Top 10 Texas Panhandle football performers from Week 8


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Stratford quarterback Bryce Braden throws a pass downfield against Panhandle during a thrilling District 1-2A Division I game on Friday night. [David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]

Bryce Braden, Stratford, QB-LB, Soph. 

Braden didn’t play like a freshman last year, and he sure doesn’t play like a sophomore. The dual threat quarterback helped Stratford get past Panhandle in a fantastic 40-35 contest by wearing down the Panthers by rushing for 213 yards on 22 carries with three touchdowns and threw for 100 yards with another score. At linebacker, Braden was a factor as well with 11 tackles, two of which for a loss.

Dylan Ray, Randall, RB, Soph.

Randall showed great balance especially in a dominating second half to knock off Pampa 45-35 to stay unbeaten in District 3-4A Division I. Ray was a part of the ground game that was tough for the Harvesters to stop as the sophomore ran 133 yards on 14 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

Lamont Nickleberry, Childress, WR, Sr.

One of the Texas Panhandle’s top playmakers had a superb performance as Childress earned its first district win at Tulia, 48-15. Nickleberry snagged seven catches for 122 yards with two touchdowns.

Tavian Vrede, Highland Park, RB, Jr.

Highland Park won its first district game in two years in a convincing 31-16 victory at West Texas High. While the Hornets are known to sling it around, Vrede was able to beat the Comanches with his legs piling up 118 yards on 21 totes with two scores. He also added 33 yards receiving.

Paxton Green, Vega, LB, Sr. 

Green was behind a tremendous defensive effort that lifted the Longhorns to a key District 1-1A Division II home victory over Gruver 21-6. Green was all over the field racking up 16 tackles, one of those for a loss, and forced a fumble. Vega limited the Greyhounds to 165 total yards on offense.

Caprock’s Jamel Acosta- Lewis dives toward the end zone against Lubbock Monterey during a District 2-5A Division I matchup on Friday. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]

Jamel Acosta-Lewis, Caprock, RB-DB, Sr.

Acosta-Lewis carried the load for Caprock that helped keep its playoff hopes alive in a 14-13 win against Lubbock Monterey. Acosta-Lewis ran for 150 yards and both Caprock touchdowns on 15 carries. The senior also recovered a fumble on the defensive side.

Carson Tarver, Wellington, QB, Jr. 

As good as the Wellington defense has been, the offense can get a little overlooked. Tarver put together a very superb night offensively for the Skyrockets in a 50-0 blanking of Memphis. The junior threw for 118 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 68 yards and another score.

Tanner Van Dyk, Sunray, WR, Sr. 

Van Dyk is part of a stacked receiving core for gunslinging quarterback Armando Lujan. The Bobcats used their “Sunraid” offense to stack up 505 yards of offense in a 62-22 win at home over Boys Ranch. Van Dyk was a go-to target for Lujan snagging four catches for 131 yards and two TDs.

Darian DeLaRosa, Bovina, RB, Sr.

DeLaRosa made sure that the Mustangs were going to snap a four-game losing skid, and he was successful as Bovina downed Crosbyton 63-21. DeLaRosa used his speed and quickness to rush for 167 yards on only 10 carries with two touchdowns.

Stephen Kuehler, Groom, SB, Sr.  

Groom left Silverton with a thrilling 54-52 win on Thursday night and Kuehler’s efforts were a huge reason why. With 7 ticks left and the Tigers trailing, Kuehler danced around in the pocket looking for someone open then took off towards the goal line juked and was able to juke a Silverton defender then went airborne landing just inside the plane of the goal for the winning score. That was the third rushing score of the night for Kuehler who also had four passing touchdowns.




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