex Ramsey, junior running back, carried the ball 19 times for 78 yards.
Wylie had 447 total yards of offense and Royse City 386.