It didn’t take long for the Mansfield Timberview Wolves to figure out that if they wanted to stop the Shoemaker Grey Wolves offense, they had to bring pressure and bring it often.
After watching Ziere Banner and the Grey Wolves (7-4) drive down the field for a score, the Timberview defense tightened up and proved to be the difference in Saturday’s Division I-5A bi-district playoff game at Waco’s Floyd Casey Stadium.
“They brought the heat on us,” Shoemaker head coach Channon Hall said. “We knew what we were going to do and they were one of the top defenses in that district (District 7-5A). We knew we were going to have to play perfect football against these guys.”
After Timberview (8-3) took an early 7-0 lead, Banner helped the Shoemaker offense go 79 yards on 11 plays in 3:35 to tie up the game.
After the opening quarter, yards and points came at a premium for the Grey Wolves.
Shoemaker picked up 120 yards and converted 3 of 4 third- down opportunities it faced.
The Grey Wolves picked up only 135 more yards and converted only 3 of 11 third downs the remaining 36 minutes.
With LSU commit Edward Parris and Stanford commit Brandon Simmons playing in the Timberview secondary, the Wolves brought the house to limit Banner and the Shoemaker running backs from breaking things up on on the ground.
Timberview brought more rushers than Shoemaker had blockers so Banner rarely had a chance to get the ball to his receivers who played against man-to-man coverage for a good portion of the game.
Banner was sacked nine times against Timberview.
“It was really frustrating,” senior wide receiver Nahome Anderson said. “He (Banner) played amazing the whole game; he did what we expected him to do, but we just couldn’t finish. They were getting straight through.”
Fourth-down conversions spark Timberview
Timberview started the game with the ball, but punting and playing the field position game with their District 7-5A leading defense was not in the cards.
Despite stopping Timberview on three separate third-down plays on the first series, the Shoemaker defense stayed on the field after Timberview converted three fourth-down opportunities, including fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line, to take an early lead.
“We just needed to get off the field on third and fourth down and we didn’t,” senior defensive back and wide receiver Dwayne Williams said.
“They managed to keep driving. They scored on the drives where we needed to get off the field.”
Timberview converted all four times on fourth down in the first quarter despite only going 1 for 5 on third down in the opening frame.
Cove coach praises team despite lopsided loss
A lopsided loss ended Copperas Cove’s season, but coach Jack Welch could not ask for more
The Bulldawgs’ 10th consecutive playoff appearance came to a swift end Friday evening as No. 2 DeSoto was never threatened after the first quarter, scoring 46 unanswered points en route to a 67-21 bi-district victory.
While the season did not conclude the way Welch hoped, the season was memorable nonetheless, and it had little to do with wins and losses.
“I’ve had some great teams here (at Copperas Cove), and I’ve had some great players,” he said. “This group was so special, so special. There are a few teams that stand out in my mind, and this is one of them. … I don’t think we had a discipline problem all year, and that is pretty unique when dealing with high school kids. This group was just extremely special. They worked hard, fought hard, and I’m very proud of them.”
Copperas Cove’s defense simply could not slow down the Eagles, who finished with 808 total yards of offense while extending their unblemished record to 11-0.
After giving up a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, the Bulldawgs tied the game 7-7 on the ensuing possession and trailed 21-14 entering the second quarter.
For the next three quarters, however, DeSoto dominated.
The Bulldawgs, who had three drives end with turnovers inside the Eagles’ 2-yard line, were shutdown until quarterback Manny Harris found Phillip Baptiste for a 10-yard touchdown to provide the game’s final point with 2:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.
It proved to be Baptiste’s final reception of his high school career and capped off a stellar senior season.
With nine catches for 133 yards, Baptiste increased his season total to 1,543 receiving yards, easily eclipsing Charles Tillman’s single-season record of 965 yards set in 1998. His 113 receptions also demolished Rashard Hawk’s previous record of 50 catches in a season.
And, according to Baptiste, his benchmark season should not be over just yet.
“We could have beat (the Eagles),” he said following the game. “They weren’t even that good to me, honestly. We just made too many mistakes.”
In addition to being unable to stop DeSoto’s offense and failing to score a point for almost three full quarters, the Bulldawgs (6-5) committed 13 penalties for 149 yards.
It all added up to Copperas Cove’s season ending in the bi-district round for fourth time in the last five years.
“They didn’t stop us offensively, and our kicking game was very good,” Welch said. “The bottom line is they were more powerful and more athletic on their offensive side of the ball, and that was the difference in the ball game.”
— Clay Whittington
Gordon ends Lometa’s unexpected run
After stunning its district, Lometa was unable to shock the state.
The Hornets’ attempt to win a state championship came to an abrupt halt Friday evening as Gordon shutout Lometa in the first half before holding on to win the bi-district playoff game 44-28.
The defeat gave the Hornets their second consecutive defeat after opening district play with three consecutive wins to force a winner-take-all contest against May in the regular season finale. The No. 8 Tigers snapped Lometa’s four-game win streak and earned them the district championship.
One week later, the slump continued.
The Longhorns’ offense was far from superior in the first half; nevertheless, Gordon (7-4) opened the game by scoring 14 unanswered points. Lometa rebounded to score 14 points in the third and fourth quarters, but the Longhorns matched or exceeded the totals in each period.
Lometa ended its first season under new head coach Jim Simpson with a 7-4 record after being predicted by many to finish last in its district.
— Clay Whittington
Temple can’t keep 2012 Division II runner-up down in Waco
Temple was 3 minutes, 14 seconds from not only its first playoff win since 2003 but also a monumental victory over a Cedar Hill team that advanced to the Division II-5A state championship last season.
But in the final four minutes of its bi-district playoff game at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, Temple finally surrendered the lead it had been clinging to for the entire second half as Cedar Hill completed a 32-point rally in the second half of a 39-35 win.
Temple had won five straight games heading into Saturday and appeared to continue that momentum in building a 28-7 halftime lead.
But the Longhorns, now winners of seven straight, scored 21 unanswered points to end the game, including a 17-yard touchdown run by receiver Aca’cedric Ware for the go-ahead score with 3:14 remaining in the game.
Temple had a chance to regain the lead in the final minute, but quarterback Chase Truelove, who ran for a touchdown and tossed two more, saw his pass intercepted near the goal line with 44 seconds to play.
The loss overshadowed a monster 194-yard, two-touchdown performance by Wildcat junior Jeff Carr.
Lodge shined for Cedar Hill catching nine passes for 246 yards.
Temple ended its season — perhaps its last in the class now known as 5A — with a record of 7-4.
— Jordan Mason
BY THE NUMBERS
- 194 — Rushing yards by Temple junior Jeff Carr in Saturday’s loss to Cedar Hill.
- 22.3 — Average margin of defeat in Lometa’s four losses this season.
- 195 — Yards passing for Shoemaker QB Ziere Banner in his final game at SHS.
- 8 — Consecutive drives by Copperas Cove that did not produce points during Friday’s loss to DeSoto.