Caden Smith (12) follows the block of Michael Massey (69) to score and tie the game 6-6 in the first quarter.
For several years now, the Roscoe Plowboys have participated in the TSTC Sammy Baugh Classic, an annual weekend of football games held in the Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater. Named after football legend Sammy Baugh, former Sweetwater High quarterback and charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the event runs Thursday through Saturday and features several games involving area schools.
Roscoe’s opponent this year was the highly regarded Stamford Bulldogs, who came into the game with a 2-0 record after beating Munday 53-19 and Anson 48-12. Roscoe was 1-1 after losing 27-13 to Albany, ranked fifth in state, and defeating Hawley 19-6.
The game, which started at 1:00pm on Saturday, was played in blistering heat. Mustang Bowl is essentially a big hole in the ground, and what little breeze there was at ground level didn’t make it down to the playing field. Game time temperature was 95° in the shade, but there was no shade to be found. In fact, the beginning of the second half was delayed about fifteen minutes when paramedics were called in to take away on a gurney one of the members of the Bulldog marching band who was overcome by the heat.
Besides that band member, the other casualty of the afternoon was the Plowboy football team, which was overpowered and outplayed by Stamford, losing 41-12. The first indication that the Plowboys might be in for a long afternoon occurred when the two teams faced one another at midfield for the pre-game coin toss. The Stamford boys were clearly bigger and heavier, and their team had about twice as many players.
Even so, the first quarter was fairly even with both sides getting a touchdown. Stamford scored first to go ahead 6-0, but Roscoe came right back and marched down the field for a touchdown with quarterback Caden Smith running 12 yards around the right side to paydirt. However, the extra point attempt was blocked, and one of the Stamford players picked up the ball and ran ninety-plus yards to score, putting the Bulldogs ahead 8-6.
The Stamford returner muffed the ensuing kickoff, picked the ball up in the end zone, and made it out only to the half-yard line before being tackled, and things were looking good for the Plowboys. However, on the next play, Hagan Hutchinson, the Stamford quarterback, threw a bomb, which his receiver Jesse Ramos caught running full stride at about the 35-yard line and cruised all the way in for a touchdown, a 99½ yard play—and it was downhill for the Plowboys from that point on. By halftime the score was 35-6 with the outcome no longer in question.
The second half was relatively uneventful with Caden Smith breaking free for an 85-yard touchdown run and the Bulldogs responding with a long touchdown run of their own. Stamford played many second teamers in the fourth quarter, and the final score was 41-12.
Admittedly, Roscoe’s two losses have come to two of the best Class A teams in West Texas—and since these are non-district games, there is plenty of time left for the Plowboys to recover and do well in district play. Nevertheless, this game must be seen as a reality check for all us exes who have in recent years become accustomed to seeing the Plowboys regarded as one of the elite Class A teams in the state. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back and play well against the Merkel Badgers at Homecoming next Friday night.