Class 3AW. RUSK 42, NEW WAVERLY 17: CROCKETT — The West Rusk Raiders overcame a slow start to roll past New Waverly, 42-17, in a Class 3A area playoff game at Driskell Stadium.

The win by the Raiders (12-0) sets up an East Texas showdown next week against Daingerfield at a time, date and location to be determined.

New Waverly ends the season with a 9-3 record.

Andon Mata completed 13 or 24 passes for 202 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and rushed for 71 yards to lead the way for West Rusk.

The Raiders finished with 447 total yards, with Noah Murphy carrying nine times for 55 yards and two scores, Tate Winings adding 10 carries for 42 yards and a TD, Jamal Ford picking up 52 yards on seven carries and Will Jackson scoring on his lone run of the game from 25 yards out.

Geremiah Smith caught four passes for 84 yards and a TD, and Jaxon Farquhar had one catch for 10 yards and a score. Omarion Anthony finished with four catches for 26 yards, and Jackson had three grabs for 71 yards.

Smith, Ty Harper and Bryant Mason all intercepted passes for the Raiders, who trailed 11-0 after one quarter but lead 28-11 heading into the fourth period.

VAN 35, SUNNYVALE 25: ROCKWALL — Quarterback Jackson Rainey sparked undefeated Van (12-0) to a 35-25 win over Sunnyvale in a Class 4A Division II area football game on Friday at Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium.

The Vandals move to the third round where they are scheduled to play Gilmer on Friday, Nov. 26 at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Kickoff on Earl Campbell Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Rainey rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, while connecting on 7 of 12 passing attempts for 147 yards and a TD pass.

The Raiders conclude their season at 6-6.

WEST 37, MINEOLA 7: FORNEY — TJ McCutcheon ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries as No. 4 West took a 37-7 win over Mineola in Class 3A Division I area round action Friday night at City Bank Stadium.

Mineola actually struck first as Dawson Pendergrass broke free for a 64-yard touchdown run on fourth and 1 to give the Yellowjackets a 7-0 lead with 10:25 left in the first quarter.

Pendergrass entered the game with 1,906 yards rushing and finished with 67 yards on 17 carries as the West defense recorded eight tackles for loss on the night.

McCutcheon quickly answered with a 49-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7 with 9:35 left in the opening quarter.

A minute into the second quarter, Zane Meinen scored on a 7-yard run. Less than two minutes later, Wyatt Wolf had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown to put the score at 20-7. The Trojans added a 28-yard field goal by Brock Klander to take a 23-7 lead into halftime.

West got the ball first in the third quarter and marched to the 2-yard line, but Mineola got the stop on fourth down.

After a Mineola punt, West scored on the final play of the quarter on a 5-yard run by McCutcheon.

McCutcheon tacked on a 4-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left in the game.

Easton Paxton came up with an interception for the Trojans, who were able to run out the clock to move to 12-0 on the season.

Meinen ran for 71 yards on 14 carries for West, which had 267 yards on the ground. Meinen also threw for 88 yards.

TJ Moreland threw for 61 yards for Mineola (7-5).

West will advance to face Malakoff.


Class 4AEL CAMPO 56, LINDALE 42: WACO — El Campo’s running back tandem of Rueben Owens and Johntre Davis found the end zone seven times to lead the Ricebirds to a 56-42 win over Lindale Thursday night at Baylor University’s McLane Stadium.

Owens — the five-star recruit ranked as the No. 2 running back in the country in the Class of 2023 —had 325 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries. Davis — a Central Arkansas commit — added 148 yards and three scores on 14 carries.

Owens opened the game with a 12-yard touchdown run to give El Campo the early lead.

Lindale quarterback Sam Peterson — a Texas State baseball signee — came back with a 19-yard run to tie the score with 6:55 left in the first quarter.

El Campo’s response was a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by De’Koreyus Ward.

Nashad Lee scored on a 4-yard run for Lindale with 2:58 left in the first quarter, and Owens gave the Ricebirds a 21-14 lead with 2:01 left in the opening quarter with a 53-yard touchdown run.

On the first play of the second quarter, Peterson tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Clint Thurman to tie the game.

Owens came back with a 47-yard touchdown run to put El Campo back in front.

Jacob Seekford caught a 15-yard pass from Peterson with 4:02 left in the first half to knot the score at 28.

El Campo got the ball to the Lindale 1-yard line before losing a fumble with 1:10 on the clock. The Eagles went down the field to the El Campo 18-yard line but ran out of time.

After El Campo quarterback Isaiah Anderson intercepted Peterson on the opening drive of the second half, Davis scored on a 4-yard run to give the Ricebirds a 35-28 lead.

Lindale got to the El Campo 4-yard line, and Peterson was nearly sacked but got the ball away to a wide open Lee for a tying touchdown with 5:43 on the clock.

El Campo got a 15-yard touchdown run from Davis with 2:50 left in the third quarter and a 7-yard run by Davis with 9:05 left in the game to make the score 49-35. Owens then added an 8-yard touchdown run with 6:51 left to stretch the lead to 56-35.

Maya returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.

Peterson finished with 246 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 147 yards and a score on the ground for Lindale (7-5).

El Campo (11-1) advances to face either West Columbia or Little Cypress-Mauriceville.

Class 3AMT. VERNON 57, WHITNEY 30: TYLER — Mount Vernon’s NASCAR offense was a well-tuned machine that would make Kyle Larson proud.

The Tigers, snapping the ball within five seconds of the official placing the ball, scored a 57-30 win over Whitney on Thursday in a Class 3A Division I football playoff game at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Mount Vernon never punted and totaled 34 first downs.

The offensive stars were quarterback Braden Bennett (17 of 25 passing attempts for 258 yards, 4 TD passes), running back Makenzie McGill (25 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receiver Caydon Coffman (9 catches, 152 yards, 4 TDs).

McGill scored on runs of 1 and 14 yards, while Bennett (18 run) and Quence McGill (8 run) added ground TDs. Makenzie McGill also had a two-point conversion run.

Bennett connected with Coffman with TD passes of 35, 36, 25 and 9 yards.

The Tigers (12-0) advance to play either Gladewater or Grandview next week. The game may be played at CTMF Rose Stadium on Friday.

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Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.