CHRISTOVAL – The Christoval Cougars are back in action and are starting district against the Anthony Wildcats who will make the 427 mile trip to Jack Pardee Stadium this Friday.
Anthony Wildcats (4-1) vs Christoval Cougars (2-3)
Christoval started the season off with a loss in the “Battle of 277” when the Eldorado Eagles came to town and won 7-0. The next week, the Cougars won over another team of Eagles in Grape Creek, but lost their starting quarterback, senior Kyle Loehman, for a few games. His backup, junior Kyle Abilez, has gone 34-59 for 376 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions.
The running game for the Cougs has been very positive with Ketcher Joiner now as the lead back. Joiner has 93 carries for 603 yards and four touchdowns and his backup, sophomore Manuel Riojas, has 26 carries for 163 yards and three scores. Senior Cayden Carpenter, who usually plays out wide, has seen a handful of carries for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Carpenter doesn’t just come into the backfield; he does stay outside and has 18 catches for 259 yards and two scores.
One thing that seems to be running very well in C-Town is the offensive line who saw several starters return from last season. Seniors Brock Ratliff, Nicolai Nelson, and Sevastian Salinas have been knocking head in the trenches and grinding opponents into the field. Those three have 53 pancake blocks this season.
On the other side of the ball, Carpenter and Jayce Williams have been tackling machines for the Cougars with 75 total tackles between the two. Ratliff, Nelson, and Salinas 66 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, and two sacks combined. Jake Edmistion, Ethan Busch, and Tristen Alvarado have also made plays. Busch, who is only a sophomore, has four passes defended and Christoval’s only interception this season. Senior Jadon Braswell has recovered two fumbled for the Cougars.
Scoring has been tough as the Cougars only average 19 points per game and are giving up just over 24 points a game. Against Brady, the Cougars had 193 rushing yards and 124 receiving, but they threw four interceptions, giving the Bulldogs four extra drives.
Anthony is located between El Paso and the New Mexico/Mexico border. They have not played another 2A team yet and are 4-1 so far this season. The Wildcats have played two New Mexico teams, a TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial School), and 4A schools. They have scored about 28 points a game and have only given up 16 points.
Wildcat quarterback, junior Angel Solis, is playing very well this season and has gone 51-89 for 1,065 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 213 passing yards a game and has a couple of very good receivers to catch the ball. Diego Uscanga and Marcos Gutierrez have nearly identical yardage with 403 and 406 respectively. At running back, senior Raymond Hernandez is the main threat with 367 yards on the ground while Solis has 215 yards.
(Anthony has not updated their touchdown stats on Maxpreps.com)
Junior Ethan Campos leads the Wildcats in tackling with 29 and is followed by senior Eddie Cardenas with 20. Cardenas also leads the team in sacks with two, Campos has one, and Daniel Sotelo and Kenneth Meraz have one each. Anthony has three interceptions and can thank Uscanga for two of those while senior Omas Lujan has three passes defended.
The distance Anthony will have to travel could help the Cougars. Not only because it’s a six-hour trip, longer on a bus, but the Wildcats will be crossing into a different time zone.
Other matchups inside this district include:
Sonora Broncos (4-1) vs Ozona Lions (2-3)
The Sonora Broncos have playmakers across the field in quarterback Jaime Buitron, Hunter O'Bannon, Edgar DeLuna, Tanner Flanagan, and Jonah Galvan. The Broncos have produced 506 total offensive yards per game. The Ozona Lions squad is battle tested and like when they played the Miles Bulldogs, won't let Sonora do what they've been doing. Quarterback Hudson Fowler is playing very well and has Max Everett, Logan Thompson, Logan Fay, and Michael and Matthew Daniels to help him move the ball.
Reagan County (3-2) vs Forsan (4-1)
The Forsan Buffaloes have a herd of running backs that have produced nearly 2,000 yards on the season. The workhorse, Kevin Kilgora, has 589 yards and six scores. Forsan doesn't put the ball in the air much but when you move the ball to the tune of 239 yards a game on the ground, why change? They've controlled games so well they only give up about 12 points a game. The Owls have a balanced attack and are only giving up about 16 points a game. Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Brown has put up 419 yards but has over 200 yards rushing. AJ Avalos has 229 yards and two scores.
Tune into COVER1 for exclusive interviews, score updates, highlights, and breakdowns this Friday at 4:00, 8:00, and 10:00 p.m. or if you’re in Anthony and want updates, 3:00, 7:00, and 9:00 p.m. only on San Angelo LIVE!