Going into the 1 vs 4 contest of Crane and Ballinger it wasn’t clear if district champion Crane was the beneficiary of a weak district. Ballinger would ultimately pull off the big playoff upset of the Golden Cranes 35-34, but not without giving the fans a little bit of worry. Crane was undoubtedly one of the more talented squads that the Bearcats faced this season and they gave Ballinger all they could handle throughout the contest.

Crane won the coin toss and on their opening possession Carter Arrott caused a fumble that Ballinger would recover. The Bearcats were unable to capitalize on the turnover, however, and would punt the ball back to Crane. After a long drive by Crane on a 4th down quarterback sneak Markus Castleberry forced a fumble that flew right into the hands of Nakia Villarreal. Nakia surely had flashbacks to the fumble return against Colorado City when he caught the ball, but he was only able to return the ball to the 50 yard line. Ballinger tried to hit with the razzle dazzle play on the ensuing possession, but would throw an interception. It was after this when Ballinger’s luck would change for the better. Crane ran the ball, but with nowhere to go except the sideline the runner was unable to make any yardage when Nakia came up behind him and ripped the ball out. The ball seemed destined to be in Zach Canada’s hands when he caught it on the 33 yard line and returned it untouched for a touchdown while being escorted by a herd of Bearcats. Crane would score their first of the game on their next drive, but miss the extra point making it 7-6.

Ballinger was unable to get yardage on the next drive until Crane was flagged for a roughing the passer giving Ballinger a first down instead of a fourth. On the very next play Nathan McDuffee took it the distance up the middle of the defense 52 yards for a touchdown. It would again not take Crane long to score when they hit a 72 yard touchdown pass on the very next play. They would then convert a 2 point conversion to tie the game at 14 points apiece. The defenses would stiffen up over the next few drives resulting in back to back punts. Ballinger went for it on 4th down, but would fail giving the ball back to Crane with time dwindling in the half. Crane would find a way to move the ball downfield and put the ball into the end zone. Markus Castleberry was able to block the extra point kick making the score 20-14 going into halftime.

After the half Carter Arrott opened the scoring with a dazzling 47

.yard run along the left sideline and Ballinger would again take the lead 21-20. on their next drive Crane went the length of the field and again converted a 2 point try to retake the lead 28-21. Ballinger would knot up the score again in the 3rd quarter when Carter Arrott threw to Zach Canada and Zach took it the rest of the way for the score. It would not take Crane long to score again. Markus Castleberry blocked his second kick of the game, but Ballinger was called offsides and gave the Cranes a second chance. Going with analytics saying to go for two in this situation Crane chose to try the conversion. In possibly the most crucial play of the game the Ballinger defense held stiff on the one yard line to keep the score a six point margin, 34-28. Ballinger would take their next drive on the 28 yard line after some hard running from Nathan and Carter they would bring in Zach Canada to be the hammer to punch the ball into the end zone for his third score of the game. With the extra point conversion Ballinger would take the lead 35-34. Crane got the ball back with five minutes left and moved down the field getting it to the 10 yard line. The Ballinger defense stiffened up and get the Cranes to fourth down. The quarterback threw for the endzone and had an open man, but Nathan McDuffee jumped the route and intercepted the pass in the end zone giving the Ballinger offense the ball at the 20 yard line. The Bearcats were then able to get a couple of first downs to run out the remainder of the time to finish off the victory. It is important to note that Briley Clinton was perfect on his extra point attempts in the game and missed extra points and conversions was ultimately the difference on the scoreboard

Ballinger will move on to the Area round of the playoffs with a matchup against #9 ranked Abernathy. Abernathy is coached by Ballinger alum and former Head Football Coach Justin Wiley in his first game against his alma mater. Ballinger will play Abernathy at 7:00PM Thursday, November 18th in Andrews. The winner of this contest will play the winner of Sonora vs Canadian in the Regional round.


# Athlete Name Comp Att Yds C % Avg TD Int Lng QB Rate
Team Totals 7 12 83 .583 11.9 1 1 20 72.6
12 Carter Arrott (Sr) 7 12 83 .583 11.9 1 1 20 72.6


# Athlete Name Car Yds Avg Lng TD
Team Totals 38 274 7.2 52 3
12 Carter Arrott (Sr) 19 110 5.8 47 1
7 N. Rivera-McDuffee (Jr) 10 107 10.7 52 1
32 Zach Canada (So) 9 57 6.3 10 1


# Athlete Name Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
Team Totals 7 83 11.9 20 1
20 Beau Perkins (Sr) 3 48 16.0 20
4 Martin Quiroga (Jr) 1 17 17.0 17
32 Zach Canada (So) 1 10 10.0 10 1
7 N. Rivera-McDuffee (Jr) 1 6 6.0 6
10 Trey Matschek (Sr) 1 2 2.0 2


# Athlete Name Solo Asst Tot Tckls TFL
Team Totals 45 37 82 9.0
12 Carter Arrott (Sr) 5 7 12 2.0
56 Daniel Medina (Sr) 5 4 9 1.0
50 N. Villarreal (Sr) 6 1 7
2 Briley Clinton (Sr) 2 5 7
7 N. Rivera-mcduffee (Jr) 3 3 6 2.0
20 Beau Perkins (Sr) 3 3 6
32 Zach Canada (So) 3 3 6
10 Trey Matschek (Sr) 1 5 6 1.0
3 Noah Peacock (Jr) 3 2 5
4 Martin Quiroga (Jr) 4 1 5 2.0
55 M. Castleberry (Sr) 4 4 1.0
5 Blake Collom (Sr) 2 1 3
62 Robert Roman (Jr) 2 1 3
25 Jayden Fuentes (Sr) 2 1 3


# Athlete Name Sacks Ydl Hurs
Team Totals 2.0
10 Trey Matschek (Sr) 1.0
12 Carter Arrott (Sr) 1.0

Fumbles and Blocks

# Athlete Name Fmb Rec FR Yds Caus Blk Pnts Blk FGs
Team Totals 3 3 2
32 Zach Canada (So) 1
5 Blake Collom (Sr) 1
50 N. Villarreal (Sr) 1 1
55 M. Castleberry (Sr) 2
20 Beau Perkins (Sr) 1
12 Carter Arrott (Sr) 1

Kickoff Returns

# Athlete Name Rets Yds Avg Lng
Team Totals 6 63 10.5 20
5 Blake Collom (Sr) 3 43 14.3 20
7 N. Rivera-mcduffee (Jr) 1 9 9.0 9
20 Beau Perkins (Sr) 1 4 4.0 4
25 Jayden Fuentes (Sr) 1 7 7.0 7

PATs and Field Goals

# Athlete Name PAT Att % FG Att % Lng Tot
Team Totals 5 5 1.0 5
2 Briley Clinton (Sr) 5 5 1.0 5

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