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Football roundup: Red Oak seals win late vs. Richland

Midlothian Heritage wins district title; Ferris, Maypearl clinch playoff berths

Daily Light report

RED OAK — Zach Sanders rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns, Raymond Gay Jr. added six catches for 179 yards and three scores, and the Red Oak Hawks amassed over 500 yards of total offense en route to a 56-40 win over Richland on Friday night at Billy Goodloe Stadium in a matchup of District 4-5A (I) playoff hopefuls.

With the score 43-40 and Richland kicking off late in the fourth quarter, Red Oak sealed the win as Jaylyn Bennett returned an onside kick attempt 50 yards for a touchdown and Darius Jackson added a 40-yard pick-six on the ensuing Richland drive with 1:02 left.

Red Oak (2-1, 2-0) came out of the gate hot, needing just three plays on the opening drive to jump ahead 7-0 on Joshua Ervin’s 35-yard pass to Gay. Red Oak added scores on three of their next four possessions to take a 23-3 lead into halftime.

Richland came alive in the second half, scoring on its first three possessions, as quarterback Cole Benson led his team back down the field time and time again. Benson ended the game with 380 yards passing and 4 scores.

Ervin was efficient all night, completing 10 of 15 pass attempts for 216 yards and three scores, all to Gay.

The Hawks will travel to Grapevine’s Mustang-Panther Stadium to take on Colleyville Heritage in a crucial contest this Friday at 7 p.m. The two teams lead the district with 2-0 records and the winner will assume the driver’s seat in the title race.

Coll. Heritage 45, Midlothian 21

GRAPEVINE — Things got off to a great start for the Midlothian Panthers on Friday night at Mustang-Panther Stadium. But the Panthers couldn’t sustain the early momentum, and it resulted in the team’s first loss of the season.

The Panthers (3-1, 1-1) found it hard to match the output of Colleyville quarterback AJ Smith-Shawver, who completed 19 of 27 pass attempts for 407 yards and five touchdowns. Leon Covington (4-173) and Mason Murdock (5-147) each caught two scoring passes.

Eight different rushers touched the ball for the Panthers, but the team managed only 250 yards on the night. De’ago Benson led the way with nine carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, and Ethan Hill ran 10 times for 37 yards and a score. Quarterback Nick de los Santos was 8-of-17 for 107 yards and a touchdown pass to Will Blevins, who finished with four catches for 75 yards.

MHS opened the game by driving 79 yards in 12 plays, a signature Midlothian drive. De los Santos and Blevins connected twice on the drive, the second of which was a 22-yard TD pass at the 5:38 mark of the first quarter. Nicolas Arenare’s PAT made it 7-0.

But Colleyville (3-0, 2-0) needed just one play to tie the game as Smith-Shawver completed a 64-yard pass to Covington. Then, after an interception near midfield, Colleyville used two plays to take the lead, this time on a 31-yard pass to Murdock.

The Panthers will stay on the road this Friday night, traveling to Burleson to take on Centennial in another 4-5A (I) key battle. MHS trails Colleyville and Red Oak by a full game, and Centennial and Mansfield Summit by a half-game in the standings.

Mid. Heritage 42, Stephenville 27

STEPHENVILLE — A year after losing a chance at a district championship because of an ineligible player, the Heritage Jaguars are back on top in District 5-4A (I).

Latray Miller rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on Friday night, leading the Class 4A Division I No. 8-ranked Jaguars to a 42-27 title-clinching victory over Stephenville at Tarleton State University’s Memorial Stadium.

The Jags (8-2, 4-0) clinched the district championship officially for the fourth time in five seasons as a varsity program. HHS would’ve made it five straight after winning it on the field in 2019, but was forced to forfeit a victory against Crandall.

Stephenville fought back to trail 28-20 with just over five minutes remaining in the game, then held on third down and had seemingly forced a punt. But instead, Heritage converted a fake punt when Kaden Brown connected with Daelin Rader for a 33-yard pass to the Yellowjackets’ 18-yard line. Two plays later, Miller scored his third touchdown of the game from 12 yards out.

Rader completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 107 yards and two touchdowns, both to Carter Wilkerson, who caught seven total passes for 84 yards. Rader added 61 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

The Jags received a waiver from the University Interscholastic League allowing them to play an 11th regular-season game, but they won’t have to. The District 5-4A (I) executive committee agreed that the Jags’ game against Brownwood on Saturday won’t be played because the game won’t affect the final district standings.

The Jags will open the Class 4A Division I playoffs against River Oaks Castleberry the weekend of Nov. 12-14.

Ferris 44, Venus 26

FERRIS — The running tandem of Kayden Barnes and quarterback Nate Aguinaga was unstoppable as Ferris clinched a playoff berth with a 44-26 win against Venus on Friday night.

Ferris (5-3, 2-1) can secure a share of the District 5-4A (II) championship on Friday night with an upset win at first-place Glen Rose.

Aguinaga carried 11 times for 152 yards and five touchdowns on the night, and Barnes ran 27 times for 175 yards ad a score. Aguinaga also completed four passes for 40 yards.

The contest was still in the balance at the half as the Yellowjackets held a 16-14 halftime lead, but the Jackets pulled away in the second half.

The loss eliminated Venus (0-9, 0-3) from the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. Bryce Brown threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns and added 60 rushing yards on 11 carries, and Ismael Lucio rushed for 105 yards and a TD for the Bulldogs.

Maypearl 47, Whitney 20

WHITNEY — Quarterback Jaxson Emerton ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more scores to Aaron Jett, and Heath Roesler intercepted three passes as Maypearl (7-2, 3-2) clinched a playoff berth for the first time in three seasons with a 47-20 District 7-3A (I) win at Whitney on Friday night.

The Panthers can grab the No. 2 seed in the upcoming playoffs with a win this Friday at W.G. Roesler Stadium against West.

Maypearl forced seven turnovers defensively. Grant Hamby led the Panther defense with 12 tackles, and Timmy Gracey added an interception. Aidan Matthews, Clay Payne and Homer Arizpe each recovered a fumble.

Italy 28, Dawson 14

ITALY — Jaiden Barr rushed for two touchdowns, including a 1-yard run just 40 seconds into the game on a fumbled kickoff return, as the Gladiators clinched no worse than a share of the District 8-2A (I) championship with a 28-14 victory over Dawson on Friday night.

Jayden Saxon completed a 33-yard scoring pass to Reese Janik to make it a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Dawson rallied to tie the game at the half before Saxon’s 3-yard run midway through the third quarter gave Italy the lead for good. Barr added his second TD run late in the game for good measure.

The Gladiators (7-1, 4-0) will travel to Marlin this Friday with a chance to lock up the outright district championship and No. 1 seed.

Blum 48, Milford 0

BLUM — The visiting Milford Bulldogs managed 153 total yards, but couldn’t find pay dirt as defending state champion Blum cruised to a 48-0 mercy-rule win on Friday night in District 11-1A (I) action.

Ka’Charo Cook rushed 10 times for 62 yards, and freshman Mathew Lara added eight caries for 33 yards. Sophomore quarterback Oscar Aguilar completed 3 of 6 passes for 46 yards, with sophomore Donteh Williams catching two passes for 30 yards and Lara catching one for 16 yards.

Milford (1-6, 1-2) will end its season at home on Friday night against Covington and can play a spoiler in the district playoff picture. Blum will take on Avalon on Friday in the regular-season finale for both teams. The winner will clinch a playoff berth. Avalon would clinch with a win, while Blum would clinch with either a win or a loss of less than five points.

Waco Vanguard 36, OCS 24

OVILLA — Waco Vanguard College Prep’s Walker Nall completed 14 of 23 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Ovilla Christian School Eagles, 36-24, on Friday night to spoil OCS’ long-awaited first home game.

The Eagles (4-2, 3-2) remain in third place in the TAPPS District DII-3 standings despite the defeat.

OCS will step out of district play on Thursday night with a home game against Garland Christian at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles will end the regular season on Nov. 13 against visiting Waco Live Oak Classical.