Follet wins a nail biter
Winning at Paducah is never easy, but Follet figured out a way to skate out of town with a 62-60 thrilling victory. The back and forth of this game saw the No. 10-ranked Dragons (5-1) up 36-32 at half. Follett (5-1), down by 12 in the quarter, looked like they would take the lead into half as an Oscar Torres touchdown reception with 18 seconds left didn’t hold up. The Dragons scored through the air with six seconds left to nab the lead. In the third, Shayne Franks picked up three rushing scores to give Follett a 54-48 lead. The Dragons scored with 6:44 left in the contest then turned a Panther fumble into another score and a 60-54 lead with 4:12 left but the crucial extra-point kick was no good. On the ensuing possession Franks found paydirt again from 29-yards out and the extra-point was good to give Follett a 2-point margin with 1:10 left. The Dragons last drive saw them complete a pass from their own 35-yard line down to the Panther 8-yard line but Paducah, with no timeouts left, raced to the line of scrimmage and was unable to spike the ball as time expired.
Whitharral speeds past Nazareth
Speed kills accurately describes how Nazareth fell Friday night at Whitharral as Shamadrick Weaver’s speed was on full display as the No. 8 Panthers used a strong second half to topple the Swifts 54-24. The game was tied right before half when Whitharral (5-1) scored late to take a 24-16 lead into half. Halfway through the third Weaver danced in from two yards out with half the quarter gone. However, Luke Schulte answered back from 21-yards at the 4:00 minute mark of the third quarter to pull the deficit for Nazareth (5-1) to within eight. However, Weaver scampered in for his fourth touchdown on the ground less than two minutes later to give the Panthers a 38-24 lead. The Whitharral defense, led by Nomar Gomez’s 13 solo tackles, then shut the Swifts out the rest of the way to ensure a win. Weaver finished the night with 221 yards on the ground on 20 carries and was also 5-of-5 through the air for 96 yards and two more scores. In the loss Schulte earned 144 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns.
Miami downs Groom in a wild one
This one had it all and by the time it was over Miami picked up a wild 38-36 victory in overtime. The Tigers (1-5), who began the season losing to White Deer at home by the same score, started the fourth with a 2-point lead and a goal line stand. They then marched on a 79-yard scoring drive leaving to go up 24-14 with under eight minutes to play. Miami (5-1) refused to give up and scored twice to leave the Tigers with 1:30 left to score. On the arm of Stephen Kuehler, Groom marched down the field and scored with 40 seconds left as Kuehler connected with Blayne Shuck. But the extra point was blocked to leave the score at 30 all. Miami quickly moved into scoring position but failed to score deep in Groom territory to send this one to overtime. In OT, Kuehler found Shuck for the third time from two yards out to give the Tigers the lead. The extra point fell short though and left Miami with an opening. After Haiden Thompson rushed to the 4-yard line, the Warriors Luke Wheeler pounded into the end zone, without his helmet that was ripped off at the goal line, for the score. Thompson then snuck the kick inside the left cross bar for the victory. On the evening, Thompson had 284 yards on 23 carries and three scores, passed for another score and tallied 20 tackles in the game.
District 1-1A Division II preview
With all four districts in Division, I still a week away from district action, District 1-1A in Division II will start this week with a new leader expected to take the title. In the preseason, Groom was the favorite but it’s the No. 8-ranked Owls from Silverton (4-2) looking to be in prime position for the title. The Owls own an impressive victory over Whitharral and both losses were to Top 10 teams in Jayton and Paducah. Don’t count out the Tigers, however, as the perennial power has played a solid schedule and has two losses with a 2-point margin of victory. Hedley, Lefors, and Darrouzett round out the district with Hedley looming as the only team who might challenge the Owls and Tigers for the gold ball.
Benjamin tested by Loraine
No team has been talked about more than No. 1-ranked Benjamin in the off-season. But Loraine (5-1) wanted nothing to do with being cordial guests on Friday night as the Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with the Mustangs before falling 61-30. Loraine matched Benjamin (5-0) score for score in the first quarter before an 18-point second quarter a big second quarter gave Benjamin the lead for good. The speed of A.J. Williams for the Bulldogs tested the Mustangs, but Tallon Hayes and four Bulldog turnovers were just too much in the end as Benjamin remains undefeated and travels to Paducah next week in another big matchup.
A look ahead to week 7
The game everyone will be pointing to will be the matchup between No. 7-ranked Happy and undefeated McLean Friday night. The Cowboys (4-1) will be coming off a bye week and will walk into the Tigers (6-0) den as heavy favorites. If McLean can pull the upset, they will legitimize its record and put the rest of District 1-1A on notice. Miami welcomes Nazareth to town in a game that we could possibly see in the playoffs as well. Luke Schulte vs. Haiden Thompson should be a marquee matchup of players that have put up big numbers all year long. Other games of note include Valley (4-2), who is starting to get healthy, traveling to White Deer (5-1) as the Bucks will be looking to pull the upset as well. Also, Claude (3-3) will travel north to take on the District 1-1A favorite Follett Panthers and Division II begins district play with Darrouzett at Groom and Silverton at Lefors.