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  • Greg Wille

WEEK 3 AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Belton aims to respond; Lake Belton, Academy eye 3-0 marks


BELTON – After absorbing a 35-0 loss to a surging Round Rock squad in their home opener last Friday, the Belton Tigers aim to bounce back and finish non-district play with a winning record when they host Pflugerville Hendrickson at 7:30 tonight at Tiger Field.

Belton (1-1) produced plenty of offense in its season-opening 35-31 comeback win at Georgetown two weeks ago, but Round Rock’s sturdy defense limited the Tigers to 86 total yards – 51 passing by sophomore quarterback Ty Brown and 35 rushing – and Belton also committed three turnovers.

The Belton defense couldn’t keep up with the Dragons in the first half as they rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead, with quarterback Mason Cochran rushing for three touchdowns and Trayvian McCoy-Gay running for 152 yards and a TD overall.

Coach Brett Sniffin’s Tigers played much better on defense in the second half, shutting out Round Rock.

Through two games, junior linebacker Donovan Thompson leads Belton with 18 tackles, senior safety Aaron Bain has 16 stops and senior cornerback Connor Whitman has grabbed two interceptions.

The Tigers will get their open date next week before they begin their seven-game District 12-6A schedule Sept. 24 at Copperas Cove.

Meanwhile, Class 5A Division I Hendrickson (0-2) seeks to break into the win column before its begins district action in two weeks against Pflugerville Weiss. The Hawks lost their season opener 35-14 to Cibolo Steele, then were edged 22-17 by Killeen a week ago.

After first varsity road win, Lake Belton aims

for 3-0 start as Broncos travel to 2-0 Poteet

Lake Belton achieved another first for its second-year program when the Broncos last Friday gained their first road win on the varsity level by defeating Class 5A Division I Fort Worth Arlington Heights 26-14.

That came one week after Lake Belton notched its first varsity victory, 42-21 over 4A D-II Mexia at Belton’s Tiger Field.

Coach Brian Cope’s Lake Belton team will try to make it a 3-0 start this season when the Broncos hit the road again to challenge the 2-0 Poteet Aggies at 7:30 tonight.

Lake Belton allowed 224 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Arlington Heights running back Brian Furch but also collected two key turnovers and pitched a fourth-quarter shutout to earn the victory.

The Broncos got 256 passing yards and one touchdown from junior quarterback Connor Crews and 95 rushing yards and two TDs from junior D’Arius Wilkerson.

Sophomore wide receiver Micah Hudson has been a dynamic weapon for Lake Belton’s offense, catching 16 passes for 267 yards and two TDs. On defense, junior safety Javeon Wilcox paces the Broncos with 21 tackles.

Lake Belton’s defense will be tested by the prolific offense of 3A Division I Poteet, an 8-3 playoff team in 2020. Senior Ernest Davila has rushed for 338 yards and five touchdowns, while junior quarterback Alexander Lockamy has passed for 253 yards and four TDs. The Aggies ripped Crystal City 55-7 last week.

The Broncos take on another 3A Division I opponent next Friday when they host Cameron Yoe at Tiger Field.

After close loss at state-ranked Grandview,

Salado shoots to bounce back at Stephenville

SALADO – The Salado Eagles nearly pulled off a statement-making win last Friday before Class 3A Division I No. 4-ranked Grandview managed to secure a 32-28 victory.

Coach Alan Haire’s Salado squad faces another big challenge when the 4A Division II Eagles (1-1) travel to Tarleton State’s Memorial Stadium to take on 4A D-I Stephenville (2-0) at 7:30 tonight. Haire played college football at Tarleton State.

The Yellow Jackets have gotten off to an impressive start, beating Sweetwater 51-13 and Everman 38-14. Junior quarterback Ryder Lambert has passed for 535 yards and five touchdowns and is one of three 100-yard rushers for Stephenville.

Salado’s Slot-T offense was plenty productive at Grandview, rushing for 304 yards – senior Aidan Wilson had 151 and junior Caden Strickland had 111 with a TD – and getting 124 passing yards and two TDs (both to junior Seth Reavis) from senior quarterback Hutton Haire.

However, an Eagles defense that shut out Troy in the season opener couldn’t withstand the Zebras’ balanced attack quite well enough to produce a Salado victory.

Four Salado defenders have made 20-plus tackles: Nic Bates, Josh Huckabee, Nolan Miller and Braydon Sumners.

Last year’s Salado-Stephenville game was a shootout and a tale of two halves. The visiting Yellow Jackets raced out to a 31-19 halftime lead, but the Eagles dominated the second half 42-14 to earn a 61-45 victory.

Salado has two more non-district games after tonight and doesn’t begin district competition until Oct. 8 at Gatesville.

Academy travels to Groesbeck in

collision of high-scoring 2-0 teams

LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY – One year ago, Groesbeck came to Academy having beaten its first two opponents by a combined score of 92-20. However, the Goats’ momentum stopped abruptly as the unbeaten Bumblebees dominated them 45-0 at John Glover Stadium.

This year, Groesbeck is off to another 2-0 start with wins of 57-14 over Mildred and 69-10 against Rice. So as the Goats prepare to host Academy (2-0) at 7:30 tonight, what remains to be seen is whether they’ll be able to handle the Bees’ attack in better fashion this time around.

Academy hits the road for the first time this season after beating rival Rogers 38-28 in the opener and controlling Clifton 35-7 a week ago. The Bees are 6-0 in non-district games with second-year head coach Chris Lancaster.

Academy sophomore quarterback Kasey Mraz has passed for 434 yards and six touchdowns without any interceptions. Junior receiver Scout Brazeal (11 catches, 280 yards) caught three touchdown passes from Mraz against Clifton, and senior Darion Franklin has scored four touchdowns.

Groesbeck’s potent offense is spearheaded by dual-threat junior quarterback Allen Lewis, who had to leave during the first half of last year’s game at Academy after taking a hit to the helmet.

Six players have made at least 14 tackles for the Bees’ defense: Brazeal, Blake Bundy, Franklin, Clayton Lawson, John Tomasek and Lane Ward.

Academy next week travels to Lago Vista – which it beat 13-0 last year – before the Bees begin District 11-3A Division I action Sept. 24 at home against defending champion Lorena.

Rogers seeks to build on San Saba blowout

in road challenge against Peacock, Whitney

ROGERS – The Rogers Eagles bounced back from their season-opening 38-28 loss at rival Academy by rolling over the San Saba Armadillos 46-14 a week ago at Merk Field.

Coach Charlie Roten and Rogers (1-1) will aim to make it a two-game winning streak when they hit the road to play Whitney (1-1) at 7:30 tonight. Host Rogers dominated Whitney 47-12 a year ago.

The Wildcats scored a 31-6 road victory at Robinson a week ago. Whitney’s offense features a productive triggerman in senior quarterback Garrett Peacock, who’s passed for 411 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 203 yards and one TD.

Rogers rolled past San Saba last week as senior running back Ivan Lopez rushed for two touchdowns for the second straight week and senior quarterback Riley Dolgener threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to Jordan Werner and 75 yards to Zach Davis. Dolgener passed for 190 yards on only seven completions.

Jackson Landeros made an interception for a Rogers defense that allowed just 196 total yards against San Saba.

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