CROCKETT — One game into the playoffs, Mart already looks in championship form.
The two-time defending state champs opened their postseason run with an 81-14 drubbing of Saratoga West Hardin in Class 2A Div. II bi-district action on Thursday night.
Second-ranked Mart (8-3) scored virtually at will, putting up 61 points in the first half alone. Roddrell Freeman was locked in as the ideal drive finisher, running for four touchdowns, on scampers of 7, 11, 25 and 5 yards.
But plenty of Panthers had big nights in the runaway. Kei’shawn Clater showed off his dance moves on an 87-yard punt return to paydirt, and also tacked on a rushing TD for good measure. Klyderion Campbell found the end zone three time, twice on runs and another on a 44-yard pass from Kyler Martin.
Martin also rushed for a touchdown, as Mart’s ground game rolled over West Hardin (4-7) at every turn. Next up for Mart is either Detroit or Tioga, as those teams will face off in their bi-district clash on Friday.
No. 3 San Saba 57, Riesel 20
McGREGOR — The third-ranked Armadillos looked as sharp as ever in stomping the Indians in Class 2A Division I bi-district play.
Eli Salinas rushed for five touchdowns in the win for San Saba (11-0). He scored on runs of 9, 52, 13, 70 and 54 yards. But the Armadillos weren’t just land-locked. Sean O’Keefe also passed for three TDs and ran for another at the quarterback spot.
Riesel (4-7) trailed 54-6 entering the fourth quarter, but closed the game nicely with a pair of touchdowns. Austin Searcy scored on an 8-yard run with a little over three minutes to play, and Will McClintock had a 50-yard bomb to Donavon Blakes in the game’s final minute.
Chilton 28, Burton 21
BRENHAM — With its season on the line, Chilton came up with its possibly its most impressive scoring drive of the year.
The Pirates (7-4) took over possession late in the fourth quarter and drove for the winning touchdown with 2:22 remaining, as McKellar Cook scored from one yard out. Then Burton (6-5) got the ball back and drove into Chilton territory, but the Pirate defense held, preserving the team’s Class 2A Division II bi-district win.
It’s quite a turnaround for Chilton, which finished 1-10 last year despite making the playoffs. Now the Pirates will move on to the area round, where they’ll face the winner of Friday’s Falls City-La Villa game.
Cook kept the Pirates sailing all night with his hard running, and finished with three TD runs. Chilton’s defense also came up with some big stops and takeaways, none larger than Luis Fernandez’s 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter that tied the game at 14.