GLEN ROSE — With a fresh slate for the playoffs, China Spring made the most of it.
The Cougars, the fourth-place team of District 5-4A Div. I, didn’t worry about its seed and pushed around Kennedale, the district champions out of 6-4A. China Spring’s eye-opening 50-22 victory will propel the Cougars to at least the area round of the playoffs for the fifth straight year, including the second straight under head coach Brian Bell.
China Spring (4-7) trailed 15-7 at the half, but the Cougars had the stamina to finish with a flourish. They scored 43 points in the second half in rallying to turn the game into a runaway.
The Cougars took the lead for good on Brayden Faulkner’s 75-yard scamper to the house four minutes into the third quarter. Six minutes later, Faulkner connected with KJ Peoples on a 7-yard TD pass to make it 29-15.
Kennedale (7-4) got back within a touchdown on Cameron Hyson’s 7-yard run with 10 minutes to go. But China Spring erupted for 21 unanswered points to close the game, as Emmanuel Abdallah scored on runs of 35 and 5 yards, before the QB Faulkner showed off his fleet feet again on a 63-yard scoot.
China Spring moves on to face Melissa, a 56-6 winner over Wilmer-Hutchins, in next week’s area playoffs.
Clifton 28, Edgewood 27 (OT)
WAXAHACHIE — The cardiac Cubs survived when Edgewood tried and failed on a two-point conversion in overtime, sending Clifton onward in the Class 3A Division II playoffs.
After regulation, the teams were tied at 21. Riley Perry gave Clifton (8-3) the lead with a 25-yard run on the first possession of overtime, and then Luis Rodriguez tacked on what would turn out to be a key extra point. Edgewood (7-4) followed by moving down inside the 5 and scoring on Kyle Keltner’s 3-yard TD run. But the Bulldogs couldn’t convert on a gutsy try for two, and Clifton advanced.
Clifton rushed for 286 yards in the win, led by quarterback Mason Brandenberger, who had 23 carries for 162 yards and one touchdown. Perry added 10 totes for 57 yards and two TDs. For Edgewood, Keltner scored three of his team’s four touchdowns.
Clifton will face Gunter in next week’s area playoffs.
De Leon 48, B-Eddy 41 (OT)
WHITNEY — A bobbled snap on the final fourth-down play in overtime sent the Eagles retreating, and De Leon was able to spring the upset on the district champions.
Both teams ran the ball effectively, as De Leon (4-7) used a powerful offensive line to keep the chains moving, while Bruceville-Eddy (9-2) kept fighting behind the speedy Nathan Quattlebaum, who had four TD runs. That gave him 30 TD runs on the season.
The teams combined for six touchdowns in the third quarter alone, going back and forth in carving up the field. Bruceville-Eddy trailed 34-19 after Jorge Gonzalez’s 11-yard run at the 8:08 mark of the third, but didn’t go down quietly.
After a long, clock-eating drive in the fourth quarter put the Bearcats in scoring position, De Leon left the door open by missing a 40-yard field goal try. The Eagles responded to march 88 yards in 10 plays, capped by Quattlebaum’s 5-yard cutback run with 2:24 to go. TJ Jarmon added the two-point conversion to tie it up at 41.
Quattlebaum almost won it for Bruceville-Eddy on the final play of regulation, breaking off a long run of more than 60 yards before being tripped up inside the De Leon 10-yard-line.
In overtime, De Leon went up 48-41 following Gonzalez’s 5-yard run on the first possession. Then Bruceville-Eddy couldn’t match that score, ending the game.
Despite the loss, it was a breakthrough season for Bruceville-Eddy, which captured its first outright district title since 1985.
Bay Area Christian 49, Reicher 22
LEAGUE CITY — The Broncos stampeded Reicher with an onslaught of big plays in bouncing the Cougars from the TAPPS state playoffs.
Bay Area (8-3) got touchdowns on a pick-six , a long kickoff return, and several large-chunk runs and passes as well. The Broncos scored the first three touchdowns of the game to make Reicher play chase the rest of the way.
Jackson Collins passed for a pair of TDs for Bay Area, while Payton Deegan found the end zone twice, once on a run and another on a pass from Collins.
Reicher kept playing hard, and tacked on one final TD with less than three minutes to go. The Cougars finished 4-7 in their first season under head coach Tyler Holcomb.
Bremond 50, Louise 13
BRENHAM — J.T. Anthony showed off some nifty moves in scampering through and around the Louise defenders, propelling the Tigers over the Hornets in Class 2A Div. II bi-district action.
Bremond (10-1) moved the ball effectively all night, and Anthony – who won the Texas Built Ford Tough Award for his all-around play two weeks ago – often proved to be the drive capper. The Tigers will move on to face the Agua Dulce vs. D’Hanis winner in the area round next week.