The Azle Hornets completed a carbon copy of their 2018 regular season with Friday night’s 64-14 victory against the visiting Saginaw Rough Riders.
The Hornets, like last year, dropped their season opener to Grapevine (23-22) before reeling off nine straight wins heading into the postseason, where they advanced to the second round.
Also, just like last year, Friday’s victory wrapped up a perfect 8-0 record in District 3-5A Division I for the Hornets, running their league winning streak to 16 straight. Azle has a week off before playing a bi-district playoff against the fourth-place finisher from District 4-5A, with Grapevine (5-4 overall) having the inside track for that position.
Saginaw (6-3, 4-3 district) remains in a battle for its first playoff berth since 2013 and the fourth since starting play in 2006. The Rough Riders, who have already clinched their first winning season since 2012 and third overall, finish the regular season at home next Friday against Granbury, which is battling for its first postseason spot since 2013.
Azle quarterback Drey Owen accounted for five touchdowns. He threw for scores of 17, 70 and 30 yards yards to Eric McAlister, along with running for touchdowns of 8 and 33 yards. Owen ended the night with 124 yards rushing on 10 carries and completed 11 of 15 passes for 219 yards, including six for 133 yards to McAlister.
Owen has thrown for 22 touchdowns this season and McAlister has caught 19 scores. McAlister has also caught 47 passes for more than 1,100 yards.
Also for the Hornets, Jacob Lee ran for scores of 16, 1 and 55 yards. Lee has rushed for almost 1,300 yards this season, including 145 Friday night on 13 carries.
Saginaw running back Mike Jones-Bradley ended the night with 129 yards on 16 carries, while Rough Riders quarterback Kameron Williams completed 17 of 28 attempts for 131 yards and a 1-yard TD pass to Blayne Taylor.
Hayden Davidson came off the bench to rush for 94 yards and a 2-yard touchdown on 12 carries for the Hornets. Desmond Lewis added a 1-yard touchdown run for Saginaw.
Azle scored on five straight possessions in the first half, taking a 43-0 halftime advantage. They ended the game with exactly 600 yards of offense (374 rushing, 226 passing).
The Hornets defeated the Rough Riders for a fourth consecutive season and fifth time in six years. They improved their advantage in the overall series to 6-4.
Azle topped 40 points for an eighth consecutive game, passed the 50-point barrier for the sixth time, and surpassed 60 for a second time. The Hornets came in outscoring their opponents by an average of 49-23 overall and 54-22 in district.