Mineral Wells Area News

WEEK 11: Playoff picture clearer in regular season’s final week

WEEK 11: Playoff picture clearer in regular season’s final week
November 01
11:46 2023


Special to Mineral Wells Area News

Some teams know they have made the Texas high school football playoffs. Some even know who they are going to play in the first round. Some teams know they won’t play beyond this week. Other teams know what they have to do to enter the playoffs.

It’s the final week of the regular season for UIL teams, while private-school six man Community Christian School will play a first-round playoff game Friday. Let’s see what happened last week, and preview what is on this week’s table for Palo Pinto County area teams:


It’s pretty simple this week for Mineral Wells – they must win to get in.

The Rams are winless in 4-4A-1 and 3-6 overall, but they can still make the post-season with a win in the home and season finale Friday against Burkburnett.

The Bulldogs come to Ram Stadium also sporting a 3-6 record, but with a district win that came two weeks ago against Wichita Falls, 44-28. The Rams lost to Wichita Falls, 41-26.

Both teams are coming off losses Friday. The Rams (0-3) played district champ Decatur (4-0) even through most of the first half, but two Eagles scores late in the second quarter shifted momentum and set the tone for the second half as Decatur pulled away for a 42-7 win.

Burk, meanwhile, was battered by Springtown, 70-14. By comparison, Mineral Wells played Springtown much closer, falling 48-28 to the Porcupines two weeks ago.

Mineral Wells head coach Cody Worrell hopes his team can make the playoffs in his first season at the helm. He hopes Rams fans will turn out for Friday’s 7 p.m. contest and help spur the team to victory.

“It’s a big game,” said Worrell. “We need the community there to get behind these kids and get fired up and be loud.”

Mineral Wells’ district is paired with District 3-4A-1, where Randall, Dumas and Canyon are going into the final week each with a chance to win district. The team finishing on top will face the Mineral Wells-Burk game winner in the first round.


The Class 1A-1 top-ranked Gordon Longhorns took care of the Baird Bears (6-3, 3-1) on Friday, defeating the host team, 56-8. The game was called after Gordon’s second touchdown of the third quarter.

The ‘Horns (9-0) have now won 19 straight regular season games by six man football’s mercy rule.

Gordon ran just 17 offensive plays against Baird. Stryker Reed accounted for three of Gordon’s touchdowns – one passing, one rushing and on an interception return. Brother Riley Reed had two rushing scores. Aiden Shank had a rushing touchdown and also scored on an interception return.

Brayden Walters had two touchdown receptions, one from Reed and the other from Noah Kostiha.

The ‘Horns host the Perrin Pirates in the regular season finale Friday at 7:30 p.m. Perrin is 2-7 on the season, 2-2 in district. The Pirates defeated Lingleville, 46-6, last Thursday.

Gordon will face the winner of Friday’s Savoy-St. Joe game in the district round next week.


The Warriors won a nail-biter Friday, traveling to Leander and returning home with a hard-fought 59-56 win over Grace Academy to finish their regular season with a 6-3 ledger, including a 2-2 mark in Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship District 1’s six man league.

Their third-place finish earned them a date this Friday at Irving Faustina Academy in a TCAF first-round playoff game.

Sophomore running back Heydon Yelverton had a tremendous game for the Warriors on Friday, finishing with 169 yards rushing on 21 carries with three touchdowns. Senior CCS quarterback Price Horton threw for 105 yards with a touchdown to junior receiver Jace Little. Horton also had three rushing touchdowns, while Little added a ground score. CCS racked up 411 yards on the night.

In a back-and-forth affair, Yelverton scored the Warriors’ first two touchdowns ahead of Horton’s first score. Little’s touchdown came on a 24-yard third quarter run. Horton recorded his second rushing touchdown.

The fourth quarter saw CCS take command, scoring three times to just one for the Griffins. Price had an 8-yard scoring toss to Little. Horton then scored on a 10-yard run before Yelverton won the game on a 34-yard romp into the end zone.

The Warriors have a big challenge ahead of them. Faustina Academy is 8-1 on the year with a 2-1 mark in TCAF District 2. 


Strawn kept its playoff hopes alive Friday, easing past Forsestburg, 65-14, in six man District 8-1A-2 action.

The Greyhounds must defeat Gold-Burg in the home and season finale on Friday in order to make the playoffs. The Bears knocked the Hounds out of the playoffs last year and will look to do it again this year.

Both teams enter the game with identical 6-3 records on the season and 1-1 district marks. For both teams, Friday’s game is win and advance, or pack it in till next season.


Picked as a pre-season favorite to win District 8-2A-2 after coming off a nine-win season in 2022, the Santo Wildcats saw their 2023 season fall apart in Week 3 when their leader, senior quarterback and cornerback Hut Thornton, was lost for the year with a knee injury.

Santo fought week in and out, but has managed just one district win since and now stands at 2-7 on the season, 1-4 in district and out of the playoff picture after losing Friday at Celeste, 42-7.

The Wildcats will end the 2023 season at home hosting Era, which is also out of the playoff picture with a 1-7 season record, 1-4 in district.


Playing for a district championship, the Millsap Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker at home Friday to undefeated and Top 10-ranked Jacksboro, 24-17.

The Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1) face Merkel this Friday, but no matter the outcome will finish runners up in District 5-3A-2 and will face Wichita Falls City View in the bi-district round on Nov. 10.

Jacksboro (9-0, 4-0) clinched the district title with the win.

The Tigers had 200 more yards of offense than Millsap (479-279) but had three turnovers to the Bulldogs, one on an interception and two fumbles. Millsap’s Walter Bagley returned the pick for a touchdown.

Millsap lost the ball twice – an interception and a fumble.

Millsap quarterback CR Tippie was 8-of-18 passing for 162 yards, but was sacked five times for minus 18 yards. Bulldogs junior running back Reid Green rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown, and added 65 yards receiving for 170 total yards.

Jacksboro senior quarterback Lando Belcher had a big game, throwing for 395 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Cannon Valenzuela had one touchdown reception and 177 receiving yards. Tyler Mitchell also had a touchdown reception and 105 receiving yards for the Tigers.

Millsap’s game Friday at Merkel (5-4, 1-3) is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Merkel has three straight district losses.


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