A trio of local six-man football programs will attempt to extend their seasons into Thanksgiving weekend as they square off in regional semifinal action Friday night. The following are brief glimpses of the three contests:
Class A Division I Region IV Semifinal
May (10-1) vs. Nueces Canyon (9-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Irion County
With 10 consecutive victories under their belt, the May Tigers will attempt to continue their push toward their first trip to Arlington for the Class A Division I state championship game since back-to-back appearances in 2013 and 2014.
The next opponent standing in the way is the Nueces Canyon Panthers, fresh off a 59-14 bi-district victory that ended the Zephyr Bulldogs' season.
Nueces Canyon is in the midst of a four-game win streak with its losses this season coming to Balmorhea (80-34) in the season opener and Rankin (68-14).
For the season, the Panthers average 50 points and 463 yards — 282 passing and 181 rushing — per game, while allowing 32 points per outing.
Nueces Canyon's Kambryn Deleon has passed for 1,305 yards with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions, while Victor Contreras has thrown for 400 yards with seven scores and seven picks. Contreras leads the Panthers' rushing attack with 811 yards and 21 touchdowns while other contributors include Fabian Hernandez (695 yards, 6 TDs), Tony Gonzales (355 yards, 7 TDs) and Jordan Short (300 yards, 6 TDs). Leading receivers are Short (40-821, 12 TDs), Contreras (25-430, 7 TDs), Hernandez (20-200), Deleon (15-130), and Gonzales (15-111).
Defensive standouts for Nueces Canyon — which has tallied 29 takeaways, 35 tackles for loss, and 28 sacks — are Short (124 tackles, 13 for loss, 13 sacks, 7 INTs), Contreras (122 tackles, 8 for loss, 7 sacks, 8 INTs), and Gonzales (102 tackles, 5 INTs).
May, coming off a 56-8 bi-district championship victory over Robert Lee, enters Friday's game averaging 58 points and 343 yards — 228 rushing and 115 passing — per game, while allowing 21 points.
Leading the charge on the ground for the Tigers are Isidro Salinas (866 yards, 16 TDs), Rory Bustamante (649 yards, 12 TDs), Blake Harrell (484 yards, 11 TDs), Kaden Halk (249 yards, 7 TDs), and Lane McGinn (117 yards, 4 TDs). Top passers are Harrell (572 yards, 13 TDs), Bustamante (440 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT), Ethan Self (111 yards, 4 TDs) and Seth Johnston (100 yards, 3 TDs). Receiving threats include Salinas (19-331, 6 TDs), Tyler Wheeler (16-250, 10 TDs), Keith Cross (8-201, 3 TDs), and Chris Flenniken (11-149, 4 TDs).
On the defensive end, May is led by Salinas (83 tackles, six fumble recoveries, two interceptions), Harrell (63 tackles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions), Flenniken (60 tackles, eight fumble recoveries, two interceptions), Halk (47 tackles, one fumble recovery), and McGinn (52 tackles, one interception).
The only blemish on May's record this year came in the season opener, a 68-47 loss at Richland Springs.
According to six-man football.com, May is a 45-point favorite.
Friday's winner will face either Jonesboro (10-1) or Eden (8-3) for the Region IV championship next weekend.
Class A Division II Region IV Semifinal
Blanket (9-2) vs. Oakwood (7-4)
7 p.m. Friday at Aquilla
In a rematch from the Class A Division II Region IV semifinals a year ago, the Blanket Tigers seek a measure of revenge against the Oakwood Panthers.
The two teams met in the second round in 2018, where Oakwood ended Blanket's 11-game win streak and undefeated season with a 51-6 victory. Several members of last season's Oakwood team have graduated, but Key'Undre Davis — who rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns against Blanket — is back.
Oakwood reached the second round with a 61-8 victory over McDade, its fourth win in a row, this past Saturday, while Blanket hammered Rochelle, 52-6, on Friday night.
The Tigers head into the contest on a seven-game win streak and are averaging 50 and 271 yards — 202 rushing and 69 passing — per outing, while giving up 16 points and 128 yards — 68 rushing and 60 passing.
Leading rushers for Blanket include Logan Wheeler (769 yards, 20 TDs), Hector Castaneda (682 yards, 18 TDs) and Tyler Simpson (103 yards, 2 TDs).
Top passers are Trenten Varner (261 yards, 6 TDs) and Wheeler (55 yards, 1 TD). Receiving threats include Simpson (11-230, 8 TDs), Wheeler (6-144 3, TDs), Castaneda (5-86, 2 TDs) and Hayden Rodgers (3-56).
Defensive standouts include Castaneda (85 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 INT), Tanner Isom (59 tackles, 13 for loss, 1 safety), Simpson (53 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 INTs), Wheeler (37 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT), Brady Furry (36 tackles, 4 INTs), and Varner (26 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 INT).
Oakwood's losses this season have come against Milford (76-54), Calvert (47-14), Union Hill (52-6) and Coolidge (63-40).
Blanket was defeated by May (60-37) and Gordon (64-16) on the final two Fridays in September.
According to sixmanfootball.com, Blanket is a 15-point underdog.
Friday's winner will face either Richland Springs (9-0) or Calvert (8-3) for the Region IV championship next weekend.
Class A Division II Region IV Semifinal
Richland Springs (9-0) vs. Calvert (8-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Hico
The undefeated Richland Springs Coyotes continue to pursue their ninth state championship — and first since 2016 — against a familiar postseason foe in the Calvert Trojans.
The Coyotes ended the Brookesmith Mustangs' best season since 1962 last week with a resounding 72-25 bi-district victory — the second game in a row in which Richland Springs reached 70 points, and third consecutive with more than 60 points scored.
Led by Corderrius Gilmore and James Wilborn, Calvert blanket Trinidad, 48-0, last week to reach the second round, the fourth win a row for the Trojans. Losses for Calvert this year — which averages 41 points per game and allows 16 — have come at the hands of Bastrop Tribe (36-20), Coolidge (34-31) and Milford (36-30 in OT).
Richland Springs is entering the contest producing 66 points and 427 yards — 299 rushing and 128 passing — per game while giving up 26 points and 215 yards — 126 rushing and 89 passing — per outing, with 27 takeaways on the year.
Leading rushers include Matthew Rigdon (924 yards, 17 TDs), Griff Rigdon (536 yards, 15 TDs), Landon Burkhart (340 yards, 5 TDs), Lane Shannon (313 yards, 6 TDs), and Zane Capps (186 yards, 5 TDs).
Through the air, Matthew Rigdon has thrown for 825 yards with 12 touchdowns, Burkhart has passed for 139 yards and four scores and Capps has a touchdown pass and 62 yards.
Top receiving threats include Shannon (14-281, 4 TDs), Deklyn Chandler (9-200, 3 TDs), Wade Appleton (5-185, 4 TDs), Massiah Clarady (5-107, 2 TDs), Josiah Beam (3-42, TD), Jaydeyn Bryant (2-57, TD), and Burkhart (2-57, TD).
Leading tacklers include Shannon (52 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 5 sacks,3 FRs), Appleton (36.5 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 FRs), Matthew Rigdon (29.5 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 2 INTs, 6 FRs), Burkhart (18.5 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 2 FRs), Chandler (18.5 tackles), Beam (17 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs, 2 FRs), Clarady (12 tackles, 1 INT), Griff Rigdon (12 tackles, 2 for loss ) and T.J. Grant (10.5 tackles, 2 for loss).
According to sixmanfootball.com, Richland Springs is a 45-point favorite.
Friday's winner will face either Blanket (9-2) or Oakwood (7-4) for the Region IV championship next weekend.
Editor's Note: Due to deadline restrictions the result of Thursday night's San Saba-Collinsville playoff game will not appear in today's print edition.