He did it again

Gatesville’s one-man offensive wrecking crew known as quarterback Cole Edmiston accounted for 373 total yards and four touchdowns in a 41-7 win at Llano to help keep the Hornets’ perfect season intact. The senior completed 21 of 29 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

No team has been able to contain Gatesville’s dual-threat option, who ranks fourth in rushing (676 yards, 14 touchdowns), second in passing (1,687 yards, 14 touchdowns) and second in scoring (84 points) in District 8-3A, and the Hornets are undefeated through eight games for the first time since producing a perfect run to the Class 3A, Division I championship in 2000.

The Yellow Jackets provided little resistance as Edmiston ran and passed for a touchdown in the first quarter before delivering a scoring pass to Matthew Wallace late in the third quarter and adding the game’s final points on a touchdown pass to Hunter Dean.

But that was just the latest in a series of impressive outings.  In three district games, Edmiston has produced more than 1,000 yards and a dozen touchdowns.

In the district opener, Edmiston complemented a 107-yard, three-touchdown showing on the ground with an efficient passing game, completing nine of 15 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. Against Burnet, Edmiston relied on his arm to score four touchdowns and pass for a school-record 416 yards, completing all but six of his 28 throws.

The Hornets’ leading rusher and passer is a major reason why the team is outscoring opponents by an average of 20.1 points per game, and the average includes a 49-48 double-overtime victory against then-No. 9 La Vega.

Edmiston, however, is not the only reason for the Hornets’ success.

Running back Jake Kee serves as an ideal accessory to Edmiston, running for 664 yards and nine touchdowns, and 11 different players have been involved as receivers with seniors Danny Byrd and Tyler Jaynes hauling in team-highs in receptions (31) and receiving yards (526), respectively.

Perhaps Gatesville’s defense is the most overlooked aspect, though.

The Hornets are holding opponents to 17.4 points and 275.4 yards per game, while forcing 15 turnovers. Three players — J.D. Nolte, Tariq Miller and Jaynes — have multiple interceptions, and seven players have recovered at least one fumble.

Crenwelge’s play revives struggling Eagles

Through its first five losses, the Salado offense seemed to rest solely on the shoulders of junior dual-threat quarterback Ryan Simmons.

But a new face has emerged for the Eagles thanks to inspired play of junior scatback Chase Crenwelge, who also doubles as the team’s kicker/punter.

After managing less than 200 rushing yards through Salado’s first six games, Crenwelge has exploded forback-to-back outbursts of 163 and 187 yards.

The last two weeks, Crenwelge has combined for 349 yards on 29 carries, averaging 12 yards per carry, including leading the Eagles’ renewed ground game in Friday’s 28-7 win over Little River-Academy averaging 11.7 yards on his 16 totes.

Sitting at 2-3 in District 13-2A, Div. I, the Eagles still have an outside shot at reaching the postseason but must win out against two teams ahead of them in the standings — Lago Vista and McGregor. For that to happen, Salado will depend heavily on Crenwelge and Simmons continuing their strong play if not picking it up even more.

By the Numbers

  • Minus-4 — Rushing yards by Florence in a 59-14 loss to Lago Vista, as Buffaloes quarterbacks ran 21 times for minus-15 yards.
  • 44:06 — The amount of time it took Lampasas to score its first and only touchdown in a 43-6 loss at Brownwood.

Up Next

  • Brownwood (5-3, 3-0 District 8-3A) at Gatesville (8-0, 3-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday — Gatesville has overcome many trying obstacles this season, but this is the biggest game of the Hornets’ season thus far because the winner will most likely be crowned district champion in two weeks.
  • Florence (4-4, 2-3 13-2A, Div I) at McGregor (7-1, 4-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The Buffaloes were handled by Lago Vista on Friday and are looking for a bounce back. However, they have to face the Bulldogs, who have only lost to No. 2 Cameron Yoe and defeated the Vikings 23-14.
  • Liberty Hill (5-3, 1-2 District 8-3A) at Lampasas (1-7, 0-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday — Lampasas really needed to beat Brownwood to keep its playoff hopes alive, but there is still a glimmer of hope for the Badgers if they can beat the Liberty Hill Panthers, who showed vulnerabilities in a 44-36 loss at home to Burnet on Friday.
  • Salado (2-6, 2-3 13-2A, Div. I) at Lago Vista (5-3, 3-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The Eagles still face an uphill battle to reach the postseason and to do it they must upset two teams currently ahead of them in the standings, beginning with Lago Vista. The Vikings have scored the second-highest point total in 13-2A play, averaging 33.6 points through its last five games, including a season-high 59 in a blowout victory over Florence on Friday.

Nick Talbot contributed to this report.

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