Football roundup: Palmer win sets up district showdown

Midlothian gives Colleyville Heritage a battle in loss; Avalon mercy-rules Gholson

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MILDRED — The Palmer Bulldogs on Friday night set up what promises to be the game of the year in District 7-3A (Division II), as they rolled past Mildred, 50-24.

The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-0) have traditionally owed their success to a strong running game, but this time they unleashed a highly-efficient passing attack. Senior quarterback Elijah Hernandez completed 12 of 14 attempts for 205 yards and two touchdowns, with Jacob Berumen and Brandon Martinez each hauling in one.

To be sure, the Bulldogs were also strong on the ground. Bralen Lopez rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Cutter Burrow ran for 68 yards and two scores and Hernandez called his own number for 50 yards and two TDs along with a 2-point conversion run.

Defensively, Burrow had eight total tackles, while Jett Maxwell had two sacks, Julian Ramirez added a sack and Drew Powell intercepted a pass.

Palmer led 16-0 at the end of the first quarter, then turned on the jets in the second quarter to pull away for a 37-0 halftime lead.

Up next for the Bulldogs is a game against Edgewood that is likely to decide the district championship. Edgewood enters the game tied with Palmer at 2-0 in district with victories over Scurry-Rosser and Blooming Grove.

Coll. Heritage 10, Midlothian 7

The Midlothian Panthers gave a yeoman effort on defense against state-ranked Colleyville Heritage on Friday night in front of a crowd of pink at Don Floyd Field at MISD Multipurpose Stadium. The visitors, though, were just as solid against the hosts’ triple-option run attack.

Colleyville scored the winning touchdown on Weston Smith’s 25-yard pass to Braden Blueitt with about 5 minutes left to cap an 11-play, 67-yard drive to lead the 5A Division I No. 6 tourists to a 10-7 win over MHS. The end result leaves Colleyville and 2020 state semifinalist Mansfield Summit as the only 2-0 teams in district play, with MHS (2-3, 1-1) in a four-team jumble in the middle.

Midlothian took a 7-3 lead early in the fourth quarter on junior prospect De’ago Benson’s run before Colleyville’s winning drive. On MHS’ final drive, the homestanding blue Panthers turned the ball over on downs at the Colleyville 43-yard line.

MHS completed only one pass all night, to Michael Garber for 34 yards from Chad Ragle.

Benson, who was injured two weeks ago scoring a touchdown and sat out last week’s 31-7 victorious rout at Birdville, returned to the lineup and gained 101 yards and a TD on 18 carries.

The Panthers will remain at the soon-to-be-expanded MISD Multipurpose Stadium against rebuilding Burleson Centennial at 7 p.m. this Friday.

Richland 30, Red Oak 14

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Quarterback C.J. Nelson scored two touchdowns, including a 17-yard touchdown pass, as Richland defeated the Red Oak Hawks on Friday night, 30-14, at the Birdville ISD Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.

Red Oak (1-4, 1-1) was led by quarterback Jaylon Robinson, who accounted for 367 total yards and threw a touchdown pass to Warren Roberson, who finished with five catches for 167 yards. Moses Martindale added a touchdown run.

Richland (4-1, 1-1 District 4-5A DI) took control of this game early, in part because they won the turnover battle. Richland caused four turnovers in the game, including two interceptions by defensive back Christian Smith-Johnson. Richland scored on two of the following drives after the turnovers, making sure this game was always in their control.

Running back E.J. Gipson-Smith led the ground game for Richland, accounting for 2 touchdowns and 100 rushing yards in the game. The Royals ended the game with 148 rushing yards on 43 attempts as a team.

The Hawks will host state-ranked Colleyville Heritage at Billy Goodloe Stadium this Friday night.

Bridgeport 31, Ferris 14

FERRIS — Bridgeport used a dominant running attack in the second half to pull away from Ferris for a 31-14 win in a non-district clash at Yellowjacket Stadium on Friday night.

Ferris starting quarterback Nathan Greek left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Junior Tommy Dixson replaced Greek and the team focused on the running attack.

Junior Darrick Willis led Ferris (3-3) with 210 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns.

Freshman Cole Pritchard led Bridgeport on the ground with 171 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. QB Mason McComis added 197 yards through the air, including an 88-yard strike to Junior Adan Santoyo.

The two teams battled to a 14-all deadlock at halftime before the Bulls (3-3) pulled away in the second half.

The Yellowjackets have a bye this weekend as District 5-4A (II) play gets underway.

Avalon 45, Gholson 0

AVALON — Sophomore quarterback Erick Padron rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns as the Avalon Eagles evened their season record at 3-3 with a 45-0 rout of Gholson that ended at halftime on the 45-point mercy rule.

Jessy Morones, Christian Patlan and freshman Waco Johnson also added rushing scores for the Eagles, who did not attempt a pass all evening.

On defense, freshman Monroe Spurlock added a pair of interceptions, Gabriel Pacheco returned a fumble for a touchdown, and Morones and freshman Jesus Aguilar also recovered fumbles.

The Eagles open District 11-1A play at home Friday night against Covington.