Lampasas is running at full speed. The Badgers have to in order to keep pace.
Despite having District 8-3A’s second-best rushing offense and scoring a combined 118 points over its last two games, Lampasas is just 1-2 in its attempt to return to the playoffs.
The Badgers’ problem is not a lack of firepower. Rather, Lampasas is struggling to keep its opponents out of the end zone.
After losing their district opener to Gatesville 45-27 and failing to score a point in the fourth quarter, the Badgers are scoring at will behind an explosive rushing game.
Against Brownwood, Lampasas’ running backs accounted for 485 yards, including a second consecutive stellar game from senior Steven Jazdyk, en route to a 61-56 victory to snap a seven-game district losing streak.With Gary Spencer out indefinitely after injuring his leg, Jazdyk returned from a lengthy absence to rush for 298 yards and four touchdowns in a 58-57 overtime loss at Llano.
Jazdyk carried the ball 28 times for 296 yards and six touchdowns against the Lions, but it still took a go-ahead touchdown pass from Collin Bowen to Cale Walker with 39 seconds remaining to pull out the victory.
In addition to the game-winning score, Walker ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns on the heels of rushing for 194 yards and a pair of scores against the Yellowjackets.
With their playoff fate still up in the air, the Badgers need to begin producing stops in order to secure a berth for the first time since 2011.
Lampasas’ lack of defense could prove detrimental once again as it will be challenged to stop district leader Liberty Hill and its rushing game averaging 349.4 yards per game.
Injuries force Gatesville's Jones in
The Gatesville coaches did not ask Andraque Jones to do anything he was not wanting to do already.
The Hornets’ junior athlete filled in for injured running backs Jake Kee and Tariq Miller, rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, mostly out of a wildcat formation.
“Missing Jake Kee and Tariq, that’s a big part of our offense and they asked me to step up and fill in a role, so I took responsibility for it,” Jones said.
Jones also had an interception on defense that led to his first touchdown, and two receptions for 41 yards in the Hornets’ 37-25 loss to Llano.
While the Hornets hope to have Kee back for their game this week against Brownwood, Jones will continue to receive carries, Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper said.
“Andraque’s, he’s taken a couple of snaps back there, repped through practice, even earlier in the year, and just weeks maybe we just didn’t go to it,” Cooper said. “Andraque, he’ll continue to do that no matter what the outcome.”
Bees make most out of passes
Academy only attempted seven passes against Salado on Friday, but the Bumblebees made the most out of them.
Quarterback Malik Jackson completed 6 of his 7 attempts, and half of his completions went for touchdowns, all to Phillip Redwine, in the Bumblebees’ 28-14 win at home.
Jackson passed for 150 yards and hooked up with Redwine for scores of 6, 66 and 25 yards.
Jackson also accounted for the Bumblebees’ fourth score on an interception he returned 68 yards for a touchdown.
Salado, meanwhile, totaled 302 yards of offense, but only scored 14 points after entering the game averaging 34.
Eagle running back Ryan Simmons impressed again with 107 yards, but the Bumblebees were able to contain quarterback McLane Carter to a degree, as he was 22 of 36 for 192 yards and two interceptions.
The loss was a significant blow to the Eagles’ playoff hopes as they now sit two games behind three teams tied for third place with two games remaining in the regular season.
— Jordan Mason
Buffs offense struggles
Friday night went down as another chapter in the Buffaloes’ incredibly rough season.
Florence (1-7, 0-5 District 13-2A) amassed only 15 yards of total offense and no first downs in a 42-0 loss to Lago Vista at Stampede Stadium.
The Vikings (5-3, 3-2) entered halftime with a 28-0 lead, tripping the Buffs early.
Florence averages just 191.8 offensive yards per game, and gives up an average of 421.6 yards to opponents.
The Buffaloes, a young team, are rebuilding for next season.
Lago Vista surpassed its average pace of 304.88 rushing yards per game, accruing 319 at Florence.
— Brian Bradley
- McGregor (7-1, 4-1 13-2A, Div. I) at Florence (1-7, 0-5), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The Bulldogs head to Florence after beating the Buffs 45-0 last year, and 50-14 in 2011.
- Lago Vista (5-3, 3-2 in 13-2A, Div. I) at Salado (1-7, 1-4), 7:30 p.m. Friday: This is the first of two must-win games for Salado, which must win out and get help to reach the postseason.
- Lampasas (3-5, 1-2 8-5A) at Liberty Hill (7-1, 3-0): In a matchup between the two most potent rushing offenses in the district, the Badgers’ playoff hopes will take a major swing in either direction based on the outcome.
- Gatesville (3-5, 1-2 8-3A) at Brownwood (3-5, 1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Gatesville and Brownwood met last year with the District 8-3A championship all but riding on the outcome. This year, the two teams, two of four tied for third in the district standings, meet with their playoff lives on the line and two-game losing streaks in tow. The Hornets, who defeated Brownwood 35-14 last year to win their first district championship since 2003, lost to Llano 35-27 on Friday while the Lions, a perennial power, lost 61-56 to Lampasas.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 25 — Consecutive points Llano scored in the first half of its 37-25 win over Gatesville.
- 18 — Combined points by which Lampasas has been outscored during the first half of its district games.
- 6 — Weeks since Florence’s last win.
- 4 — Touchdowns accounted for by Academy quarterback Malik Jackson in a 28-14 win against Salado.
- 0.23 — Yards per carry for Florence in Friday's loss to Lago Vista.