Unbeaten Hornets facing biggest test

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

Since Clint Lowry became Blackwell’s head football coach, he has led the program to four playoff berths, three district titles and this season an 11-0 mark that equals the best record in the school’s history.
Today the Hornets face Balmorhea (10-0) at Garden City in their biggest test yet. The Bears, No. 1 in the state in Class 1A, Division II according to sixmanfootball.com., have only had to play 22 quarters all season.
All but one of Balmorhea’s games — a 37-point win over Garden City, a Division I power — ended at halftime by six-man’s 45-point mercy rule.
Balmorhea, which beat Wellman-Union 78-15 in bi-district, made it to the state finals in 2016 when it won its first 14 games before losing to Richland Springs in the title game. The Bears have every starter back off of last year’s squad, making them the overwhelming favorite from Region II.
But this season has also been special for Blackwell, following a 2016 season when it for the first time missed the playoffs with Lowry since he became the head coach in 2012.
Every starter but one on that team has returned and Blackwell has never looked back, winning all 11 of its games with the closest call at Highland — a 35-34 win that clinched the 7-1A, D-II two weeks ago.
Instead of one or two stars, Blackwell has spread the wealth this season with several players capable on finding the end zone.
For example, in last week’s lopsided 61-14 bi-district win over Guthrie, Blackwell threw for seven of its nine touchdowns using two quarterbacks, Brandon Brinkman and Michael Lowry, who connected with four different receivers.
Hunter Clark had four TD catches while three others had one TC catch apiece — Cameron Coldiron, Orrin Sirmons and Kyler Walls. Clark also ran for two TDs in the contest.
Today’s winner advances to the state quarterfinals to face Jayton or Sands, who play today in Hermleigh.