The opening coin toss that was deferred to the Grapeland Sandies by the hometown Buffalo Bison was one of the few bright lights for the Sandies on Friday.
The Class 3A Bison (3-0) took a turnover and turned it and many other Sandie miscues into a dominating 51-12 victory at Bison Stadium.
After Rodney Davis returned the opening kickoff to the Sandie 36, the Sandies' day went downhill. QB Rick Frauenberger tossed a quick slant to Davis for 12 yards and while struggling for yardage Davis was stripped of the ball and the Bison recovered at the Sandie 38.
The defense, led by senior linebacker Dustin Ackley, held Buffalo to a fourth down but QB Colton Green rushed in for the TD. After a blocked PAT the Bison led 6-0 with 8:40 in the first quarter.
Starting at their own 26 after the kick, Davis caught a 20-yard pass but once again was stripped of the ball and the Bison were in business at the Sandie 45. They quickly scored on a pass and Green ran the 2-point play for a 14-0 lead with 5:11 in the first.
After the kick the Sandies started at their own 38. After a quick hitter for 12 yards to Davis the Bison were flagged for one of their 11 personal fouls with a facemask call. Frauenberger quickly hit Riley Chipman with a short pass that he turned into a twisting 37-yard TD. D. Ackley's kick failed, making the score 14-6 Bison at 4:23 in the first.
Ackley kicked deep to start the Bison at their 26. The defense stiffened at the Sandie 29 and Grapeland took over on downs, but after being held by the big, quick Bison defense the Sandies punted. Frauenberger boomed a long punt to the Bison 32 but the Buffalo offense quickly moved downfield to score and added the 2-point PAT.
Starting at their own 32 the Sandies moved downfield with passes to Josh Ackley and runs by Brayden Cheatham. On third-and-long a very late hit on Frauenberger gave the Sandies a first down but the drive stalled and the ball went over on downs at the Bison 30.
Green moved the Bison quickly downfield and passed 30 yards for the TD. The missed PAT made it 27-6 with 9:16 in the first half.
Starting at their own 31, the Sandies moved downfield. Davis caught a quick 11-yarder and another very late hit on Frauenberger gave the Sandies another first down. After Chipman caught a pass to the 21, the drive stalled and once again the ball went over to the Bison on downs at their own 30.
On the first play Green passed deep to Montano for the 70-yard TD. The PAT made the score 34-6 with 5:00 left in the half.
The Bison then surprised the Sandies with an onside kick that the home team recovered at their own 49. Green quickly moved them downfield and scored on a keeper. The PAT shocked the Sandie crowd into silence with a 41-6 score with 3:36 left in the half.
After the kick a deep pass by Frauenberger was intercepted and the half ended with the Bison up by 35.
After a failed onside attempt by Grapeland to start the third quarter the Sandie defense stiffened and Chipman recovered a fumble at the Sandie 38. Chipman caught a pass for 14 yards but once again the Sandies turned the ball over on downs. After another defensive stand, a messed up punt attempt by Buffalo set up the Sandies at the Bison 24. After another personal foul on the Bison, Frauenberger dropped back and hit Josh Ackley in stride for the 37-yard TD. The PAT failed and the score stood 41-12 with 2:00 left in the third. After the kick the Sandie defense once again stiffened and sacked Green on fourth-and-long but a facemask penalty gave the Bison new life and Green scored again on a keeper. The PAT was good, moving the score to 48-12 to start the fourth quarter. After starting at their own 30, Frauenberger hit freshman Keriun Davis for a 65-yard pass that was brought back on a holding call. On a punt by the Sandies, Ashton Henry was targeted for a very unsportsmanlike hit that knocked him out of the rest of the game. The player was penalized but in this writer's opinion should have been tossed out. This was number nine of Buffalo's unsportsmanlike calls.
The teams traded possessions for the next six minutes where the Sandie defense did a good job of holding the high-powered Bison offense.
After a long punt set up the Sandies at their own 9, Frauenberger lost the ball on a scramble and the Bison took possession at the Sandie 8. Once again the Sandies held and on 4th-and long the Bison settled for a 30-yard field goal with 2:52 left.
After another Sandie offensive turnover following the kickoff, the Sandie defense held again to end the game on a high note with a sack by Dustin Ackley.
Frauenberger finished the night completing 17 of 37 for 252 yards with two interceptions.
This was a tough game with very few highlights for the Sandies. Coach Wayne Mahaffey said after the game, "We managed to survive."
"We need to get better fast," said Mahaffey. "We have a lot of work to do next week to get ready for Colmesneil."
There were two more Sandies injured in this game-- juniors Ashton Henry and Aaron Davis to go along with already out senior linebacker Kamari Smith. Only Smith at this time is ruled out of this week's game.
Lion Hunter Murray catches a touchdown strike despite the Joaquin defender’s attempt to break up the pass. (Lawanna Monk Photo)
By Lawanna Monk
Lovelady's defense dug their claws into the turf late in the game to preserve a 21-20 victory over Joaquin at the Lions Den Friday night.
Clinging to a 1-point lead after Joaquin scored a touchdown with 1:19 left in the game, Petey Little shut down a 2-point conversion play to keep the Lions on top.
Joaquin then attempted an onside kick and recovered at the Lion 47. The Rams failed to pick up a first down and turned the ball over on downs thanks to a big defensive stand by the Lions.
Lovelady took over with :44 left and quarterback Lee Holsey took a knee to run out the clock. The Rams returned Devon Hammock's opening kickoff to their own 30, where Treyton Wilson made the stop.
Reaching the Lion 37, the Rams fumbled and DaMario Mattingly recovered on the Lion 36. After a short pass from Holsey to Little for two yards, Holsey tossed the ball back to Ethan Campbell, who made it to the Ram 47 behind a block by Little. Holsey went to the air again, this time finding Hunter Murray at the 39. The Lions made it to the 22 on a quarterback keeper and a pass interference penalty on the Rams put them on the 9 yard line. After a short gain by Campbell, Hammock caught a pass in the end zone with 1:44 on the clock. Hammock's kick was good for a 7-0 lead.
Joaquin tied the game at 7-all in the second quarter after a fumble recovery on the Lion 42.
The score came on a 7-yard run with 6:23 on the clock and the PAT was good.
Alex McKnight returned the Ram kickoff from the 13 yard line to the Lion 38. Johnson reached the Ram 46 by keeping his feet moving and dragging defenders with him. A sideline pass to Murray put the Lions on the Ram 31 and Murray caught another pass over the top and cut sharply to avoid the defenders inside the red zone to the 18. The Lions managed just two more yards before turning the ball on downs at the Joaquin 16.
Unable to move the ball, the Rams had to punt and Campbell returned it to the Ram 18. Holsey handed off to Johnson, whose speed carried him right into the end zone with 2:13 on the clock. Murray carried the ball in for the 2-point conversion for a 15-7 lead at halftime. McKnight returned the second half kick to the Lion 27 but the Lions were unable to gain a first down and Jay T. Robinson punted. With good downfield coverage by the Lions, Lane Jones hit the Joaquin return man at the Ram 35. Led by defensive players Little and Blake Johnson, the Lions held the Rams and forced a punt that rolled to the Lion 20.
Holsey completed a pass to Little but a penalty brought the ball back to the 10 yard line. After Murray gained 4 yards, the Lions were then set for a loss and forced to punt.
Robinson's punt rolled dead at the Ram 36. Stopped on three straight plays, Joaquin faced a fourth-and-short situation. The Lion defensive line of Brett Huester, Mattingly, Greyson Bachynsky and Mason Phillips denied the first down and the Lions took over at the 45.
Another Holsey-to-Murray touchdown pass extended the Lion lead to 21-7, but the extra point kick was blocked.
In the fourth quarter, Joaquin started the next scoring drive on its own 45 after a Lion punt. A pass quickly put them on the Lion 30, setting up an 11-yard TD run with 6:26 on the clock. The kick was good, bringing the score to 21-14.
McKnight returned the kickoff from the 15 to near midfield, but the Lions were forced to punt.
The Rams fielded the ball on their own 47 where Johnson levelled the Joaquin return man to prevent a return.
Joaquin drove down the field and scored on a 4-yard run with 1:19 on the clock. Little spoiled the 2-point conversion, allowing Lion fans to breathe a little easier.
After the Rams recovered the onside kick, the Lion defense did not back off and forced Joaquin to turn the ball over downs.
Lovelady's offense simply had to protect the ball and run out the remaining time to seal the Lions' second victory of the year.
With three straight home wins under their belts, Crockett Bulldogs hit the road for the first time Friday against the Madisonville Mustangs.
The Class 4A Mustangs (1-2) won their season opener over Diboll 11-8, but have since lost to Woodville 28-14 and Caldwell 54-36.
The undefeated Bulldogs are ranked No. 4 in Class 3A DII by the Padilla Poll, which has Newton at No. 1.
Crockett is riding momentum from a 37-14 win over a Class 4A Rusk squad.
"We played one of our better games all the way around," said Bulldog Head Coach Jimmy Thompson. "Special teams did an exceptionally good job. Our punting and kickoff team pinned Rusk deep most of the time. We didn't get a great punt return, but we had some decent kickoff returns."
Defensively, Thompson noted, "We gave up two scores, which isn't a bad night against a quality opponent. At times, we could have done a better job on defense."
"Offensively, we did a pretty good job. We turned the ball over twice and we didn't score on our first drive of the third quarter, so that was a concern. Then we got into the two-back set and I thought we did really well."
"It was probably our best overall game so far," added Thompson. "But a team should be playing better overall by the third week than you were the first or second week."
Reviewing season rushing stats, Thompson said, "What impresses me is that we have eight guys that have carried the ball at least five times."
Crockett's receiver corps has multiple weapons too. "We don't have just one player that an opponent can shut down and completely stop our passing game. We have different people making catches, and overall BJ (Anderson) is throwing well."
Thompson added, "We're progressing at the rate we'd like to. You don't want to be playing your best football in September or October. You want to play your best game in November and December, and we're making progress. I certainly don't think we've reached the level needed to be a championship team. From week one to week two to week three we've made progress. That's the main thing we're looking for."
Grapeland Sandiettes notched a five-game victory over Crockett on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at The Hop. After dropping the first game 25-18, the Sandiettes took the second 25-21. The county rivals split the next two matches with the Lady Bulldogs winning 25-12 and Grapeland taking the next 25-11 to force a deciding fifth game. Grapeland then prevailed 15-12 to claim the match.
In their first tournament action of the year at Groveton Aug. 18-20, the Sandiettes posted three wins and three losses to finish third.
After competing in the Centerville Tournament over the weekend, the Sandiettes (6-3) will have two home games this week against Class 4A Huntington on Tuesday and Apple Springs on Friday.
New Head Coach Megan Simison has a young team with just three returning players from last year. Setter Hailee Sheridan, the lone senior, received honorable mention all-district last season. Sophomores Hannah Chipman, second team all-district, and Reagan Bowie are returning varsity players, and sophomore Maddie McCombs is the libero.
A trio of freshmen-- Kenya Woods, Keaundra Harris and Tatiana Bowie—round out the varsity unit.
Crockett’s Xavion Dixon plows over Trinity defenders in Friday night’s season opener at Driskell Stadium.
Crockett gridmen made their season debut in impressive fashion by shutting out Trinity 42-0 Friday night in Driskell Stadium.
Scoring on their first three possessions, the Bulldogs led 21-0 at halftime and then lit up the scoreboard two more times in the third quarter to lead 35-0. The Bulldogs put on the finishing touches with a fourth-quarter score.
The game got off to a shaky start for Trinity when Crockett linebacker Ahmad Brown recovered a fumble at the Tiger 20 yard line.
Quarterback B. J, Anderson hit Xavion Dixon for a 9-yard gain and then handed the ball to Dixon for an 11-yard touchdown run. Kicker Ricardo Ramirez gave Crockett a 7-0 lead with 11:37 left in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, the Tigers drove deep into Crockett territory before the Bulldogs mounted a defensive stand. Trinity reached the 8 yard line, but lost four yard on third down and then Derrick Sherman made a touchdown-saving tackle at the 2 yard line on fourth-and-goal.
Taking over at the 2, Anderson gave the Bulldogs some breathing room on a keeper to the 6 yard line and Dixon broke free to the 14 for a first down.
Going back to the air, Anderson found Daniels, who hauled in the pass at the 50 and strutted all the way for an 86-yard TD strike. Ramirez tacked on the extra point for a 14-0 lead with 2:40 to go in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter the Bulldogs drove inside Trinity's 10 yard line before turning the ball over on downs at the 22 yard line.
The Bulldogs made up for that lost scoring opportunity when the defense forced a Tiger punt that Daniels returned 65 yards for a quick touchdown. Ramirez nailed the point-after for a 21-0 lead with 5:30 left in the second quarter. Trinity dodged another bullet late in the first half with Crockett threatening at the 1 yard line. The Bulldogs coughed up the ball and the Tigers recovered.
Taking over with 17 second left, Trinity broke a 43-yard run on its first play but was unable to strike before halftime and Crockett's 21-0 lead remained in tact.
After receiving the second half kickoff, the Bulldogs didn't waste much time in padding their lead. Crockett's offense set up shop at the Tiger 46 following an onside attempt. An illegal procedure penalty against Crockett moved the ball back to the Bulldog 49, but that did not deter Daniels from taking a pitch and going all the way on the first play. Ramirez tacked on the extra point for a 28-0 lead with 11:32 in the third quarter.
Late in the third, the Bulldogs took over at the Tiger 22 following a punt. Tyress Anderson carried the first two plays for nine yards and Latavion Jones caught a 10-yard pass for a first down at the 11 yard line. Tyress Anderson capped the drive from 11 yards out and Ramirez added the extra point for a 35-0 lead with 2:39 left in the third.
A fumble recovery by Lonzo Rodgers at the Trinity 43 set up Crockett's final touchdown. Keshaun Smotherman carried for 12 on the first play, Marcus Smith carried twice, Reginald Lockhart gained 11 yards to the 7 yard line and two plays later Derrick Sherman scored on a 4-yard blast. Ramirez capped his perfect night in the kicking department to put the Bulldogs ahead 42-0 with 3:29 left in the game.