It was a weekend of hard hitting football in Runnels County as the Miles Bulldogs and Ballinger Bearcats fall and the Winters Blizzards roll over Iraan.
Blizzards freeze out the Iraan Braves, 40-6
The Iraan Braves (0-6) rolled into Winters (4-2) on Friday and was met by the Winters’ defense cold-front line that held the Braves to 6-points. Winters was coming off a 34-24 loss to Christoval (6-0) and looking for some redemption.
The winless Braves had little hope of coming away with a win but fought hard the entire game and never gave up. In the end the Winters defense was just too much for them to overcome. The Braves only carry 19 players on their roster vs Winters’ 27 players and had a hard time getting their players breaks to catch their wind during the game. Winters always runs a fast-paced offense and gives the defense little chance to adjust to the next play. Head coach and athletic director Matt McCarty force other teams to try an stop the Blizzards’ running game, that easily puts up 300-yards of rushing in a game. Iraan wasn’t able to even slow down the running game as Winters kept the momentum for the entire game and broke out for some long runs at-will.
Winters plays in a very strong district in which none of the teams have losing records. They likely have the toughest remaining schedule of any of the Runnels County teams. This game gave the Blizzards a chance to fine tune their game in preparation for a grueling 4-game stretch in district play.
The Blizzards will begin district play on October 11th, when they will travel to Hawley to face down the 6-0 Hawley Bearcats. The following week Winters will host the 4-2 Stamford Bulldogs. On October 25th they’ll travel to Forsan to take on the 3-3 Buffaloes. They finish the season by hosting the 5-1 Ozona Lions.
Ballinger falls to the Anson Tigers 27-20
It was another Ballinger game where if you just looked at the game stats you’d think that Ballinger won the game. But the only numbers that matter is the score, and that’s were Ballinger fell short to the Anson Tigers 27-20 on Friday night.
The Bearcats ran 63 plays compared to 46 plays for Anson. Ballinger had 21 first downs where Anson had 14. Ballinger had fewer penalties, 6 for 70 yards, than Anson, which had 11 for 88 yards. The Bearcats also won in the time of possession, 25:06 to 22:12.
Ballinger’s senior quarterback, Edgar Nunez, went 5 of 12 for 37 yard and 1 interception. Nunez did rush 17 times for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nunez averaged almost 9.6 yards per rush. No other Ballinger rusher broke the 50-yard mark. Senior Cooper Bean rushed 7 times for 15 yards; Junior Tyler Vaughn rushed 5 times for 49 yards and 1 touchdown; Junior Garrett Dixon rushed 3 times for 44 yards. With a running game that gained 272 yards and was averaging 8.2 yards per rush it would appear that Ballinger would have run away with the game. But that wasn’t the case. The Anson Tigers defense stepped up time and again and stopped Ballinger when they had to. The Tigers had to fight through penalties and work hard for the win. Even with Bearcats junior wide received Weston Rollwitz pulling in 6 receptions, it wasn’t enough for the Bearcats to overcome the deficit. One issue for Ballinger was ball security. To go along with the one interception, the Bearcats also fumbled the ball twice.
Ballinger has not faired well in district play. With the loss to perennial powerhouse Cisco last week, and this week’s loss to Anson, the Bearcats are now 0-2 in district play. Cisco, Coleman and Anson sit atop the district at 2-0 while Merkel and Bangs are 1-1, leaving Ballinger, San Angelo TLCA and Grape Creek at 0-2. Ballinger has scored 29 points combined in it’s district play while giving up 53 points.
The district schedule doesn’t get any easier for Ballinger as they host Bangs next week. The following week the Bearcats will host Grape Creek then travel to Merkel on October 25th and host Coleman on November 1st. They finish off the season on the road against San Angelo TLCA.
The Bearcats will have to tighten up their game if they expect to finish toward the top of the district but coach Lipsey and his staff are more than capable of overcoming their issues and winning all of their remaining games.
Cross Plains Buffaloes stampede Miles Bulldogs
The Miles Bulldogs posted 58 points against Ranger, 44 points against TLCA, 49 points against Roscoe, 56 points against Era and 53 points against Munday. But, on Friday night they only put up 6 points against the 5-1 Cross Plains Buffaloes.
The game got out of hand early for the Bulldogs, as the Buffaloes put up 2 touchdowns in the first quarter. Miles failed to put any points on the board and started the 2nd quarter down 14-0. In the 2nd quarter Cross Plains put up 3 more touchdowns and Miles was able to score one touchdown with a missed PAT. At halftime the Buffaloes were up 35-6.
The second half of the game wasn’t any more kind to the Bulldogs as they failed to put a point on the board. The Buffaloes scored 1 touchdown in the 3rd quarter as they coasted to a 42-6 win.
The Bulldogs have been hitting on all cylinders this season but got out of rhythm against Cross Plains. The Buffaloes had a strong running game, especially running off-tackle plays on the left side of the line. Their offensive line was able to constantly push the Bulldogs’ defensive line 3 or 4 yards back, giving their rushers a lot of room to break out with long runs.
The grind of the season seemingly caught up to Bulldogs who have been playing with significant injuries all season. The Bulldogs’ senior quarterback, Davian Martinez, has been playing with a sprained ankle for the last 4 weeks. In this game they had 2 more key players go down with injuries. The Buffaloes, as with Miles, have been putting up over 40 points per game. Cross Plains has also been surrendering only about 8 points per game. The Bulldogs have been giving up 22 points per game on average. It was a dangerous mix for the Bulldogs against a team like Cross Plains and with the injury bug continuing to bite them it was too much to overcome.
But, the good news is that this wasn’t a district game. The bulldogs open district play on the road against the 1-5 Menard Yellowjackets on October 11th. They follow that game up by hosting the 5-1 Eldorado Eagles on October 18th. The following week is a bye week so they’ll have the opportunity to give their players some much-needed rest before continuing district play.
On November 1st the Bulldogs travel to face the 6-0 Christoval Cougars in a game that promises to be a hard-hitting affair. Last year the Bulldogs hosted the Cougars and defeated them 21-20 in an emotion-packed victory.
On November 8th the Bulldogs will close out season play and district play at home against the 3-3 Rocksprings Angoras.