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Panthers lose first game to Crowell

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Devin Stewart looks to get around a Crowell defender.

Of all the football games in the county on Friday night, only the Saint Jo Panthers were able to continue their game after more than two hours of a lightning delay.
Unfortunately, the Panthers lost to state-ranked Crowell in a one-sided game 74-30, just barely avoiding losing due to mercy rule.
Saint Jo was getting its first big test against the Wildcats, hoping it could match up against this caliber of a team and see where it was in comparison.
The Panthers started out well with Lee Yeley scoring on a 23-yard run to put them up 8-0 before the lightning delay started.
It takes both teams agreeing it’s worth it to continue during an extended delay, especially once it nears hour two of a delay and the prospect of a game finishing around midnight becomes not appealing for anybody, but especially the visiting team with a drive back.
Three other games happening in Montague County were cancelled for that reason, but the game did continue and picked back up at about 9:40 p.m.
Crowell responded with a touchdown run from Austin Hernandez, who the Wildcats featured in a power running attack the Panthers had trouble stopping all night.
Yeley scored on another long run for the Saint Jo, from 34-yards away to up its lead to 16-6. It would be the Panthers biggest lead of the night.
Crowell answered with a long run from Hernandez to cut the lead to 16-14 before the momentum swung.
The Wildcats recovered the ensuing onside kick and quickly marched down the field to score on a short run to take their first lead 20-16 right as the first quarter was ending.
The first play of the second quarter saw Crowell recover the onside kick once again. The Wildcats would go on to score on another short run a few plays later to up their lead to 28-16.
The Panthers needed their offense to keep up their early pace in the game, but unfortunately they were stopped at Crowell’s 19-yard line. The Wildcats would then go on to score again to make it 34-16.
Saint Jo got one big play before halftime when Devin Stewart scooped up the onside kick in stride and took it 40 yards for a touchdown.
The Panthers trailed 34-24 at halftime.
Unfortunately, the kickoff return did not change the way the game was going once the second half started.
The Wildcats scored twice more on long runs in the third quarter and stopped Saint Jo on both of its drives to extend the lead to 48-24.
The Panther defense got their first big win of the game by staging a goal line stand, getting the ball back on their own three-yard line preventing Crowell from scoring another touchdown.
Unfortunately, that triumph was short-lived. Backed up near its own end zone, a miscommunication allowed the Wildcats to tackle Saint Jo in its own end zone for a safety.
Crowell led 50-24 and was getting the ball back heading into the fourth quarter.
It was more of the same in the final period. After the Wildcats scored once more to go up 58-24, the Panthers special teams came through with the team’s last big play of the game.
An onside kick was scooped up by Yeley and he returned it for a touchdown as well, the second of the game for Saint Jo, to cut the lead down to 56-30.
Unfortunately, all it would do was to force Crowell to kick it deep for the rest of the game on the ensuing kick-offs. The Wildcats scored twice more in the quarter and recovered two fumbles from the Panthers offense.
Saint Jo held on until the bitter end, fighting for its pride and to avoid going down by 45 points which would have ended the game early due to mercy rule.
The Panthers did by one point as Crowell won 74-30.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Briles earns state honor

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Forestburg’s Brenna Briles won the 1A girl’s high jump at the state meet. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Forestburg’s Brenna Briles was named to the Texas High School Coach’s Association’s 1A Track and Field Super Elite Team. Briles won the 1A state title in the girl’s high jump in May. The THSCA Super Elite Teams consists of high school players nominated by current professional members of the Texas High School Coaches Association. The player must meet the THSCA award criteria to be nominated. The award recognizes student athletes across the state of Texas for their exemplary athletic achievement in their respective sport.

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Oil Bowl athletes compete well

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Nocona’s Skyler Smith drives into the lane as Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez and Bowie’s Ziba Robbins converge on her in the Oil Bowl.

All 16 area athletes got the chance to play in the 87th Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic on Friday and Saturday.
For the vast majority of the athletes it was not only the last time to represent their school weeks after graduation, it also was the last time many will play organized sports.
The basketball games started the weekend off Friday night. In the girl’s game, Nocona’s Skyler Smith and Bellevue’s Cirstin Allen played for the east team. The west team had Bowie’s Ziba Robbins and Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez.
The west’s overall depth led to the team prevailing 73-56 as Robbins scored 13 points while Gomez scored five points. Smith finished with 14 points while Allen scored three points.
For Smith and Robbins, it was only the final high school game for each. Both are signed to play basketball in college, with Smith playing at East Texas Baptist University and Robbins at local Midwestern State University.
For Gomez and Allen, representing their schools one last time and proving they belong in a game with the area’s best players despite being from a 1A school was a good experience for both.
The boy’s game saw the two area’s players on the same east team. Nocona’s Javier Gaytan and Prairie Valley’s Tyson Easterling got some run in their final high school game.
The west won the high scoring shootout 91-70. Gaytan finished with 11 points while Easterling scored two points. Despite being on the losing end, both had fun one last time playing with the area’s best.
On Saturday, there were two volleyball games. The first game saw players from schools that were 2A and smaller play in a game while the second was for players from schools 3A and bigger. Nocona Coach Kara Lucherk coached east team in both games.
In the first game, Prairie Valley’s Kasi Phillips and Gold-Burg’s Jimena Garcia played for the west team. Bren Fenoglio from Nocona played for her old coach on the east team.
The west team easily won in straight sets as all three players expressed both sadness it was over and that they had fun.
The big school volleyball game was more of the same though it was the east team that won that game. Bowie’s Olivia Gill was sad in the outcome with her being on the west team, but was happy to put on her jersey one last time and get several chances to spike the ball over the net.
The football game saw six players from Bowie and Nocona suit up for the east team. While their team scored first, the west eventually came back to win 14-7, with an opposing player intercepting a pass in the end zone in the final minute to wrap the game up.
From Bowie, Troy Kesey was asked to block from his tight end position more than go out for passes and did his job. Seth Mann used his speed to provide continuous pursuit while playing defensive end.
From Nocona, Brady McCasland and Cooper Waldrip got to play new positions at cornerback for the first time. Charlie Fuller saw a few reps at wide receiver, but mostly played on defense at cornerback in small doses as well.
With all five athletes playing football for the final time, the novelty of playing in the game despite smaller roles than they were used to was fun for them.
Nocona’s Johnny Stone played only a couple of reps at his usual linebacker spot on defense, but he has more in his future. He is signed to play football at Nelson University this fall.

To see pictures of the athletes, pick up the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Oil Bowl 2024 Interviews

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There were 16 athletes from our coverage area who competed in the 87th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl on June 14-15. The first video is an interview with the athletes who played in the girls basketball game (L-R) Skyler Smith, Ziba Robbins, Cirstin Allen and Makaylee Gomez. The second interview was the athletes who played in the boys basketball game (L-R) Tyson Easterling and Javier Gaytan. The third interview was athletes who played in the small school volleyball game (L-R) Jimena Garcia, Kasi Phillips and Bren Fenoglio. The fourth interview was the athlete who played in the big school volleyball game Olivia Gill. The fifth interview was with the athletes who played in the football game (L-R) Troy Kesey, Johnny Stone, Cooper Waldrip, Brady McCasland, Charlie Fuller and Seth Mann.
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