After a 48-6 loss to Rosebud-Lott, it looked as if Florence might flop against Thrall, which was coming off an 18-14 win against Bruceville-Eddy.
But a year after the Buffaloes (1-1) beat the Tigers 20-0, the herd again denied Thrall in a 23-0 win at the Dave Hansen Football Classic on Saturday in Waxahachie.
“When they do what they’re supposed to do, they have a lot more success,” said Florence coach Paul Smith. “That’s the bottom line.”
After getting no carries against Rosebud-Lott, junior Lendell Freeman carried 12 times for 117 yards, including an 18-yard score and a game-sealing 71-yard touchdown.
Freeman shared the workload with sophomore Fernando Ortiz, who powered his way to 104 yards on 14 carries, and one touchdown.
“We’ve got a freshman (Parker McNeil) at quarterback, and he’s raw and young,” Smith said. “We’re pretty young all across offense and defense.”
But Smith put more trust in his quarterback last week, dropping him back 18 times, 10 more than Week 0. McNeil went 7 of 18 for 129 yards, and showed pocket poise, hitting receiver Wyatt Odom across the middle for a 56-yard gain.
While that drive ended with an interception, McNeil extended a touchdown drive in the third quarter with a key 15-yard pass to Peyton Person to put the Buffs on Thrall’s 30-yard line.
The Buffs threw two interceptions and lost one fumble, garnering a plus-1 turnover ratio on the day.
“We’ve got to quit making mistakes,” Smith said. “Offensively, we’ve got to get our blocking assignments. We’ve got to hit the hole we’re supposed to. We’ve got to be more physical, both offensively and defensively.”
Salado finds offensive identity in loss to Lorena
The Eagles unleashed an arsenal against Lorena.
In Salado’s 75-67 loss to the Leopards (2-0) Friday night, Eagles quarterback McClane Carter threw for 613 yards and eight touchdowns, completing 62.5 percent of his 56 passes.
In Week 0 against Rockdale, Salado (0-2) completed 15 of 25 passes for 171 yards, and rushed for 31 yards on 30 carries.
It appears the focus has switched to a more pass-oriented approach.
Carter threw multiple touchdowns to Kase Spears, Chase Crenwelge and Davis Little.
The passing game’s success also opened up Salado’s run game, as the team racked up 83 yards on 18 carries.
The Eagles picked up 27 first downs against the Leopards, 16 more than the week before.
Hornets discover offense just in time
For six quarters, Gatesville’s offense was virtually nonexistent.
After opening the season with a 19-8 loss to Waco Reicher, the Hornets trailed Waco University 19-7 in the early moments of the third quarter Friday. Unlike before, however, Gatesville responded.
The Hornets (1-1) closed the game with a 21-3 run, defeating the Trojans 28-22 in the debut of the recently remodeled McKamie Stadium. Cooper Edmiston scored on a 1-yard run with 6:39 left in the third quarter before University (0-2) connected on an 18-yard field goal to go ahead 22-14 in the fourth quarter.
A two-touchdown outburst between quarterback Jeff Speer and receiver Zae Paskett in a span of less than three minutes clinched the victory, though. The two connected on scoring passes of 20 and 48 yards, scoring the game’s final points with 1:36 remaining.
Speer completed 16 of 26 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, with Paskett making eight receptions for 142 yards.
Rebels run over Lampasas
Austin Travis ran all over the Badgers, and as a result, the Rebels were runaway winners.
The Rebels averaged 11.82 yards per carry en route to a 55-28 victory Thursday. Led by Eric Strait, who ran for 282 yards and four touchdowns, Travis (2-0) finished with 336 rushing yards on 28 carries.
Strait took his first carry of the game 58 yards for a touchdown and followed it with scoring runs of 56, 54 and 44 yards. Additionally, he caught two passes for 53 yards with each going for a touchdown.
Lampasas (1-1) attempted to ride running back Gary Spencer after Steven Jazdyk was injured on the Badgers’ first play from scrimmage, but Spencer’s team-high 156 yards were not enough.
Making matters worse, the Badgers lost a pair of fumbles, punted five times and racked up more than 50 yards in penalties, while only tallying 10 first downs.
Lohn forfeit keeps Lometa perfect
The Hornets earned the easiest victory they will have all season Friday as Lohn forfeited because it could not field a team.
With an official enrollment listed at 38 students, Lohn could not put together a team after a rash of injuries and a number of ineligible players dotted the roster.
While the circumstance gives Lometa (2-0) an easy victory, it also robs the Hornets of valuable playing time under first-year head coach Jim Simpson.
The Hornets, who won their opener in an abbreviated manor due to six-man football’s mercy rule, have yet to play a full game and likely will not do so this week either as SixManFootball.com lists the Hornets as a 45-point favorite over Temple Centex Homeschool.
- Florence (1-1) at Thorndale (1-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The Buffaloes are 1-2 against the Bulldogs the last three seasons. In 2011, Florence lost in Thorndale 21-20.
- China Spring (2-0) at Salado (0-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Salado faces another tough offensive opponent in its home opener against China Spring — which has put up 89 points this season.
- Gatesville (1-1) at Waco Connally (1-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The Hornets will be tested this week by the Cadets, who lost by just three points to defending 2A Div. 1 champion Cameron Yoe before pounding Marlin 42-7 last week.
- Lorena (2-0) at Lampasas (1-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The Badgers’ defense must improve quickly in order to handle a Leopards team that scored 75 points last week.
- Temple Centex Homeschool (0-2) at Lometa (2-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The Hornets are heavily favored, but Temple Centex Homeschool has made each of its games competitive, losing by a combined eight points.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 9.75 — Rushing average for Florence RB Lendell Freeman against Thrall, after getting no carries in Week 0.
- 1,124 — Yards Salado has allowed through two games this season.
- 7 — Fumbles by Waco University against Gatesville, which recovered four.
- 17.75 — Yards per reception by Lampasas junior Cale Walker, who finished with four catches for 71 yards and a TD.