Walnut Springs (11-0) has marched back into the state quarterfinals without a scare, thumping Panther Creek (9-3) 74-44 in a Six-Man Division II Region Four semifinal game in May last Friday.
The Hornets advance to face Sidney in the regional championship. Kickoff in Hico is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Panther Creek kept it close until midway through the third when brothers Johnathan and Kody Stack broke the game open for Walnut Springs.
Johnathan Stack scored on a 25-yard pass from Eddie Whitt to make it 44-22 before Kody Stack made the tide-turning play of the night with a 50-yard interception return for a TD. He scored again on an eight-yard run to stretch the Hornet lead to 36.
Kody Stack finished with four rushes for 40 yards and a score, three receptions for 31 yards and another TD and the pick six, giving him three scores on the night. He also amassed a team-leading 17 tackles on defense.
Johnathan Stack rushed 11 times for 114 yards and two TDs while hauling in four receptions for 65 yards and another score.
Whitt had a huge game at quarterback, going 13-18 through the air for 224 yards and three TDs while rushing eight times for another 124 yards and three more scores covering 18, 35 and 41 yards. He had a hand in 348 yards of offense and six touchdowns.
The Hornets racked up 520 yards of total offense. In addition to the scoring party by Whitt and the Stacks, Matthew Prescher found the end zone on a 40-yard reception to complete the scoring in the fourth.
The trip to the quarterfinals is the second straight for the Hornets. Sidney advanced to face Walnut Springs by knocking off Leverett’s Chapel 54-38 last week. The winner of Friday’s battle will face either Woodson or Highland in a state semifinal.